Raging wildfires continue in New Mexico, Arizona and more

April 26, 2022 by  
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Raging wildfires in Southwest U.S. continue to damage properties and threaten lives. The states of Arizona, Nebraska, New Mexico and Colorado are all experiencing wildfires with one person reported dead in Nebraska. New Mexico experienced the worst of the blaze after the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak fires combined. It burned a collective 56,478 acres, covering an area of over 180 miles Sunday. The flames are reported to be 12% contained Monday morning The Calf Canyon fire near Penasco Blanco was reported to have burned several homes at the weekend. Thousands of people across the three states have already been forced to relocate their homes in preparation for the worst with New Mexico seeing the worst of the phenomena. Related: How will climate change impact different regions in America? In Lamar Colorado , the May family was left counting losses after the wildfire torched their ranch. The family said that they were grateful to those who helped rescue some of their properties. However, they have said that the situation with wildfires is getting out of hand due to drier droughts. Dallas May, one of the family members, told reporters that dry soil does not help the situation. Although Colorado used to prepare for droughts in the middle of the summer, it is now becoming necessary for more measures to be taken. “We don’t have the benefits of moisture in the soil,” Dallas May said. “Friday’s fire was the example of that.” The May family said that the blaze that happened on Friday burned over 9,500 acres of their ranch. Winds blowing at speeds of 60 miles per hour were reported on the same day. Such heavy winds made it difficult for the family to stop the flames. On Saturday, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said that the state was battling fires on all fronts. He reported that 33 counties in the state were under fire. “There is a chance for light snow accumulations and the Calf Canyon fire is just on the cusp of this, so any precipitation is very appreciated,” said CNN Meteorologist Robert Shackelford. “But unfortunately, the winds and temperatures will pick up there as well starting Tuesday and will peak into Friday,” Via CNN and 9News Lead image via Pexels

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Raging wildfires continue in New Mexico, Arizona and more

The little pirates saving South Africa from plastic waste

April 26, 2022 by  
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Since 2018, more than 20 schools in South Africa and the Netherlands have spread the lore of Captain Fanplastic , a pirate who wants to rid the ocean of plastic waste. The primary school program of the same name is turning school children into ocean justice warriors. Cape Town -based Soapbox is behind the anti-plastic superhero. This behavioral design agency tries to positively impact Africa in the healthcare, education, sustainability and financial inclusion fields. Related: Make your own ethical fashion from recycled plastic nets Here’s how Captain Fanplastic works. Trained facilitators share The Legend of Captain Fanplastic with children. While the book and audiobook are only available in Africa, we have found out the general plot. Captain Fanplastic and his friend Fin the turtle set out on a quest to find out why Fin is sick. A whale and a seagull help them discover the answer, which is (spoiler alert) plastic waste. After kids hear the story, they participate in a Q&A about plastic and its effects on marine life. They learn that plastic is not all bad when they get the chance to repurpose old plastic by making eye patches and their own renditions of Fin the Turtle. The program uses the hashtag #NoTrashButTreasure to encourage people to think of how they can reuse stuff in useful ways, rather than adding to the landfill. The most exciting part for most kids is a field trip to a nearby beach, park or river. The kids participate in a cleanup framed as a treasure hunt. A treasure map explains different types of liter they’ll find. The kids who pick up the most trash win prizes. After the field trip, the program matches schools with recycling partners to help them build strong recycling habits and environmental awareness. “We’re able to take this [initiative] into schools to show little pirates in primary schools, in particular to the ages of seven to 12 years old, that they can ‘Rrrr’ so that they can refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle plastic,” said Captain Fanplastic Facilitator Yanga Gceya, as reported by Euro News. “Our audacious goal is to reach 175,000 kids around the world.” Sub-Saharan Africa generates more than 17 million tons of waste annually. Only 12% of plastic waste recycled, with much of it entering oceans . The little pirates want to stop this. As Linako, a student at Intshayelelo Primary in Cape Town put it, “We became pirates and we saved animals from eating plastic.” Via EuroNews , Captain Fanplastic Lead image via Captain Fanplastic

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The little pirates saving South Africa from plastic waste

