More

Here's the fascinating behind-the-scenes story of what happens to blood donations.

What journey does your blood or plasma donation go on after you donate? Turns out, it's a really intriguing process.

Here's the fascinating behind-the-scenes story of what happens to blood donations.

What journey does your blood or plasma donation go on after you donate?

From the time you give blood until it reaches the person who desperately needs it, it goes through a number of steps.

Watch the journey:


Before I get into the 'splainer below, a few words to know:

1. Red blood cells: They transport oxygen through the body. For anybody who has lost a lot of blood, this is what they need.

2. Plasma: It's the "wet," or liquid portion of blood, which transports all kinds of things throughout your body, including platelets and red blood cells. It can be frozen for up to one year.

3. Platelets: They are needed to stop bleeding. Because they contain clotting factors, they are stored at near-freezing temperatures in a device that moves them constantly to keep them from doing so. Unfortunately, they only last about five days, which is why a constant supply is needed.

Blood donations are removed from the coolers that are used to transport them. Then, they're weighed and spun.

Why do they spin it, you ask?

It separates the blood into plasma and red blood cells.

A solution of preservatives and anticoagulants is added to the red blood cells to double their shelf life.

Then, they're stored in bags at 3.5 degrees Celsius (38.3 degrees Fahrenheit).

Plasma, however, is frozen...

“Let it go … let it goooooooo." No, not that kind of frozen. Plasma can keep for up to one year when stored this way.

...while platelets are kept on the move.

However, the platelets, which are usually suspended in the plasma, have to keep moving or they'll clot, so they're placed into these machines that constantly do just that.


I like picturing the platelets moving around like this.

All donated blood is tested.

Samples of every donation are tested with antibodies to make sure none of the blood is infected with anything.

Once cleared, it's stored by type: A, B, AB, and O. Then it waits.

(There are some further derivatives of those classic designations, but for simplicity's sake, let's just leave it at that.)

When a medical facility needs blood for a transfusion, somebody at the lab finds a match, triple-checks the blood type, then sends it on to the hospital, where it's given to the lucky recipient.

And there you have it! The three-minute video at the top shows some of the equipment used and such. And ... I can honestly say I've learned something today! A lot of somethings, actually.

Now it's time for me to go donate blood.

Pexels
True
Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.