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Heroes

Some back-to-school clothes aren't good for the planet. Here’s a better option.

The most sustainable clothes are the ones that already exist.

True
Savers

There are three constants in late summer life.

One: It’s impossible to apply sunscreen without missing a spot. Two: S'mores that fall in the campfire for a few seconds just taste better. Three: Nothing is a bigger adrenaline hit than back-to-school shopping.

Instantly iconic. GIF from "Clueless."


Thanks to the internet and fast-fashion outlets, buying stylish new clothes on the cheap is easier than ever before. Designs that used to march down the runway a year before they’d show up in your local department store are now being churned out for sale in just a few weeks. Keeping people looking Instagram-worthy is a $3 trillion-dollar industry that’s growing every year.

Fast fashion gives a quick hit, but it’s also fueling some less-than-sustainable habits.

Pictured: Not a good look. Image via Savers.

The truth is super-cheap, fast fashion comes with big environmental price tags. As a society, we’re buying a lot, then throwing much of it away, and that’s really adding up.

Our passion for fashion has made the clothing industry one of the world’s biggest polluters. In 2013 alone, Americans threw away 15.13 million tons of textile waste.

But landfills aren’t the only concern. The clothing industry also uses a shocking amount of water. Making a single cotton T-shirt can consume up to 700 gallons of water. A new pair of jeans can consume 2,900 gallons of water. With record global temperatures that just keep increasing and climate change fueling extreme long-lasting droughts, being smarter about water is about to become even more important than it already is.

Being more careful about our clothing purchases can create a ripple effect, conserving millions of gallons of water that can be used for other purposes, like drinking water or sustainable agriculture.

One of the easiest ways to start making mindful choices is to buy thrifted clothes.

Enter Savers, one of the world’s leading textile recyclers. Through its unique business model, Savers is keeping over 650 million pounds of reusable items out of landfills annually. This year they’re stepping up even further: encouraging people to really think about the life cycle of their clothes and how that affects the rest of the world.

Fashionable fabric fountains in Toronto's Dundas Square. Image via Savers.

Earlier this month, Savers installed a beautiful and surprising art installation in Toronto’s bustling Dundas Square, transforming a public water fountain into one made of clothes.

The installation was meant to inform people about the water that goes into making their clothes. It really got people thinking.

(After checking out this neat video, be sure to scroll down for more information about how you can get involved!)

Its message was loud and clear.

Thousands of Torontonians viewed the installation, and more than 1,000 who walked by were inspired to take a simple next step in reducing their fashion footprint: "giving a shirt" and committing to making their next T-shirt purchase a thrifted one.

It's time to give a shirt about textile waste. Image via Savers.

Folks still doing their back-to-school shopping can help Savers, too!

This back-to-school season, Savers is hoping to get 1 million people to "Give a Sh!rt" about their clothing footprint through one simple ask: replacing one new tee purchase with a thrifted one.

If they do, they say it’ll be the equivalent of offsetting over 1,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools full of water.

There are plenty of wonderful clothes to be found at local thrift stores, and none of them come with extra fashion footprint of new clothes. Plus, brand-new is relative. It can also mean brand-new-to-you!

Fast fashion is easy and addictive. But like any bad habit, it’s one we have to break. Not just for our closets, but also for our planet.

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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