'I urge you to resign': A fired up mom tells Scott Pruitt exactly what she thinks.

"Hi, I just wanted to urge you to resign because of what you're doing to the environment and our country."

Teacher Kristin Mink didn't hold back when confronting Scott Pruitt, the controversial head of the Environmental Protection Agency. When she saw him eating lunch at a Washington, D.C., restaurant, she knew she had to say something. She just didn't know what.

Then it hit her: "His actions are the source of so much of my despair for my child's future and frankly the future of humanity," Mink wrote to Splinter afterward. She decided to make it personal.


Mink walked up to Pruitt and introduced her toddler son — just so Pruitt would know whose future he was affecting.

"This is my son. He loves animals. He loves clean air. He loves clean water. Meanwhile, you're slashing strong fuel standards for cars and trucks for the benefit of big corporations," Mink said as Pruitt's face dropped into a deep and nervous frown.

"We deserve to have somebody at the EPA who actually does protect our environment, somebody who believes in climate change and takes it seriously for the benefit of all of us, including our children," Mink continued.

And then she repeated her first request: "So, I would urge you to resign before your scandals push you out."

That's when, according to Mink, Pruitt rushed from the restaurant, his security detail in tow.

EPA head Scott Pruitt was 3 tables away as I ate lunch with my child. I had to say something. This man is directly and significantly harming my child’s — and every child’s — health and future with decisions to roll back environmental regulations for the benefit of big corporations, while he uses taxpayer money to fund a lavish lifestyle. He’s corrupt, he’s a liar, he’s a climate change denier, and as a public servant, he should not be able to go out in public without hearing from the citizens he’s hurting. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency U.S. EPA Administrator Scott PruittETA: You don’t have to wait til your next Pruitt sighting to take action! Click here to help Boot Pruitt! https://www.addup.org/campaigns/boot-pruitt

Posted by Kristin Mink on Monday, July 2, 2018

Protecting our environmental future is more important than ever.

Pruitt, a Donald Trump appointee, has been courting controversy since he arrived at the EPA. While only there a short time, he's already begun to undo over 20 Obama-era regulations. He has made himself the final authority on The Clean Water Act, is rolling back emissions regulations for cars and trucks, and is revising fuel efficiency standards, taking away incentives for cleaner cars with a lower carbon footprint.

That's nothing to say of Pruitt's questionable conduct: Since being in the role, he's refused to let his schedule be known to the public, demanded a 24-hour-security detail (a cost of $3 million a year), and built a soundproof phone booth (which cost upward of $43,000). Other ethical concerns include that Pruitt hired his own banker to run the Superfund program and is allowing EPA employees to moonlight as political consultants.

We should be worried. And, like Mink, we should speak out whenever and wherever we can.

It's easy to forget that public servants don't work for themselves: They work for the public. It's incumbent on us to push back and speak out when their policies and actions are corrupt.

"Our children's future is at stake," the end of Mink's video states. "As citizens, it is our responsibility to confront corrupt, unethical, and immoral government officials whenever and wherever we see them."

She's using her voice. We should all raise our own. Elections are coming. Are you registered to vote?

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.


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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.

Nearly a year into the deadliest pandemic in a century, the U.S. is still battling not only the virus, but Americans living in denial of reality as well.

Take this video of a group of anti-maskers who stood in front of a Trader Joe's entrance and tried to argue that they had every right to shop there without masks. The woman narrating the video states that they have "a right to commerce" (they don't—there's literally no such right), that Trader Joe's doesn't have the right to require masks (they do—it's their store), that the mandate to wear masks in public places can't be enforced because it's not a real law (it can—), and that they were not there to demonstrate, but just to buy groceries (umm, right).

The manager, to his credit, did what he could to calmly talk with these people while also making it clear that they were not going to enter the store without a mask.

"The point you're trying to make isn't going to be made with us," he said. "It can be made with your government...I am not here to debate policy. I totally respect for you to think anything you want to think...my job, as manager of the store is to enforce the mandate, whether you believe in it or not."


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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

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In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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Jane Goodall has had a long and storied career, studying and working with primates for six decades. She is best known for her work with chimpanzees, and it's largely thanks to her field research that we understand as much as we do about their behavior and intelligence.

Goodall has undoubtedly had many notable experiences in her career, but there was one moment caught on video that highlights her extraordinary connection with these animals.

Wounda was a chimpanzee rescued from the bushmeat trade, and when she was brought to the Jane Goodall Institute's Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of Congo, she was half the weight she should have been and near death. (In fact, that's what "Wounda" means—"close to death.")

But thanks to Dr. Rebeca Atencia and the staff at Tchimpounga, Wounda recovered. After rehabilitation, chimps can't go back and live in the wild, but Tchimpounga has some sanctuary islands set aside for rehabbed chimps to live in the forest, safe from attacks and poachers. Wounda was taken to Tchindzoulou island to live with more than a dozen other chimps that had already been released there.

Goodall herself was not part of Wounda's rehabilitation, but she accompanied the team when it came time to release Wounda. She reassured Wounda with a soft voice and kind words on the way to the island, and the two connected immediately, despite it being the first day they met. And when Wounda was released, her expression of gratitude and affection, not only to Dr. Atencia but to Goodall herself, was a sight to behold.

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A common refrain we're hearing from politicians and pundits who insist on denying current reality is that leadership right now needs to focus on "lowering the temperature."

You know, in case a violent mob decides to storm the Capitol or something.

From lawmakers the past couple of days:

"Trying to impeach a President with less than 10 days left in office is the worst way to lower the temperature in our country. If Democrats say they want unity, this isn't the way to show it." – Congressman Ted Bud (R-NC)

"I've reached out to President-elect Biden today & plan to speak to him about how we must work together to lower the temperature & unite the country to solve America's challenges." – House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)

"I am opposed to yet another impeachment of President Trump by Nancy Pelosi that will further inflame tensions in America. We need to lower the temperature and unify Americans behind issues we can all agree on." – Congressman James Comer (R-KY)

And watch Fox News' Brian Kilmeade use the same language:

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