Vintage-inspired kitchenware from Smithey is built to last

April 13, 2022 by  
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Cooking should bring joy. While every experience may not elicit glee, having quality cookware can certainly enhance the experience. Smithey takes the very basic idea of creating long-lasting, durable cookware to the next level with craftsman-style cookware. The mission of the company began with Founder Isaac Morton and his admiration of vintage ironware. As the story goes, he hatched the idea for Smithey while tinkering around his woodshed, taking in the smooth surfaces and timeless designs of the metalwork he found. That led Morton on a journey to develop an expertise in restoring old cookware and eventually making his own.  Related: Essential old-fashioned tools and practices to make your kitchen more sustainable The company name is a nod to the generations-old craft of metal working. The company explained, “A Smithey is a metal craftsman or the shop in which that craftsman works. We like the name Smithy, but we like it more with an ‘e.’” Fast forward to the present, Smithey manages a balance of old-time appeal with modern kitchenware in its lineup of cast iron and carbon steel pans, as well as accessories. The process of making cast iron requires a “cast” or mold. This is one step that requires acute attention to detail. Molten metal is then poured into the mold and allowed to cool. Once removed from the mold, each skillet is hand-sanded and finished.  As with most cast iron, properly cared for Smithey cookware will last many lifetimes and beyond. It’s undoubtedly the most durable and long-lasting material for cookware. The Smithey cast iron line offers half a dozen skillets of varying sizes, as well as flat top griddles, a grill pan and two sizes of Dutch ovens. For Smithey, maintaining a connection to vintage-style pieces is a top priority. While Morton honors 19th-century craftsmanship, he marries that process with modern technology.  The next phase of Smithey’s story introduced a partnership with renowned Charleston Blacksmith Robert Thomas. The collaboration resulted in a new carbon steel cookware line. Called the Farmhouse Collection, each piece is individually hand-forged and some are made in limited quantities. Every pan offers visual uniqueness while sharing common design features that represent the Smithey values. Carbon steel is slightly lighter than cast iron and offers a quick response to temperature changes. Furthermore, Smithey is made in the USA with production taking place in Charleston, South Carolina. Unlike many major producers of cast iron, such as Le Creuset and Staub, these pieces don’t have to be shipped overseas before arriving in the U.S. This cuts down on transport emissions and the overall carbon footprint.  In addition, its cast iron skillets are made with recycled metals. Metal is a highly-recyclable material, which not only reduces waste in the landfills, but keeps costs down in sourcing metal for production.  Perhaps the standout feature of quality is their durability. They are easy to care for with water and an occasional light scrub. Most of the time, simply wiping out the pan will do the job. The key to maintaining cast iron pans is ensuring thorough drying after each washing. This is best achieved by placing the pan upside down over a heated burner for a few minutes. Just remember to turn the burner off again!  Cast iron and carbon steel pans are susceptible to rust if moisture remains. Avoid putting pans upside down on a towel, where moisture becomes trapped. If your pan does rust, however, simply remove the layer of rust with a scrubber or very fine sandpaper. Apply oil to the surface and bake it in the oven for an hour or so and it will be ready for food prep once again.  “We are proud of what we make. We design and craft our cookware in the USA, and our talented team of craftsmen and women individually inspects every Smithey multiple times throughout the manufacturing process,” the Smithey team said. “We guarantee the quality of every Smithey for life. We intend for your Smithey to become a cherished possession, and we are here to support you in your cooking journey. Use it well.” Smithey offers a quality guarantee and will repair or replace defective or ill-performing pans. As most people who use cast iron pans know, they are incredibly versatile. You can use them for baking breads, soufflés, pies, soups, meats, eggs and anything else you throw at them. You can use them on the stovetop, oven, outdoor grill and even directly over the fire. Review Since I have a dizzying collection of cast iron pans in my cupboard, when the company offered to send me a sample product, I requested a pan from the carbon steel line. In response, Smithey provided a “ farmhouse ” style 12 inch carbon steel skillet.  This pan is a thing of beauty. I’ve turned it over and over in my hands, appreciating the hand-forged craftsmanship around the edges, across the bottom and to the end of the handle. It’s clearly made with pride and integrity from a skilled hand. It’s been a conversation piece many times over. The performance matches the craftsmanship. With fairly shallow sides at about 1.5 inches, I can still prepare my favorite recipes with ground beef or vegetables without ingredients escaping the pan. However, it’s also easy to make grilled cheese sandwiches, scrambled eggs or pancakes.  Heat distribution is great, spreading up the edges for even cooking throughout. The first thing I noticed was that the pan responds to heat changes much more quickly than my cast iron pans. I have an electric range, so can’t speak to using it on gas, but I would have zero hesitation in doing so.  What else is there to say? This pan is gorgeous, impeccably made and offers outstanding versatility and cooking performance.  + Smithey Images via Smithey and Dawn Hammon 

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Vintage-inspired kitchenware from Smithey is built to last

Made in the USA cotton sheets come from sustainable farming

April 13, 2022 by  
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Producers of high-quality textiles are bringing locally-grown cotton and bedsheets back to America. North Alabama’s Red Land Cotton produces its own home-grown cotton on a third-generation family farm. They create luxury linens like sheets and towels out of their cotton. It’s a sustainable farming operation that aims to change the way we buy cotton home goods. The Yeager family has run their farm for three generations. The red soil that is rain-irrigated only is processed by the family’s own self-built cotton gin. It allows the Yeagers to control the quality of their cotton fibers going into the sheets they create. Mark Yeager, who now runs the farm , has spent years implementing sustainable farming practices across thousands of acres to minimize environmental impact. Related: These bags are made with Fairtrade Certified organic cotton “Our American-made pure cotton bedding, bed sheets and bath towels are proudly made in the USA and crafted exclusively with cotton sourced directly from our North Alabama farm,” the Yeagers said. Their products have been featured in Country Living, Southern Living, The Cottage Journal and Veranda. Plus, sustainable farming practices are just the start. Locally-grown and locally-made sheets help the environment in several ways. It creates a smaller cycle of manufacturing and delivery, removes the large shipping carbon footprint from shipping goods overseas and builds healthy economies with fair-wage jobs. Red Land Cotton sheets are luxury , but that’s because they pay fair domestic wages and create products that are meant to last. Furthermore, Red Land Cotton’s American-made cotton bed sheets and towels are created 100% with the cotton grown on the family farm. You’ll find designs from basic whites and grays to heirloom -inspired striped ticking. The Leighton Bath Collection is made by one of the only towel manufacturers left in the U.S. located in Griffin, Georgia. The Classic Quilts are filled with cotton batting also grown on the Red Cotton farm. Lastly, cotton sheets are healthier for you. They are extra durable, good for cooling hot sleepers, hypoallergenic, easy to wash and can come in a variety of finishes for every taste. + Red Land Cotton Images via Red Land Cotton

