14 Everyday Items You Could Be Purchasing That Help Others

14 Everyday Items You Could Be Purchasing That Help Others

Purchasing power at its best.
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Many people support companies such as TOMS because they not only make great shoes and sunglasses, they also give a pair of shoes to a child in need. So what if there were other everyday items that when you buy them for yourself, you are also helping others in need? Check out this list of fourteen items that you definitely want to invest in!

1. Glasses From Warby Parker

This company has "try before you buy" policy meaning that they will send you five pairs of glasses to try for a free trial period so you can choose which ones look best on you! For every pair purchased, a pair is distributed to someone in need of glasses.

2. Caps And Beanies From Love Your Melon

This company is run by college students and sells an array of beanies and cool-colored caps that are great for all ages, guys and girls! For everyone hat you purchase, a hat is given to a child with cancer!

3. A Comforter For Your Bed From The Company Store

For every comforter that you buy, this company donates one to a homeless child in America. They're super cute too!

4. The Most Comfortable Pants Ever From The Elephant Pants

For every pair of pants or leggings that you purchase, 10 percent of your total goes towards to the African Wildlife Foundation!

5. Waterbotles From S'well Bottle

Not only does this water bottle stay cold for 24 hours and hot for 12, for every bottle purchased, S'well plants a tree! S'well Bottles also help eliminate the waste of plastic bottles. On top of all of this, S'well has donated over $200,000 to help provide clean water to children in over 100 countries.

6. Snack Bars From 2 Degrees

2 Degrees is a company out to stop world hunger. Not only are their bars Vegan, Gluten Free, GMO Free, Kosher and made form all natural ingredients, for every pack of bars you buy, they donate a meal to hungry children.

7. Peanut Butter From Good Spread

Every house has at least one jar of Peanut Butter in it, why not skip the grocery store peanut butter and help children suffering from Acute Malnutrition? Good Spread gives children packets of RUTF (peanut butter filled with essential nutrients) to children all over the world. According to their website, with "just three servings of RUTF a day for 4-6 weeks, malnutrition has been eradicated in over 98 percent of children."

8. Rainboots From Roma

The goal of the people at Roma Rainboots is to "give poverty the boot" and their rainboots are doing just that. Not only are their rainboots adorable, when you buy a pair, they give a pair to a child in need. Roma also donates 10 percent of their sales to the Roma For All Foundation which helps end poverty. You might recognize these rainboots as ones modeled by Sadie Robertson!

9. Bracelets From Pura Vida

Pura Vida Bracelets help almost every charity you could possibly think of! From veterans to women with breast cancer, these bracelets are super cute and help tons of charities and organizations!

10. Comfy Tees From Serengetee

When two college students met on a semester at sea, they began to collect fabric from countries all over the world. These T-shirts, hats and bracelets support the artisans all over the world. They also give back 10 percent to several various grassroot causes. Co-founders Jeff and Ryan want everyone to know that "when you wear a Serengetee, you are truly wearing a piece of the world."

11. Dresses, Scarves And Bags From LemLem

All of these products are hand woven by women in Ethiopia and 5 percent of their profit goes to "support our sister non-profit organization, The Liya Kebede Foundation." This organization is working to help women with maternity, the top health concern of women in Africa. They train midwifes and mothers to make sure that childbirth is safe for the women. All 100 percent cotton, this clothing is gorgeous and it helps those in need.

13. Books From Better World Books

Whether textbooks, summer reads or children's books, this organization is helping people of all ages to have access to the books they need. They have library programs as well as campus aids that help college students who cannot afford their textbooks. Whether you have a book laying around you don't read or are in need of a textbook, supporting this website helps many all across the United States!

14. Dental Hygiene Products From Smile Squared

For every toothbrush that you buy, Smile Squared donates one to a child in need. They have distributed toothbrushes in all 50 states and 24 countries and counting. Dental hygiene is something that millions of children all over the world lack and this company is helping fix that with every toothbrush you purchase!

Whether it is helping a child with cancer or women in Africa, you can help change the world by simply choosing to purchase these products over a product that does not. It is so important to be aware of what is out there because these small steps can really make a big difference!

