+
A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
We are a small, independent media company on a mission to share the best of humanity with the world.
If you think the work we do matters, pre-ordering a copy of our first book would make a huge difference in helping us succeed.
GOOD PEOPLE Book
upworthy
Most Shared

This little town decided to go green. And they did it without the government.

'By working together, we eliminated that feeling of being an environmental pressure group. Instead we made it normal to talk about energy savings.'

Welcome to Ashton Hayes — the small English town that's casually leading the way toward carbon neutrality.

Photo via Garry Charnock. Used with permission.

"Carbon neutrality" is a fancy way of saying that Ashton Hayes is working toward reducing its carbon footprint until it produces as much energy as it uses.  


Upon first glance, Ashton Hayes may seem like any other countryside town, but when you take a closer look, you start to notice solar panels on roofs, clothes drying outside on clotheslines, and houses with glazed windows designed to improve insulation.

It might not sound like much, but these community efforts have effectively reduced the town's greenhouse emissions by approximately 40% in just 10 years.

The idea to make carbon neutrality a community-wide mission was planted by Ashton Hayes resident Garry Charnock, a former journalist and hydrologist.

He was attending a lecture at the Hay Festival of Literature & Arts, which called for the audience to think about what they could do to help curb climate change. While he said he was skeptical about a single individual being able to make any sort of significant impact, he wondered if his town as a whole could.

Photo via Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral Project, used with permission.

Charnock asked the town's parish council if they would support a community-wide carbon neutrality pledge. On Jan. 26, 2006, in the presence of 60% of the town's adults (and a large percentage of the children as well), the idea was publicly proposed and accepted.

Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral Project Launch in January, 2006. Photo courtesy of Garry Charnock.

Just like that, the people of Ashton Hayes took one significant step toward a greener future.

Members of the community started implementing small changes in their daily lives to promote carbon neutrality, and slowly but surely, their greenhouse emissions have shrunk.

They saved energy by turning things powered by electricity off as much as possible, switching to LED bulbs, relying on heat and air conditioning sparingly, walking more, and using public transport.

According to Charnock, they cut their emissions by 20% in the first year by doing so.

When neighbors started sharing what solutions were working for them, the ideas grew in size and scope. Soon, solar panels began to pop up all over town.

Photo via Garry Charnock, used with permission.

Community members, like Kate Harrison, are seeing their energy bills plummet, but even more exciting is how this collaboration has unified the town under one common goal. "What I really enjoyed was getting together with other people and talking about what we did," Harrison says in a video on Ashton Hayes' carbon neutrality project.

Community cohesion has increased significantly since the carbon neutrality mission was adopted. One reason for this, Charnock suggests, is that the carbon neutrality mission was created by and for the people in the town, without the influence or direction of politicians (who are only allowed to listen at meetings if they attend).

Photo via Garry Charnock, used with permission.

There were never any community-wide mandates to contribute to the cause — just neighbors inspiring each other to make an effort here and there.

"We also felt that by working together, we eliminated that feeling of being an environmental pressure group. Instead we made it normal to talk about energy savings," Charnock wrote in an email.

The children of Ashton Hayes are also incredibly involved in the town's work to reduce its carbon footprint.

Photo via Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral Project, used with permission.

"The primary school has been a catalyst for the project," Charnock wrote. "All our major meetings are held there and the kids always do a project that they demonstrate to the public."

Aside from harboring an active eco-team, the school's roof is made entirely of community-funded PV panels (photovoltaic solar panels), which in turn have helped the building become carbon negative between the months of May and September.

Involving the children in the project gives the next generation a firsthand look at just how simple it can be to reduce one's carbon footprint and have a real impact on the community overall.

With Ashton Hayes' efforts proving so effective, other towns have gotten in touch to ask for advice on how to start similar initiatives. Ashton Hayes is only too happy to help.

People from Ashton Hayes have given talks to over 150 communities in the United Kingdom alone on their work to lower emissions and they've made award-winning videos that've reached many more.  

Photo via Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral Project, used with permission.

According to the detailed diary on the Ashton Hayes town website that chronicles their progress, they've been contacted by towns all over the world that are looking for ways to lower their own carbon footprint. Little by little, the Ashton Hayes carbon neutrality movement is picking up steam.

With the onslaught of alarmist news about how harmful climate change is becoming and all the things we've done wrong up to this point, the mission to try to turn things around for the planet can often feel hopeless. When you look at a town like Ashton Hayes and see all that its members have accomplished in just 10 years, however, it's clear that hopelessness is far from true.

Sure, Ashton Hayes is just one small town, but imagine if every small town the world over followed in its footsteps. Sometimes all it takes is one simple, well-implemented idea to start a powerful trend that could change everything.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

This could be the guest house.


Inequality has gotten worse than you think.

An investigation by former "Daily Show" correspondent Hasan Minhaj is still perfectly apt and shows that the problem isn't just your classic case of "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer."


As much as we hear about wealth inequality these days, one disparity remains mostly ignored: the gap between the wealthy and the ridiculously wealthy.

