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Remember how much you cared about endangered animals when you were a kid? We've got some news...

Sometimes it can seem like the government can't do a thing whether they pass a law or not, but that's not always the case!

Remember how much you cared about endangered animals when you were a kid? We've got some news...

In the '60s and '70s, Congress passed a set of laws to get endangered animals OFF the endangered list. Guess what? It worked!

So, let's reflect on the progress we've made in 40+ years! Especially when that progress can be shown via adorable (and, when possible, baby) animals.


What still exists thanks to laws? Well...

1. Bald eagles

In 1962, there were only a little more than 400 eagles left (?!?!). This was because DDT (a chemical used to control pests) was thinning their eggshells, their wetland habitats were disappearing, and people were actually hunting them (holy moly).

But we've come a long way, baby! DDT was eventually banned, and a lot was done to protect the eagles in their natural habitat. In 2007, the American bald eagle was *removed* from the endangered species list ... meaning over 11,000 were counted zipping majestically through the clouds!

Not cute enough yet?

p.s. Did you know a baby eagle is called an eaglet?

"Thank you for saving me, and let freedom ring! I hope to grow up to inspire millions and be in commercials maybe." — Baby Bald Eagle

If you want more info, you can read up on all the details at this site by the Center for Biological Diversity.

2. Grizzly bears

While their natural homes were disappearing, grizzly bears were also being killed (again?) and having major problems with their food chain. By 1975, there were just over 1,000 bears total — down from 50,000 grizzlies in the 1880s! But, thanks to the Endangered Species Act, they were eventually removed from the endangered species list in 2010.

"Don't mess with my mom, and tell Stephen Colbert I say hiiiii." — Baby Grizzly Bear, who's so hip she knows that Stephen Colbert doesn't trust bears

For more info on how it all happened, here's a link.

UPDATE: While grizzlies are off the endangered list, they are still extremely threatened. We found this out because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service emailed us about it! There are some interesting complexities related to the Yellowstone population, but FWS says all grizzlies in the lower 48 states retain threatened status at this time (check out information on recovery areas from the FWS). You can see the official status of the grizzly bear (and any other federally listed species) by searching the FWS Environmental Conservation Online System (ECOS). Stay vigilant!

3. American alligator

People were hunting them AND their habitats were disappearing (notice a theme yet?), but when they were put on the endangered species list in 1967, things started improving. For example, with Florida alligators, the population went from just 350 in 1975 to 2,085 as of 2005.

"Hello, friend. I'm glad you're OK." — Me, talking to this tiny baby alligator

Here's a bit more info on alligator numbers.

4. Utah prairie dog

Livestock and agriculture were getting in the way (and actively poisoning) these pesky yet adorable lil' guys. Not to be * dramatic*, but the population was down to just over 3,000 in 1972! As of 2010, it's back up to over 11,000.

Teeny hands! Weird nails!

"DUN DUN DUNnnnn" — Dramatic Prairie Dog

All the prairie dog details you can handle here.

*BONUS NON-ANIMAL FLORA RESCUE*

5. Tennessee coneflower

Residential and recreational development were threatening this naturally rare (it only lives in cedar glades) wildflower's life! But they're back, and ain't they pretty!

Check out the natural beauty of the Tennessee Smoky Mountains webcam, where many of these flowers live. Sometimes I look at it and feel calmed by the majesty of nature.

More info on the dangerous life of the Tennessee coneflower here.

Now, I know many of you — myself included — might say to yourselves, "Who cares about a flower or a pesky prairie dog? There are much HUGER PROBLEMS happening!"

But that's the thing — seeing that Congress was able to pass an act and work together with states and local government gives me hope.

If we can save a flower or a baby alligator, we can save ... America!

Why not? I know it's cheesy, but it makes me feel better.

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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.

Wikiimages by Pixabay, Dr. Jacqueline Antonovich/Twitter

The 1776 Report isn't just bad, it's historically bad, in every way possible.

When journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones published her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project for The New York Times, some backlash was inevitable. Instead of telling the story of America's creation through the eyes of the colonial architects of our system of government, Hannah-Jones retold it through the eyes of the enslaved Africans who were forced to help build the nation without reaping the benefits of democracy. Though a couple of historical inaccuracies have had to be clarified and corrected, the 1619 Project is groundbreaking, in that it helps give voice to a history that has long been overlooked and underrepresented in our education system.

The 1776 Report, in turn, is a blaring call to return to the whitewashed curriculums that silence that voice.

In September of last year, President Trump blasted the 1619 Project, which he called "toxic propaganda" and "ideological poison" that "will destroy our country." He subsequently created a commission to tell the story of America's founding the way he wanted it told—in the form of a "patriotic education" with all of the dog whistles that that phrase entails.

Mission accomplished, sort of.

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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.