This CEO knows how hard it is to be a new dad. So he changed one company policy in a big way.

Being a new dad is hard.

There is vomit literally everywhere outside this frame. Photo via Thinkstock.


It's not just about the sleepless nights, changing diapers, doctor visits, and all that jazz.

Fact is, it's so hard to get paid time off from work that it's tough for lots of dads to even get to be dads to begin with. Especially in the first year of a child's life.

(And, for the record, it's hard for lots of moms as well).

But take heart, new dads (and moms)! At least one CEO has your back.

Specifically, this guy:

Richard Branson's hair (L) and Richard Brandon (also L). Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Yep. Virgin CEO Richard Branson just dropped an extraordinarily generous parental leave policy.

"I'm very proud that Virgin Management has introduced a new initiative giving all employees in our London and Geneva offices a year's full pay for shared parental leave," Branson wrote in a June 10, 2015, blog post.

And while the new policy only applies to employees in two of Branson's offices (with four years of service or more), it's still a big deal. Because unlike many parental leave policies, it doesn't just apply to new moms. It applies to new dads too.

Yep. Dads.

A full year off to do all the things that dads do best.

I don't know if a year is enough time to really introduce you to Steely Dan, son. But I will ... try. Photo via Thinkstock.

In doing so, Branson one-upped the British government, which recently passed a law mandating 37 weeks of shared leave per family upon the birth or adoption of a child.

Which in turn somewhat hilariously one-upped the United States, which requires employers to provide ... none at all. Yep. Really. Only 10-15% of U.S. employers offer any sort of paternity leave whatsoever.

More companies can and should follow Branson's model.

Not just because it's good manners. But because, according to Branson, it's good for the bottom line. "If you take care of your employees they will take care of your business," Branson writes in his blog post.

Plus, the last time I checked, it was 2015. It's high time for dads to step up in the parent-o-sphere. And policies like this will only help them do it. After all, some kids only have dads. And, like, if none of their dads can get time off, then who's gonna dad? Also, it's just generally, you know, good for kids to have their parents around. That's a good thing.

I guess what I'm trying to say is...

...fly on, Richard Branson. Fly free.

Whee. Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images

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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.

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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.