Someone placed funny, fake historic plaques on park benches around this Canadian city
via City of Calgary

Graffiti is an underground form of expression that can be seen as anything from criminal destruction of property to art. Most of the time that depends on whether it was your wall that was defaced.

While most graffiti is painted over, some of it is so powerful that it becomes a beloved part of the community. Many of street artist Banksy's pieces are still up and have become popular landmarks throughout the world.

But what about little nuggets of fake history placed on park benches around Canada? Where do we sign up?


An anonymous person in Calgary, Canada has made such lovable pieces of illegal art that after the city tore them down, public outcry made them put them back up.

Recently, six signs appeared attached to ark benches at Bowmont Park that hilariously commemorated events that never happened.

"Humans first invented fire right here, 1903."

"Nothing of note happened here — or at least that is what they want you to believe."

"The bench marks the farthest west that Christopher Columbus ever travelled. September 1494."

"At this date in 1806, explorer David Thompson forded the Bow River with a herd of 14 African elephants."

"Benjy, the first hamster to fly solo around the world, took off from this spot in 1937."

"This bench marks the first confirmed UFO landing in Calgary, 1963."

via City of Calgary

Unfortunately, after a few days, they were removed by the city. But local residents loved the signs so much they demanded they be reattached to the benches. The city agreed they were being a bit too harsh and decided they should go back up.

(Isn't the good-natured common sense of Canadians amazing? Imagine that happening in America.)

"Due to our policy around commemorative plaques and graffiti, we removed them," the City of Calgary tweeted on Wednesday. "But we heard from Calgarians that you loved the sayings and you wanted them to stay.

"As the city, we have to err on the side of caution — but in this case, it was a bit too cautious," the statement continued. "Listening to what's important to Calgarians is part of our job. If we can make changes for a better outcome, that's what we'll do."

The city's decision was backed up by the mayor who believes we need all the opportunities to smile that we can get in 2020.

"We need a bit of whimsy in our 2020 world and certainly at the city we encourage citizens to do a little bit of guerrilla art and a little bit of fun things to make their neighbors smile," Mayor, Naheen Nenshi told the CBC.

The mayor also said that the bench plaques' professional quality and wholesome humor were the big reason they were reattached to the benches.

"The news out there is tough," said the mayor. "So a little plaque about a flying hamster is a perfect way to kick off our Thanksgiving and I'm grateful for the vandal that put these plaques up."

It's the small things in life that can turn a run-of-the-mill park into a place that helps define the attitude of a community. Whomever the artists who put those up happens to be, you know what needs to happen now.

Get out your engraving kit and get to work on some more plaques.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Welcometoterranova 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 "Welcometoterranova-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.