There's only 1 U.S. state that protects you after saving a child or pet from a hot car. Kudos.

What would you do if you saw a child trapped alone in a car in the middle of a hot summer day?

The windows are up. She's crying. Or maybe she's unresponsive. You look around and realize her parents aren't anywhere nearby.

Some parents don't realize how hot it can get in a closed car — even on a day that's just 70 degrees, temperatures inside your car can get to 110. Other parents just sometimes legitimately forget their children in the car.


In either case, when you see a child in distress, your instinct is to get that car open one way or another and save her from heat stroke — or maybe even death.

How could you not want to save this face? Image via Pixabay.

And what would you do if you saw a puppy or another pet in the same situation?

Alone, hot, distressed, no owners around. You'd probably feel the same way. Most people would do whatever's in their power to save the poor creature in distress from dying a brutal death.

Look at him — he's begging to be let out! Photo by allenthepostman/Flickr.

All of us probably know someone who loves their "furbaby" (or maybe you're one of those people!). Who wouldn't want to have them saved?

But did you know that doing the "right" thing by saving those babies or pets could put you at risk of fines or even arrest?

Don't believe me? There was a recent uproar in Georgia over a vet who was arrested for smashing a car window to save a dog. When he noticed the dog, he called the police, but — knowing that every moment is critical — he didn't wait for them to arrive. In an interview about the backlash, the deputy sheriff told FOX News that while he understood what the man did, there were no laws in place that actually allow what he did. Fortunately, the charges were eventually dropped.

Similarly, last year, a pediatrician was arrested while trying to break a car window to save an infant. Although she was stopped in the act by an officer, the firefighters called to the scene ended up doing exactly what she started to do. And then they arrested her anyway.

You read that right. GIF from "Up."

How is this possible, you ask?

The law is still behind when it comes to protecting children and pets when they're left alone in a car.

To start, not all states have laws addressing children and animals left alone in vehicles. Just 19 states have provisions that explicitly outlaw leaving children unsupervised in a car while just 16 states have measures protecting pets in this situation.

To make matters worse, the laws that are in place can be really confusing.

Now to be fair, if you break into a car to help an unattended child, you definitely could walk away without any trouble. Good Samaritan laws — where legal protection is given to people who try to help in an emergency — have been used to protect do-gooders in exactly this kind of situation.

But they're neither automatically nor systematically applied in every case. So while you may not get fined or serve jail time for saving a child in a hot car, you may have still been arrested and charged before everything is cleared. What a hassle.

The situation is even more complicated when it comes to animals. Some states ban unattended pets altogether, some only ban them under "extreme" weather conditions, and some are OK with the pet being alone as long as you leave them some food and water. Anti-cruelty laws can be used to prosecute owners in states that explicitly address animals and cars, but just like the Good Samaritan laws, they're not uniformly applied.

But there's one state that's ahead of the rest: Tennessee.

Last year, Tennessee became the first state to legally protect people from liability or arrest if they use reasonable force to break into a vehicle to save the life of a child. And in July 2015, they extended that provision to saving pets, too. Nice work, Tennessee!

The welcome feels even nicer now thanks to these new laws. Photo by jbcurio/Flickr.

When it comes to saving lives in this case, every second counts.

Last year, a Texas woman smashed the windshield of a hot, locked car to save a child in distress. In an interview with San Antonio's KENS-5, she said that other people were nearby but thought they didn't intervene because they were afraid of getting in trouble for destroying property.

Do we really want some of these vital seconds spent hesitating by a nearby do-gooder who fears being punished for doing the right thing?

Imagine how much better it'd be if people didn't have to worry about unfair consequences for helping.

According to KidsAndCars.org, an average of 38 children die every year from heat-related complications after being trapped in a hot car. The number of pets that die under the same circumstances is unknown (some have estimated thousands), but we can agree that even one is too many.

As Georgia Army veteran Michael Hammons told Fox News Insider after being arrested for saving a dog's life:

"I knew there would be consequences, but it didn't matter. I mean, glass? They make new glass every day. But she could never replace that dog."

I think we can all agree that lives > property.

Just look at those faces! AWWW. Photo by Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images.

The rest of America needs to get on Tennessee's level — and fast. Because shouldn't it be easy to save lives?

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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.

In the hours before he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, then-President-elect Biden was sent a letter signed by 17 freshmen GOP members of the House of Representatives.

In sharp contrast to the 121 Republican House members who voted against the certification of Biden's electoral votes—a constitutional procedure merely check-marking the state certifications that had already taken place—this letter expresses a desire to "rise above the partisan fray" and work together with Biden as he takes over the presidency.

The letter reads:

Dear President-elect Biden,

Congratulations on the beginning of your administration and presidency. As members of this freshman class, we trust that the next four years will present your administration and the 117thCongress with numerous challenges and successes, and we are hopeful that – despite our ideological differences – we may work together on behalf of the American people we are each so fortunate to serve.

After two impeachments, lengthy inter-branch investigations, and, most recently, the horrific attack on our nation's capital, it is clear that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans does not serve a single American.

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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.