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Heroes

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

A country's biggest export used to also be their biggest problem.

True
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:

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Architectural Digest/Youtube

This house was made with love.

Celebrity home tours are usually a divisive topic. Some find them fun and inspirational. Others find them tacky or out of touch. But this home tour has seemingly brought unanimous joy to all.

“Stranger Things” actor David Harbour and British singer-songwriter Lily Allen, whose Vegas wedding in 2020 came with an Elvis impersonator, gave a tour of their delightfully quirky Brooklyn townhouse for Architectural Digest, and people were absolutely loving it.

For one thing, the house just looks cool. There’s nothing monotone or minimalist about it. No beige to be seen.

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Pop Culture

Buffy Sainte-Marie shares what led to her openly breastfeeding on 'Sesame Street' in 1977

The way she explained to Big Bird what she was doing is still an all-time great example.

"Sesame Street" taught kids about life in addition to letters and numbers.

In 1977, singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie did something revolutionary: She fed her baby on Sesame Street.

The Indigenous Canadian-Ameican singer-songwriter wasn't doing anything millions of other mothers hadn't done—she was simply feeding her baby. But the fact that she was breastfeeding him was significant since breastfeeding in the United States hit an all-time low in 1971 and was just starting to make a comeback. The fact that she did it openly on a children's television program was even more notable, since "What if children see?" has been a key pearl clutch for people who criticize breastfeeding in public.

But the most remarkable thing about the "Sesame Street" segment was the lovely interchange between Big Bird and Sainte-Marie when he asked her what she was doing.

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Health

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to run their YouthLine teen crisis hotline

“Each volunteer gets more than 60 hours of training, and master’s level supervisors are constantly on standby in the room.”

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to man YouthLine teen crisis hotline

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Mental health is a top-of-mind issue for a lot of people. Thanks to social media and people being more open about their struggles, the stigma surrounding seeking mental health treatment appears to be diminishing. But after the social and emotional interruption of teens due the pandemic, the mental health crises among adolescents seem to have jumped to record numbers.

PBS reports that Oregon is "ranked as the worst state for youth mental illness and access to care." But they're attempting to do something about it with a program that trains teenagers to answer crisis calls from other teens. They aren't alone though, as there's a master's level supervisor at the ready to jump in if the call requires a mental health professional.

The calls coming into the Oregon YouthLine can vary drastically, anywhere from relationship problems to family struggles, all the way to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Teens manning the phones are provided with 60 hours of training and are taught to recognize when the call needs to be taken over by the adult supervisor.

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Family

Mom shares her brutal experience with 'hyperemesis gravidarum' and other moms can relate

Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe case of morning sickness that can last up until the baby is born and might require medical attention.

@emilyboazman/TikTok

Hyperemesis gravidarum isn't as common as regular morning sickness, but it's much more severe.

Morning sickness is one of the most commonly known and most joked about pregnancy symptoms, second only to peculiar food cravings. While unpleasant, it can often be alleviated to a certain extent with plain foods, plenty of fluids, maybe some ginger—your typical nausea remedies. And usually, it clears up on its own by the 20-week mark. Usually.

But sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes moms experience stomach sickness and vomiting, right up until the baby is born, on a much more severe level.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), isn’t as widely talked about as regular morning sickness, but those who go through it are likely to never forget it. Persistent, extreme nausea and vomiting lead to other symptoms like dehydration, fainting, low blood pressure and even jaundice, to name a few.

Emily Boazman, a mom who had HG while pregnant with her third child, showed just how big of an impact it can make in a viral TikTok.

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The cast of TLC's "Sister Wives."

Dating is hard for just about anyone. But it gets harder as people age because the dating pool shrinks and older people are more selective. Plus, changes in dating trends, online etiquette and fashion can complicate things as well.

“Sister Wives” star Christine Brown is back in the dating pool after ending her “spiritual union” with polygamist Kody Brown and she needs a little help to get back in the swing of things. Christine and Kody were together for more than 25 years and she shared him with three other women, Janelle, Meri and Robyn.

Janelle and Meri have recently announced they’ve separated from Kody. Christine publicly admitted that things were over with Kody in November 2021.

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