Heroes

What difference can one person really make in fighting climate change? More than you might think.

If we want a sustainable future, we need to stand up and demand action at the Paris Climate Summit.

What difference can one person really make in fighting climate change? More than you might think.
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Unilever and the United Nations

Hey! You! (yes that's right, you)

You're just like me — a well-intentioned, well-informed, socially responsible, and ridiculously good-looking person who believes in a better world and is also completely and utterly overwhelmed by anything and everything relating to climate change and the environment.


It's cool. I get it. It's easy to feel paralyzed when you're faced with things like this...


And this...

And a 31st U.S. state that looks like this:

While everyone's dancing about numbers like this...

...but no one ever taught you the choreography.

After all, you're just one person (...right?). How can one person have an impact on such a worldwide problem?

Everyone's all like, "Renewable Energy! No more fossil fuels! Reduce your carbon footprint!" and you're over here like, "I'm trying but I can't afford the down payment on a hybrid car, and I still can't figure out what goes into each different recycling bin at my office!"

Even this frog knows that the struggle is real.

The start of a solution is simple: RAISE YOUR VOICE.

Right now, the leaders of nearly 200 nations are meeting in Paris to find a way to change the world. But nothing will happen unless the people — the masses, the all-of-us, like everyonedemands climate action.

Here's the deal: We all came into a world where things like gasoline and plastic are easy, cheap, and convenient. That's the way things work because that's the way that things have been working because someone made a profit once and said, "Yeah this works!" and the rest of the world just went along with it.

OK, so maybe that's a slightly oversimplified version of post-industrial world history.

The point is that renewable energy and cleaner living will actually be easier, cheaper, more convenient, and ultimately better for our health and the health of this floating space rock we call home — but we need every informed, responsible, intelligent citizen of the world to make it happen.


The entire planet has to change The Way Things Are Done and find A Better Way. But that will only happen if we speak up and demand it.

You can make sure your voice is heard by signing this petition to demand climate action at the Paris Climate Summit.

Once that's done, you can share the video below — and tell everyone you know to do the same.

See? I told you it was easy.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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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.