Minhaj spoke to Richard Reeves, an economist with the Brookings Institute, who painted a dark picture:

wealth, comedy, Hasan Minhaj

Wealth inequality on the rise.

All GIFs via Comedy Central.

The study Reeves refers to points to the growing wealth of the top 10th of the top 1%:

"The rise of wealth inequality is almost entirely due to the rise of the top 0.1% wealth share, from 7% in 1979 to 22% in 2012 — a level almost as high as in 1929. The bottom 90% wealth share first increased up to the mid-1980s and then steadily declined."

And no one's paid any attention.

Between the cries of the 45.3 million people in poverty and a dwindling middle class inevery state, the voice of the average millionaire is all but drowned out.

the one percent, inequality, investment

Millionaires unconcerned with financial disparity.

All GIFs via Comedy Central.

But not all millionaires are worried about growing inequality in the top 1%.

In his search for a concerned millionaire, Minhaj met Morris Pearl, a retired investment banking director and member of an organization called The Patriotic Millionaires. Minhaj was baffled by what Pearl had to say:

resources, rich, Ronald Reagan

Investment banking pays well.

All GIFs via Comedy Central.

What about trickle-down economics?

Trickle-down theory was popularized under Ronald Reagan's presidency. The idea was that clearing a path for the rich to make more money would spur more private investment, which would lead to more jobs and higher wages for all workers.

tax breaks, income, classism

Attempting the preach the reverse.

All GIFs via Comedy Central.

Reagan put trickle-down theory into practice in two basic ways: by lowering taxes for the wealthy and by freezing wages for the poor.

In 1981, he cut the top marginal income tax rate — which only applies to the highest-income households — from 70% to 50%. Then in 1986, he more than doubled-down by slashing the rate to 28%. (The current rate is 39.6%.) And under Reagan's leadership, the minimum wage was frozen, even as costs of living were rising.

Pearl and other so-called Patriotic Millionaires think top one-percenters like themselves should pay more taxes.

trickle-down theory, financial institutions, comedy show

Making rich people richer.

All GIFs via Comedy Central.

Not only that, they believe raising the minimum wage is critical to reducing inequality.

OK, maybe not everyone — including millionaires — are convinced that giving more money to the rich will fix the economy. So why do our policies do just the opposite?


This article originally appeared on 3.23.15

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Photo from YouTube video.

Photo of Skylar.

Even though he was born "Katherine Elizabeth," Skylar lived like a regular little boy for most of his childhood.

He was happy.


This is Skylar.

A photo collection of a young Skylar.

Photo from YouTube video.

Little Skylar.

Photo from YouTube video.

But when puberty hit, he started feeling intense pressure to be "normal" and fit in. So he tried to present as more traditionally "feminine."

Puberty happens.

Photo from YouTube video.

But he couldn't shake the feeling that he was denying a huge part of himself. Late in high school, he started taking testosterone.

Eating and feeling more comfortable.

Photo from YouTube video.

Skylar started feeling more comfortable immediately. And before he knew it, he was at his "dream school," having the time of his life. And taking lots and lots of pictures of himself.

A person and their dog.

Photo from YouTube video.

Access to medical care played a big part in Skylar becoming the person he is today, but that wasn't all.

Check out his story and walk five years in his shoes. It's definitely a perspective we don't see often enough:

This article originally appeared on 08.30.14

It's rare enough to capture one antler being shed

For those not well versed in moose facts, the shedding of antlers is normally a fairly lengthy process. It happens only once a year after mating season and usually consists of a moose losing one antler at a time.

It’s incredibly rare for a bull moose to lose both at the same time—and even more rare that someone would actually catch it on film.

That’s why shed hunter (yes, that’s a real term) and woodsman Derek Burgoyne calls his footage of the phenomenon a “one-in-a-million” shot.



According to The Guardian, Burgoyne was flying his drone through a remote patch of forest in Canada when he spotted three moose in a clearing. His drone followed one of the bulls, who began doing the wobbly little shake thing that signals these antlers are going bye-bye.

Burgoyne knew he had to keep his camera on the moment—but he had no idea that he’d hit the jackpot.

Watch below:

It’s hard to tell which is more fun to watch— the super rare moment in nature or Burgoyne’s pure passion for his hobby.

“I shook a little bit. It was an adrenaline rush for sure,“ he told CBC News, sharing that he has previously found hundreds of shed antlers in his life.

Antler hunting has become a hot and profitable pastime over the past few years, although Burgoyne affirms that his shed hunting ambitions are born from a desire for well-being, not monetary gain.

“I enjoy being in the woods. It’s great exercise and it’s fun tracking the moose through the winter and looking for their sheds in the spring. Each one you find feels like the first one. It never gets old,” he told The Guardian.

Well Derek Burgoyne, thank you for doing what you love. Thanks to your passion, we too can share this once-in-a-lifetime moment. Here’s to good moose news!


This article originally appeared on 1.20.23

OriginalAll photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

Chloé was born at 32 weeks.


