This former governor once ran for president. And he's been a volunteer trash collector for 25 years.

Michael Dukakis is the longest-serving governor in the history of Massachusetts.

Dukakis served as the leader of the commonwealth for 12 nonconsecutive years between 1975 and 1991, barring a brief four-year stint when his own political party kinda screwed him over and stuck another guy in office in his stead. And he willingly commuted on public transportation the entire time (which, as anyone who's ever ridden on the MBTA Green Line can tell you, is truly an admirable feat). He was also the Democratic presidential candidate in 1988, losing out to President George H.W. Bush.


Gov. Michael Dukakis on the presidential campaign road in 1988. Photo by Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images.


He also likes to walk around the city by himself and pick up the trash. Ya know, as former presidential candidates do.

Boston resident Sarah Godfrey recently wrote this letter to The Boston Globe regaling her random run-in with Mike "The Trashman" Dukakis:

OK, so no one actually calls him Mike "The Trashman" Dukakis. But plenty of people have witnessed the Duke waging his one-man war against evil litterbugs:

Presumably, Dukakis was also picking up litter before the invention of the smartphone, too.

While the earliest mention I could find of Dukakis trash-collecting was from 2009, it would stand to reason that he's probably been at it for a lot longer than that. A 2003 Boston Globe article also highlighted the Duke's vigilante brand of eco-justice. Here's a particularly articulate quote from the man himself:

"I mean, look at this crap! It's appalling, disgraceful. There's just no excuse for it. ... It's enough to drive you out of your mind. You see it all over the place and you have to ask: Why isn't anyone dealing with this?"

In the article, Dukakis also alludes to his disappointment in his gubernatorial successor, William Weld. "I left a plan for Weld 13 years ago to do this, and only now are we getting to it," he told the Globe.

But that "13 years" was 12 years ago now, meaning that Dukakis has been fighting this battle for at least a quarter of a century.

By putting the trash in its place, Dukakis also shows us what it means to be a public servant.

Politicians are meant to serve the interests of the public, but you don't often see them bending over to pick up plastic wrappers and discarded papers. In a perfect world, we wouldn't have to remark on the rare wonderment of a wealthy, successful politician doing a daily good deed for the people.

That being said: It shouldn't be left to an 81-year-old man to take out all the trash. So let's all, each and every of us, do like The Duke and bring some spit-shine to our own city streets. In the immortal words of the great Captain Planet, "The power is YOURS!"

And also:


GIF from "Captain Planet." Obvi.

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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.

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.


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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.