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These 18 stunning photos prove natural light is the best thing on Earth.

Take a trip to the foggy Netherlands with these incredible Instagrams.

These 18 stunning photos prove natural light is the best thing on Earth.
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Earth Day

We don't think about it very often, but natural sunlight is all kinds of awesome.

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.


Famous Dutch nature Instagrammer Vincent Croce knows a thing or two about the amazing benefits of natural light.

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.

The dad of two spends a lot of time in the great outdoors with his camera, but he says his best photography tool isn't hardware; it's the natural light that shines almost constantly in the Netherlands. In fact, he prefers to photograph landscapes when most people are still sleeping.

"I love the quietness and peace the forest brings to me," Croce says. "In my opinion, photos are like souvenirs representing precious moments."

Croce's stunning photos remind us of just how lucky we are to live on such a beautiful planet.

Here are some of my favorites:

1. A web so beautiful, even Charlotte would be proud

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.

This is what the September sun looks like in the Netherlands, according to Croce.

"I'm always looking for an interesting foreground when taking shots with my wide-angle lens," he says. "These spiderwebs in the middle of the meadow were just about perfect."

2. This complacently mysterious cow

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.

"I was at the right place, at the right time," he says. "Foggy weather has the ability to make even a random cow look interesting."

3. An alluring forest scene

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.

Croce took this shot of the Haagse Bos Forest during what he calls "the magic hour."

"I love the morning glow that sometimes occurs the morning after rainy weather," he says. "It really adds mood to the forest."

4. A glowing pathway

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.

"This is a road that is perfectly aligned for potential sun beams," Croce says. "I occasionally check it out on my commute to my work."

5. This sprawling and frozen ocean scene

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.

Utakleiv Beach has been called the most romantic beach in Europe. In the bottom lefthand corner of this photo, Croce says to look for the famous "eye of Utakleiv."

6. A gorgeous fall foliage shot

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.

"This is Twickel canal in all its autumn glory," Croce says. "Twickel estate is full of woodland, heather, swamps, and gardens in the eastern part of the Netherlands."

7. An incredible, foggy sun

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.

8. This cottage in the woods

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.

Croce shot this picture of a historical farm in the Twente, an area located in the eastern part of The Netherlands.

9. An endless mist

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.

"This is a typical Dutch scene," Croce says. "You can find lots of perfectly symmetric tree alleys spread across the rural areas of The Netherlands. In my opinion, the bicycle finished it off."

10. This photo is just pure magic

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.

This old watermill, in Twickel, looks even more beautiful with fog obscuring the natural light.

11. Again with the incredible foliage

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.

"Always consider the leading lines when doing landscape photography," Croce recommends.

This is a classic scene for him: the disappearing road. Again, Croce says the fog is "adding the juice" to the photo.

12. A stunning sunset

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission, taken near the German border.

13. A make-you-wanna-hike moment, captured

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.

"Like many landscape photographers, I consider autumn to be my favorite season," Croce says. "This was shot in Lochem, hometown of one of my favorite photographers, Lars van de Goor."

14. Long, muddy, misty paths

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.

15. Frozen landscapes

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.

These are traditional red cabins, seen in the fishing village of Hamnøy and captured during Croce's recent trip to Lofoten, Norway.

16. A moment without light

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.

Croce says this moment, on a glow-y forest road, was inspired by horror movies such as "The Ring."

17. A moment of loneliness

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.

Croce captures a Scottish Highland cattle in this photo. These cattle are semi-wild, released to graze the nature reservations in the Netherlands.

18. And finally, a moment of epic sunlight

Image by Vincent Croce, used with permission.

This Earth of ours is pretty awesome. So what are you waiting for?

The best part of Croce's Instagrams is that they're mostly about taking advantage of the tools that are already available right outside your door: natural light and crazy cool landscapes — no special photography equipment required.

Get out there and enjoy the nature around you!

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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.

Images via Canva and Unsplash

If there's one thing that everyone can agree on, it's that being in a pandemic sucks.

However, we seem to be on different pages as to what sucks most about it. Many of us are struggling with being separated from our friends and loved ones for so long. Some of us have lost friends and family to the virus, while others are dealing with ongoing health effects of their own illness. Millions are struggling with job loss and financial stress due to businesses being closed. Parents are drowning, dealing with their kids' online schooling and lack of in-person social interactions on top of their own work logistics. Most of us hate wearing masks (even if we do so diligently), and the vast majority of us are just tired of having to think about and deal with everything the pandemic entails.

Much has been made of the mental health impact of the pandemic, which is a good thing. We need to have more open conversations about mental health in general, and with everything so upside down, it's more important now than ever. However, it feels like pandemic mental health conversations have been dominated by people who want to justify anti-lockdown arguments. "We can't let the cure be worse than the disease," people say. Kids' mental health is cited as a reason to open schools, the mental health challenges of financial despair as a reason to keep businesses open, and the mental health impact of social isolation as a reason to ditch social distancing measures.

It's not that those mental health challenges aren't real. They most definitely are. But when we focus exclusively on the mental health impact of lockdowns, we miss the fact that there are also significant mental health struggles on the other side of those arguments.

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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.

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A vintage post-card collector on Flickr who goes by the username Post Man has kindly allowed us to share his wonderful collection of vintage postcards and erotica from the turn of the century. This album is full of exquisite photographs from around the world of a variety of people dressed in beautiful clothing in exotic settings. In an era well before the internet, these photographs would be one of the only ways you could could see how people in other countries looked and dressed.

Take a look at PostMan's gallery of over 90 vintage postcards on Flickr.

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via Budweiser

Budweiser beer, and its low-calorie counterpart, Bud Light, have created some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials of the past 37 years.

There were the Clydesdales playing football and the poor lost puppy who found its way home because of the helpful horses. Then there were the funny frogs who repeated the brand name, "Bud," "Weis," "Er."

We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

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