Every single day, babies across the world are born prematurely, which means that they're born before 37 weeks of gestation.

In Canada, about 29,000 infants are born prematurely each year, roughly 1 in every 13. But in the United States, around 400,000 to 500,000 are born early. That's about 1 in every 8 to 10 babies born in the U.S.!

Red Méthot, a Canadian photographer and student, decided to capture the resilience of many of these kids for a school photography project.


He's the father of two prematurely born kids himself, so the topic is important to him.

"My son was born at 29 weeks and my daughter at 33 weeks," he told me in a phone interview. "These are the kind of pictures I would like to have seen when my first child was born — they've been through that, and they are great now."

Méthot said he knows not all preemie stories have a happy ending — one of his photos features a child whose twin passed away after they were born prematurely — but for so many kids who come early, they go on to experience a great life.

Meet several of the beautiful kids he photographed!

infants, United States, U.S.

1. Lexiani, born at 25 weeks

Original. All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

Red M\u00e9thot, project, photographer

2. Noah and Nathan, born at 32 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

kids, children, health

3. Margot, born at 29 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

medicine, doctors, early birth

4. Thomas, born at 23 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

early, healthy babies, fresh

5. Samuel, born at 36 weeks, and his sister Alice, born at 27 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

lively, normal, tough

6. Éva, born at 29 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

strong, able-bodied, recovery

7. Charles, born at 26 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

physically fit, full of life, bright-eyed

8. Chloé, born at 32 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

society, community, parents

10. Felix, born at 23 weeks, and his brother Alexis, born at almost 33 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

improvement, rehabilitation, restoration

11. Noah, born at 32 weeks; his twin sister, Victoria (on the left in the framed picture), passed away when she was one month old

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

arts, pictures, miracles

12. Juliette, born at 30 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

darling, happy, successful

14. Olivier, born at 31 weeks, his sister Ariane, born at 33 weeks, and their brother Noah, born at 34 weeks.

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

family, parenting, therapeutic

15. Émile, born at 26 weeks

Orignal.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

development, recovery, repair

16. Théo, born at 25 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

modern science, technology, p

17. Charles-Antoine and Mara, born at 27 weeks

Original.All photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

Méthot's school project originally consisted of 10 photos, but the reaction has been so positive and he's enjoyed taking them so much, he continued adding to the collection.

Currently, he has captured 50 images. (You can view them all in the album on his Facebook page!). Méthot told me that his favorite part of the project has been meeting the subjects.

"Each time I meet a new person, I [learn] about a new story," he said.

And I think we can all agree that Méthot is a wonderful storyteller through his photography. Between his photos showing the bright future so many premature babies have and his photo showing the loss, he captures reality beautifully.


This article originally appeared on 11.6.15


Italian husband tours American high school, his reaction is priceless

If you're American that has ever attended high school in any state in the country, you know that most high schools are eerily the same. They have the same groups, similar subjects and can pretty much be plopped into the middle of a movie about high schoolers without having to change much of anything. It doesn't even matter what decade you attended high school.

In every hall way you'll find the jocks, theater kids, preps, the outsiders and everyone who doesn't fit into any of those groups. Sarah, half of the duo Carlo and Sarah, posted her husband's reaction to seeing her old high school. Carlo is Italian and completed his high school career there but judging by his reaction to seeing Sarah's alma mater, Italian schools are very different than the schools people are used to in the states.

Immediately Carlo is aghast as Sarah points out the science classrooms. The shocked husband asks, "you do the frog thing in the science classroom?"


The high school alum confirms that they indeed dissected frogs in that very classroom to the bewilderment of Carlo. Who then clarifies that she means dissect the frogs like they do in the movies. His reaction is so pure and full of disbelief. The man references the movies several times throughout the video, including the famous "High School Musical."

Sorry to disappoint, Carlo, but American high school students don't actually break out in organized song and dance in the middle of the cafeteria. But the reaction the Italian man has is so big that people are wondering what Italian high schools are like.

"Can we now see Carlo's school, so we have a comparison," someone asks.

"Ok I get that Carlo is excited because her high school looks similar to the idea of American schools you would get from watching Hollywood films. But he seems really surprised so now I'm wondering how Italian schools are apparently vastly different," another wonders.

"But also take into account we grow up with those movies you mentioned. I was excited too when I saw the iconic yellow school bus for the first time, when I was visiting Maryland.Not to mention Manhattan. To European eyes it looks like a giant set," one Italian person clears up the excitement.

"Okay but this is so accurate to coming to America. The first few months it's just like 'Omg! A yellow school bus like in the movies!' The cop cars, the highway signs, Funyuns, Waffle House... like it's foreign to you, but you've seen them in movies and tv your whole life so it's still familiar in a weird way," another European chimes in.

A few Americans living in Italy gave their impression of Italian schools and they were...without any sugar coating. The words "dream crushing" and "traumatized" were used as descriptors, though it could be related to culture shock and unmet expectations. Either way, Carlo's reaction to seeing a real American high school is so wholesome that it makes you want to take him to see other typical American things to see if he has the same reaction.