Heroes

We didn't believe it. So we fact-checked it (twice). Now let's talk about how to take it worldwide.

Note: This #UpChat has concluded, but don't worry! You can check out our recap of the discussion below and here.It's happening — what you've all been waiting for ... an #UpChat (on Twitter!) to talk about climate change, leading up to the United Nations 2014 Climate Summit. This is not a drill, y'all. Be there on Monday, Sept. 15 at 11 a.m. Eastern time to talk realities and solutions with us!

We didn't believe it. So we fact-checked it (twice). Now let's talk about how to take it worldwide.
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Unilever and the United Nations

So you might have heard that Upworthy is doing something special for the upcoming United Nations Climate Summit ... like, say, a Twitter chat about climate change.

Talking about climate change can be frustrating. Like, ugh, climate change, right? Sometimes it feels like we're too busy debating people about whether it's real to put any real solutions in place. It's disheartening! Kinda makes you wanna give up, right? Because it certainly makes me want to sometimes.


(Pictured: me, giving up. Because climate change.)

But here's the thing: It doesn't have to be this way. Check this out:

That's right! The German state of Schleswig-Holstein (yes, Germany has states — 16 of them!) is kickin' butt and takin' names when it comes to renewable energy.

The first time I saw this stat, I didn't believe it, so I looked it up.

Then after I did that, I was still unsure, so I had Upworthy's crack team of fact checkers look it up. And here's what they found: This is legit. And that's amazing.

More importantly, these results don't have to be limited to a state in Germany. (No offense to Germany.) This could be every nation in the world working together, contacting their world leaders, and asking for action. So this isn't really all that hopeless after all. We can act together on climate change — and the time is now.

Exciting, right?!

(Pictured: me, being excited. Because OMG, talking about climate change!)

So, where are you going with this exactly?

Um, we're going somewhere amazing — otherwise known as the Internet (you know, the place where you're reading this right now) for an #UpChat!

Sounds great! But what exactly is an #UpChat? What's the deal here?

An #UpChat is just a casual chat on Twitter where we discuss a certain topic. This chat will be about climate change — specifically, what's the deal with climate change, how it's affecting the lives of everyday people across the world, and what steps we can take as a global community to take action. It will be with Upworthy (hi!), the United Nations, and tons of other participants (including you!). Basically, it's going to be really fun and really educational. And what's better than that? (Answer: nothing. #UpChats are the best.)

OK, can you tell me what I can do now?

I love your enthusiasm! The biggest, most crucial part of all this is to have people like YOU — yes, I am talking about YOU — join in and make your voice heard! Here are the three steps to get this educational party started:

  1. Follow @Upworthy on Twitter.
  2. Check out the #UpChat and #Climate2014 hashtags on 9/15 at 11 a.m. Eastern — and join in the conversation!
  3. Check out all the awesome folks joining us, including Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). You can learn more about the UNFCCC in the Newsroom.

BUT I JUST CAN'T WAIT UNTIL THEN. I NEED TO DO SOMETHING NOWWWW.

I know it's hard! I can't wait either. But you and me, pal, we can get through this trying time together. In the meantime, here's some other neat stuff you can check out to get pumped:

...aaaaand that's all, folks! You are now officially prepared for #UpChat! See you on Twitter on Monday, Sept. 15 at 11 a.m. Eastern time!

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Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

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via Tom Ward / Instagram

Artist Tom Ward has used his incredible illustration techniques to give us some new perspective on modern life through popular Disney characters. "Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes," he told The Metro.

Tom says he wanted to bring to life "the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way."

In Ward's "Alt Disney" series, Prince Charming and Pinocchio have fallen victim to smart phone addiction. Ariel is living in a polluted ocean, and Simba and Baloo have been abused by humans.

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Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

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With many schools going virtual, many daycare facilities being closed or limited, and millions of parents working from home during the pandemic, the balance working moms have always struggled to achieve has become even more challenging in 2020. Though there are more women in the workforce than ever, women still take on the lion's share of household and childcare duties. Moms also tend to bear the mental load of keeping track of all the little details that keep family life running smoothly, from noticing when kids are outgrowing their clothing to keeping track of doctor and dentist appointments to organizing kids' extracurricular activities.

It's a lot. And it's a lot more now that we're also dealing with the daily existential dread of a global pandemic, social unrest, political upheaval, and increasingly intense natural disasters.

That's why scientist Gretchen Goldman's refreshingly honest photo showing where and how she conducted a CNN interview is resonating with so many.

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Schools often have to walk a fine line when it comes to parental complaints. Diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and preferences for what kids see and hear will always mean that schools can't please everyone all the time, so educators have to discern what's best for the whole, broad spectrum of kids in their care.

Sometimes, what's best is hard to discern. Sometimes it's absolutely not.

Such was the case this week when a parent at a St. Louis elementary school complained in a Facebook group about a book that was read to her 7-year-old. The parent wrote:

"Anyone else check out the read a loud book on Canvas for 2nd grade today? Ron's Big Mission was the book that was read out loud to my 7 year old. I caught this after she watched it bc I was working with my 3rd grader. I have called my daughters school. Parents, we have to preview what we are letting the kids see on there."

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