Heroes

This incredible art project in Paris uses heartbeats to plant trees. Here's how.

The Eiffel Tower knows how to go green and looks great doing it.

This incredible art project in Paris uses heartbeats to plant trees. Here's how.
True
Natural Resources Defense Council

Plenty of folks have seen the Eiffel Tower.

Photo via iStock.


And it's certainly a sight to see on any occasion.

But until Sunday night, no one had seen it quite like this...

All GIFs via Here Now/YouTube.

In dazzling fashion, images and graphics were projected onto the tower the day before COP21 began in Paris.

The installation lit up the sky with its forest theme on Nov. 29, 2015, a day ahead of COP21 (that's short for the Conferences of Parties), the United Nations' climate change summit, which runs through Dec. 4.

The project, titled "1 Heart 1 Tree" and created by artist Naziha Mestaoui, is aimed at drawing attention to the conference and encouraging leaders to (wake up and) set ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions.

Photo courtesy of 1 Heart 1 Tree, used with permission.

The best part? You can be part of Mestaoui's creation.

By downloading an app and using its sensor to monitor your heartbeat, the pumping of your heart will create a growing "branch" on the tower's tree. (How freaking cool is that?!) You can view it in the app on your phone and share with friends on social media.

But that's not all. Through the project's partnered reforestation programs, app users also purchase an actual tree to be planted when they buy a virtual one for the tower. So far, the app has ensured about 50,000 trees will be planted because of "1 Heart 1 Tree."

"I created this installation so that people everywhere can realize what is possible if we come together," Mestaoui said in a speech on Sunday, according to a press release provided to Upworthy.

"We can protect and regrow our forests, we can tap the natural powers of the sun, the wind, the earth and the sea, and we can build a safer future if we go 100% clean energy for everyone."

COP21 is a truly historic event — one that could actually spark a major shift in the fight against climate change.

Leaders from more than 150 countries around the world have gathered in Paris to nail down the specifics as to how each can do its fair share to cut way back on carbon emissions.

It's the largest gathering of heads of state — ever.


The end goal is to reduce the world's collective carbon footprint to ensure global temperatures don't exceed 2 degrees Celsius of what they were before the industrial revolution of the late-1700s. Because, as climate science tells us, that would be absolutely awful.

The conference is just starting but, so far, news out of the summit seems promising.

For starters, take the summit's guest list — (practically) the whole world is seriously committed to fighting climate change. That includes major polluters, like the U.S., India, China, and Russia.


Also, news of Bill Gates' multibillion-dollar initiative to unite the world with clean energy investments is already making waves as a game-changing strategy to make our energy sources greener while also helping eradicate poverty in the developing world.

Basically, it's a huge win-win.

"1 Heart 1 Tree" serves as a powerful reminder that the beauty of art can have an immeasurable impact.

Lighting up The Eiffel Tower won't stop climate change on its own — but it can inspire the hearts and minds of those who are dedicated to trying their best.

Check out incredible footage of "1 Heart 1 Tree" below:

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

Keep Reading Show less