Cover Image Credit: TOMS.com

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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A Tribute To The RTS Bus

As New York prepares to retire its longest-running and most unique transit buses, it's worth taking a look at how they have become icons of the city.

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Later this year or early next year, NYC will say goodbye to one of its most recognizable transportation icons. Although few New Yorkers know them by name, almost every New Yorker has seen and rode on one of them. Since they debuted in 1981, the classic Rapid Transit Series (RTS) buses have transported New Yorkers over 2 billion miles on almost every bus route in the city. With their distinctive design and legendary reliability, they have become not just an icon, but a symbol, of the MTA and NYC in general.

A RTS bus in service in Manhattan during rush hour.Greg Huang

If you're a typical transit rider, you probably take bus riding and buses in general for granted. Virtually all of my friends see a bus as a bus and not much else. I hate to say this, but in the 21st century, they actually have a point. Go to any American city and most of the buses you'll find are literally boxes on wheels. Styling is sacrificed for economics. Ride comfort is sacrificed for accessibility. A bus could literally bring a sense of guilt to its occupants—it's as if they have no other choice but to ride in that flavorless, boring box.

Many modern transit buses are boxes on wheels, with minimal styling.Greg Huang

However, the RTS is anything but a box on wheels. It was born in the 1970s, when the USDOT was pushing bus manufacturers to design a "bus of the future". Back then, public transit was not frowned upon like the way it is today, and the futurism of the space age was a recent memory. Out of this environment, General Motors designed a bus that was groundbreaking yet controversial, and futuristic yet practical. And with that, the RTS made its debut to the world in 1977.

The RTS was revolutionary when it debuted in 1977. i1.wp.com

With its sloped front end, curved side windows, smooth bodywork, and modular design, the RTS was quite unlike anything else on the road at the time. Its styling was so radical, in fact, that GM had to offer the more utilitarian Classic alongside it. In addition to its futuristic styling, the RTS also boasted state-of-the-art amenities, including a "kneeling" feature, automatic temperature control, and an optional wheelchair lift.

In addition to the sleek design, the RTS came with multiple state-of-the-art features. farm8.static.flickr.com

In the four decades since, the RTS has served almost every city across America. But in New York, it not only fulfilled its mission, but it did so with flying colors. Between 1981 and 1999, the MTA ordered over 4,000 RTS buses, and at its peak, the RTS made up almost 90% of NYC's bus fleet. The RTS stood out not only to commuters, but also to the MTA itself. Among buses purchased in the same year, the RTS was always the last to be retired. Many individual RTS buses ran for over 20 years in service, when the average transit bus lifespan is 12 to 16 years. And two decades of carrying passengers in NYC is no walk in the park. For two decades, these buses transported New Yorkers in stop-and-go traffic and on long and fast express routes, and through freezing cold and scorching heat, through rain, snow and sleet, and everything in between. Frank Sinatra said that if you could make it in New York, you could make it anywhere. The RTS not only made it in New York, it found its home here.

A 1996 RTS bus, still running strong in 2018 after 22 years of service. Greg Huang

Four decades later, the RTS has largely been replaced by newer "low floor" buses, both in New York and elsewhere. In New York, the once 4,000 strong fleet is now down to about 200 buses. However, the design is still unmistakable. The unique curved side windows give the illusion of flying in an airplane, and make the bus feel open and airy. The once-futuristic bodywork is the perfect antithesis of the modern boxes on wheels, and the once state-of-the-art amenities have become standard. While modern transit buses emphasize practicality over style, GM amazingly integrated both within the same bus. Today, the RTS bus is not just classic, it's iconic. It represents an era when bus transportation was more glorious. It represents the future as seen from the past.

New York will never be the same without the RTS. It is to NYC as the Routemaster double-decker bus is to London. In other words, they are inseparable. And before NYC and the RTS separate for good, may New Yorkers and visitors to New York appreciate and admire these remarkable buses one final time.

The RTS is truly an icon of NYCGreg Huang

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