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Want to keep your BFF game strong despite distance? Try these 9 tips.

Long-distance friendship is the new long-distance romance.

Want to keep your BFF game strong despite distance? Try these 9 tips.
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Cricket Wireless

Life has a tendency to throw a lot of curve balls our way.

A new job, a new relationship, or simply a desire to see more of the world often forces us to make the toughest decisions, like moving away from the places we grew up (and those we grew up with).

And while you can pick up any magazine or scan through countless blog posts for tips on how to maintain a long-distance romantic relationship, there is significantly less information available about how to do the same with long-distance friendships.


Image via iStock.

The good news is, the digital age is making it easier than ever to keep in touch with those we love, platonically or otherwise, and social media has made it almost impossible to fall out of touch with friends regardless of area code or time zone. If you're about to be away from your closest friends for a long time, don't fret.

Take Toronto-born illustrator Hatecopy and Indian artist Babbu the Painter, who have been best friends since 2015. When Babbu embarked on a six-month trip to India at the beginning of this year, their friendship was put to the test — a test they passed with flying colors thanks to daily interactions on various forms of social media. They're just one example of friends who have stayed close through the power of social media.

It might not be easy, but the truth is that the digital age has made it easier than ever before to follow Hatecopy and Babbu's example and stay connected no matter how much distance lies between you and your bestie.

Here are nine ways friends keep that long distance friendship alive:

1. Make a plan.

Living multiple time zones apart can present a real challenge in terms of communication. But simply mapping out the day and finding the peak hours (or even minutes) to chat with your BFF can make all the difference and give you both something to look forward to.

2. Stay committed.

Image via iStock.

Long-distance friendships require a lot of effort from both parties involved if they are to work. This means occasionally putting in some late-night hours and making a real effort to chat even if you might be a little too worn out from the day to do so.

3. Don't be afraid to harness the power of social media to stay in touch.

4. Remember that you can never share too many silly animal photos to lift each other's spirits.

For example, here's Babbu using the power of animal photos to put her BFF in a good "mooed," if you will.

5. Use social media as a wellspring of memories and jokes to build off of or look back on.

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6. Make the goal of each interaction you have online to make each other laugh.

There's nothing like a good goofball stand-off to get the endorphins pumping no matter where you are in the world. And hey, if you don't have much time together, you'll want to keep every second as enjoyable as possible.

7. Make the person you're taking to feel like the only person in the world at that moment.

Make each minute count, shut out other distractions, and make it all about you guys.

Image via iStock.

8. See it as an opportunity to get a glimpse into a different world.

Hatecopy and Babbu, for example, used the near 10-hour time difference between them to compare (or lament) the vastly different choices in Indian and Canadian cuisine.

Image via Hatecopy/WhatsApp.

9. Try to embrace the perks of a long-distance relationship.

They give you reasons to travel, they inspire more active communication, and for likeminded professionals like Hatecopy and Babbu, they allow you to receive an outside, unbiased opinion on your work that a friend may not be willing to give in person. ‌‌

"We've faced obstacles and challenges together that made us almost inseparable," Hatecopy told The Fader. "Our friendship allows both of us to express our creativity without judgement, and give each other a second pair of eyes to proof and improve on our work."‌‌

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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.