Heroes

You Think You Love Coffee. The People Here LOVE It.

These people don't just grow coffee. Ever since they stopped competing with each other, they bask in it. Such happiness.

You Think You Love Coffee. The People Here LOVE It.

The legend is that there once was an Ethiopian goat herder who noticed his goats eating the berries of a certain plant and becoming very energized — and that's how coffee was discovered.

Many of us require a cup or two (or more, let's be honest) to get through the day. But to the people in Ethiopia who grow, harvest, and process it, it's a lot more than a power-boost beverage. It's a way of life. When a major life event occurs, they're likely to bless each other with "May God give you the smell of coffee roasting" or "May you be as strong as the coffee plant."


What's made coffee production such a rich community experience for these folks is that they've become a cooperative. Now everyone's in business with each other, and so harvesting and processing coffee is an activity the entire community happily shares. Cooperative coffee farming in Ethiopia has occurred throughout its history, with some current cooperatives dating back to the 1970s. By 2004, there were 4,052 of them.

Even after a long day's work taking care of the coffee business, people get together, roast some fresh beans over an open fire and enjoy steaming cups of their magic elixir together.

Here's the video. Enjoy.

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.