Palm oil is farmed 2 ways: One produces a lot of smoke and distress, and one keeps all life in mind.
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Unilever and the United Nations

Palm oil is in just about everything.

From cosmetics to crackers...


...to soap and pizza dough...

...and candy.

It's also in shampoo. And ice cream.

And it's used as biodiesel fuel. It's in almost everything.

Of course, that huge global demand for palm oil is being met by any means necessary. When palm oil farmers find themselves needing land, they turn to jungles for space.



Farmers often use "slash and burn" techniques to clear trees ... sometimes with animals still living in them.



It's pretty bad.

In tropical Indonesia, that land is full of endangered species — the Sumatran orangutan, for one. There are also elephants, tigers, slow lorises, and other animals that live in the rainforests throughout the country.

These palm oil plantations can displace animals, like orangutans that are already endangered, from their natural habitat.

Of course, it has to stop. And that's where Paul Bakri comes in.


Paul Bakri, an Indonesian "smallholder" sustainably farms palm oil — and is one of the first in his country to do so. When the WWF (the creators of the video below) talked with Paul, he told them how he does it.

A smallholder like Paul farms 50 hectares or less — that's almost 100 football fields worth of land. Nothing to sneeze at. He used to work as a construction worker but didn't make enough to feed his family. He started harvesting palm oil with his brother. Afterward, his life improved dramatically. His family is living much better now because of his harvesting job.

Many people like Paul are in a tough situation. If they didn't cut down forest, they couldn't farm. And they might not even find work otherwise.

So, what's the solution?

An Indonesian palm oil plantation. This used to be all jungle.

There's another way to make a living without destroying everything living around you — and Paul is doing it.


The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
certifies products made by companies that use oil farmed sustainably, and Paul is a part of that program.

But right now, only 6.4% of palm oil is farmed sustainably. That means orangutans like this one are still in danger because people like us love buying instant noodles and pizza and margarine. And that's upsetting.


By buying certified sustainable palm oil when possible, we can do our part to help.

If you see the logo above on a product containing palm oil, that means it's certified.

Bakri is now certified to farm sustainably. He's hopeful that sustainable palm oil in Indonesia will be profitable. If people like us buy the environmentally friendly alternative, farming — without destroying the natural beauty of Indonesia — will be the way of life.

Watch the full video below for more:

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

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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.

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via Budweiser

Budweiser beer, and its low-calorie counterpart, Bud Light, have created some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials of the past 37 years.

There were the Clydesdales playing football and the poor lost puppy who found its way home because of the helpful horses. Then there were the funny frogs who repeated the brand name, "Bud," "Weis," "Er."

We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

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via Good Morning America

Anyone who's an educator knows that teaching is about a lot more than a paycheck. "Teaching is not a job, but a way of life, a lens by which I see the world, and I can't imagine a life that did not include the ups and downs of changing and being changed by other people," Amber Chandler writes in Education Week.

So it's no surprise that Kelly Klein, 54, who's taught at Falcon Heights Elementary in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, for the past 32 years still teaches her kindergarten class even as she is being treated for stage-3 ovarian cancer.

Her class is learning remotely due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, so she is able to continue doing what she loves from her computer at M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minnesota, even while undergoing chemotherapy.

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