Prince Harry speaks out about conservation: 'We must overcome greed, apathy, and selfishness'
The Royal Family

Prince Harry's royal tour of Africa must be eye-opening. The royal recently wrote an essay published in The Telegraph stressing the importance of conservation, calling out the problem for what it is. "I have no problem in admitting that we are all part of the problem in some way, but a lot of us simply aren't aware of the damage that is being caused," wrote the Duke of Sussex.

Prince Harry details the consequences of neglecting and ravaging the environment. "Rivers and deltas have been overfished in an unsustainable manner - mainly to sell to neighbouring countries who have out-fished their own stocks. This only benefits the few who are selling them and leaves the communities that depend on them with nothing," Prince Harry wrote. West Africa loses an estimated $1.3 billion to illegal fishing each year. Senegal alone loses $300 million to the practice, which accounts for 2% of the country's GDP.


On the land, Africa's animal population is also in danger. "Elephants and rhinos are being poached towards extinction while funding international crime, and the bush meat trade is destroying what's left of the collapsing biodiversity that is so critical to remaining intact," he wrote. He's not wrong. In 1930, the elephant population of Africa was an estimated 10 million. Now, it has dwindled to 415,000 elephants.

While humans have been the cause of the problem, they're also the effect of the problem. A reduction in the environment of a region results in a scarcity of food and jobs for the local people, and the people who live on the land don't benefit from the land. "They currently don't have alternatives to provide for themselves; it's survival, but it's not sustainable in the long run, so at what cost for the next generation?" he posited.

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Prince Harry wasn't just doom and gloom. We can fix the problem, and he had some ideas. "From what I've seen on the ground, it is when communities are incentivized to safeguard and manage their natural assets — be it water, trees, or wildlife — that everyone benefits," he wrote. "The natural order is restored and the symbiotic relationship between humans and wildlife is re-balanced. This may well sound hippy to some, but we cannot afford to have a 'them or us' mentality."

Prince Harry concluded his essay with a powerful reminder conservation isn't just for a select few, like members of the royal family — conservation is for everyone. "Conservation used to be a specialist area, driven by science. But now it is fundamental to our survival and we must overcome greed, apathy, and selfishness if we are to make real progress," he wrote.

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The royal doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk. Prince Harry recently unveiled a new conservation in Angola. The Luengue-Luiana National Park will join the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy, a network of conservation initiatives. The park will protect an ancient elephant migration route. "The country was once home to over 200,000 elephants before the civil war," wrote the palace. "The hope is to create 'corridors' through the forest to encourage elephants to return to the region safely." Angola's elephant poaching rate is one of the highest in Africa. Hopefully, that will change.


Prince Harry also took over National Geographic's Instagram account, posting his personal photos of African trees captioned with conservation messages.

It's great that Prince Harry is lending his voice to raise awareness for the issues that face Africa. However, you don't need to be a member of the royal family to care about the world we live in. The great thing about conservation is that anyone can do it, no matter what your lineage is.

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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.


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.