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Incredible photos inside the Calais refugee camp as the French military forces people out.

As the Calais Jungle starts to come down, big questions remain.

Incredible photos inside the Calais refugee camp as the French military forces people out.

From the outset, it looked like any other morning in the French port town of Calais.

But as Monday, Feb. 29, began, French police and military began dismantling the southern end of the Calais Jungle, a refugee camp with between 3,400 and 5,600 residents.


The sun rises over the camp. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

By the end of the day, 100 homes in the southern arm of the "jungle" would be reduced to ash and garbage; leaving refugee residents homeless again.

Police officers clear shelters and personal items. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

The Calais Jungle is the most well-known temporary settlement of the current refugee crisis.

Refugees from Eritrea, Afghanistan, Syria, North Africa, and the Middle East have been converging on Calais for the past year. They are young families, single mothers, young men, and unaccompanied children looking for refuge from violence, war, and poverty in their home countries.

A man rides his bike along a heavily damaged street on the outskirts of Damascus, Syria. Photo by Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP/Getty Images.

For these refugees, this small industrial port city in northern France is meant to be the second-to-last stop on their journey to a new life in the United Kingdom.

A tent belonging to a Sudanese refugee. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

To reach the U.K., they’ll risk stowing away on ferries or climbing aboard trains passing through the "chunnel," an underground tunnel connecting Calais and Dover, U.K. At one point last July, upward of 2,000 refugees were trying to make this trip every single night. With both the French and British closing down their borders, it’s become harder and harder for people to leave Calais.

A man walks by the new purpose-built accommodations near the camp. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

Instead of being a stop on the journey, Calais has become a destination.

More than 3,400 people have settled in the Calais Jungle in the past year, living out of tents or other makeshift shelters.

An aerial photo of the camp in October 2015. Photo by Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images.

Even without running water, heat, or sanitation services, the residents of the Jungle have created a community. There are stores, vendors, a mosque, services, a school — even a theater.

Individuals and families collect firewood. Photo by Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images.

Little by little, the residents of the Jungle are finding ways to return to normal lives. Sometimes that’s as simple as a game of handball.

A group plays handball in the camp. Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images.

While opponents of the Calais Jungle like to cite the figure that young men make up its largest demographic, there are many young families and children living there, too.

The British volunteer group Help Refugees says there are 205 women and 651 children living in the Jungle. Of those children, 423 are unaccompanied.

Children walk with a stroller in a camp in 2015. Photo by Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images.

However, the growing Calais Jungle is extremely unpopular with nearby residents and the government.

In an attempt to squelch local resistance and reduce the size of the settlement, the French government has created temporary shelters to house up to 1,500 residents of the Jungle and has proposed bussing the remaining refugees to other reception centers in the country.

A hut camp set up by Doctors Without Borders near Dunkerque shelters around 2,000 migrants and refugees. Photo by Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images.

Residents of the Jungle and the aid workers supporting them disagree with this idea.

According to Marta Welander, founder of the Refugee Rights Data Project "[these evictions are] unlikely to provide a viable solution to the current humanitarian crisis on our doorstep."

A group of refugees carry a banner through the Jungle as its cleared. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

Many refugees would rather wait in Calais to see if they can receive asylum in the United Kingdom, where jobs and housing are rumored to be plentiful and accessible. Others have family in the U.K. they could stay with or know how to speak English but not French. Accepting the housing means registering with the French government — something that may affect their ability to seek asylum elsewhere.

So they stay, they wait, and they hope.

A boy stands next to a sign made out of wire. Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images.

But time, it seems, has run out.

Last Thursday, a French judge upheld a previous judgment allowing police and the military to dismantle the southern portion of the camp, displacing around 1,000 residents who will be required to register with the French government and move into new shelters. Buildings of "cultural and social importance" like the school and theater will be allowed to stay. The people cannot.

Residents wait in line for clothes and aid. Photo by Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images.

Activists supporting the camp were told residents would have days to clear the site. Instead, they were given just one hour.

Agents dismantle shelters. Photo by Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images.

As hundreds of soldiers and riot police moved in, some residents challenged them, throwing rocks and bottles. The military responded by firing tear gas.

A police officer throws teargas to clear the area. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

Some defiant residents burned down their tents rather than allow them to be dismantled.

A person watches a hut burn as officers clear the area. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

A small number faced off with the police and were arrested or detained.

An activist is sprayed with a water cannon. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

Officers cleared approximately 100 homes from the seven acre site and plan to return March 1 to continue their work.

Fabienne Buccio, the head of the Calais prefecture, said previously that these cleanup efforts were intended to reduce the size of the camp by half.

Police officers clash with activists and residents during the clearing of the camp. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

While refugees and activists have legitimate reasons to disagree with the government's approach, the homes and dwellings in the Jungle are far from sanitary. There’s no running water, and garbage (plus the rats that come with it) is everywhere. People easily get sick, and health care access is extremely limited. The new settlements the French government has built are heated, clean, and safe — a step up from what residents live in now.

A woman sits next to her tent. Photo by Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images.

For those of us with warm beds and running water, it's hard to see why people would want to stay in the Calais Jungle.

But for the residents who live there, the Jungle and the communities they've built within it are all they have. There’s no guarantee that people moving into the new housing will be able to live alongside the friends they’ve created in Calais. For some of them, that means starting over — all over again. And some people aren't willing to do that unless the move is one that lets them start rebuilding their lives in a more permanent space.

A man stands with a banner in the Jungle in 2009. Photo by Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images.

The U.K.-based Refugee Rights Data Project surveyed residents of the Calais Jungle in advance of the court decision, asking them where they would go if asked to leave. Of the 460 residents they surveyed, 80% said they planned to stay in Calais or a nearby camp in Dunkirk.

Two men carry their belongings away from the camp. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images.

"Lieu de vie" is painted on many of the temporary hones in the Calais Jungle. It translates to "place of life."

While it’s essential for refugees to have access to safe, long-term housing and services, it is also important to note the community they have built in Calais.

Residents sit outside a makeshift shelter. Photo by Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images.

For people fleeing destruction and poverty, there was life in Calais. It was imperfect, dangerous, and ultimately impermanent, but for some it was the closest to a home they'd had since leaving theirs. Now with its dismantling, they're once again being violently uprooted and facing a future that’s as uncertain as the past they escaped.

A woman pins a French flag onto her makeshift tent in November 2015. Photo by Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images.

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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.

Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

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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.