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Made in the USA cotton sheets come from sustainable farming

Colorado fire near Boulder pushes locals to their limit

March 29, 2022 by  
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Spring has just started, and already a wildfire has forced more than 19,000  Coloradans  to evacuate. The Colorado fire was just south of Boulder, not far from where a 2021 wildfire destroyed over a thousand homes. By Monday, officials lifted the evacuation order, and people were allowed back. But as of Monday morning, 189 acres had been torched, and the  fire  was just over a third contained. Related: California teenager invents AI-powered tool for early wildfire detection “While it is now safe to return home, people in the area of the fire should remain vigilant,” said the Boulder Office of Emergency Management webpage. “Fire officials do not anticipate fully extinguishing the fire for several days. It is possible that the (city may) issue new  evacuation  orders if conditions deteriorate.” For residents who live in wildfire country, the back-and-forth aspect of  emergencies  and evacuations is hard to bear. “I feel exhausted by all of this, and I just feel like enough as far as these fires and disasters,” one local told HuffPost. The fire started Saturday afternoon. It burned protected lands near the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Dubbed the NCAR Fire, the blaze came within a thousand yards of  houses  on Boulder’s west end but did not take any lives, cause injuries or burn any structures. So far, the cause is undetermined. Considering the  megadrought  in the West, predictions for the upcoming fire season don’t look much better. “I think this is just a sign of the way things are going to go,” said Mike Smith, wildland fire specialist for Boulder Fire Rescue and NCAR Fire incident commander, as reported by ABC News. “We continue to work on our planning processes. We continue to work on team building and work with our partners to make sure that we’re as dialed as we can be. We’re feeling good, but we’re a little nervous about the upcoming season.” Via CNN , ABC News , HuffPost Lead image via Pixabay

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Colorado fire near Boulder pushes locals to their limit

HP moves toward 100% plastic free with Choose Packaging

March 29, 2022 by  
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As consumers, we make countless purchasing decisions daily. Moreover, we are often limited by the options companies provide. It becomes challenging to find environmentally-responsible alternatives. A newly-developed packaging company, however, is changing the entire landscape of single-use plastic. Their zero-plastic bottles can be used for countless everyday products.  Choose Packaging, based out of Edinburgh, is determined to eliminate all petroleum-based bottles with a better solution. Their innovative paper bottle is now the first and only commercially-available, zero- plastic bottle of its kind. While some of the sizes and shapes are standardized, each bottle can be customized to meet the customer’s needs with options from 30 milliliter up to one liter. Related: Notpla plant-based packaging is helping the world plastic problem HP Inc. recently acquired the brand in alignment with its own sustainability goals. Hewlett-Packard (HP), primarily known for computers and printers, might seem like an odd parent for a packaging development company. However, HP is already uniquely positioned to expand their position in sustainable packaging. They are building on their introduction of a fiber-based, 3D printing-enabled molded fiber tooling solution. “As a plastic-free packaging development company, we’ve successfully created technology that can provide a viable alternative to plastic bottles to help eliminate single-use PET packaging,” said James Longcroft, founder and managing director of Choose Packaging. “HP’s world-class capabilities and expertise can help scale our impact at a global level. We are thrilled to join the HP team and couldn’t have chosen a better match in terms of our shared goals for business, technology, sustainability and a values-oriented culture.” The Choose technology can be used for a variety of liquid products. Additionally, the paper-based bottles are made from natural materials that are organically non-toxic. The bottles are constructed from a paper casing lined with a plant-based waterproof liner. Best of all, the materials used to make Choose bottles are 100% plastic-free. Labels are made from paper or companies can choose to skip the label and have their message or logo directly imprinted onto the bottle. The bottle’s paper exterior is made from recycled newspaper and the cap is metal. The cap is sealed using a cellulose-based tape.  “Henkel drives active progress towards a circular economy by creating smarter packaging for the benefit of people and the planet,” said Berthold Schreck, R&D Vice President Laundry Care, Henkel.  “Choose and HP bring together a game-changing combination of packaging technologies and we are excited to collaborate to develop new sustainable packaging solutions and reduce plastics in our consumer goods products.” + HP Inc.  Images via Choose Packaging

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HP moves toward 100% plastic free with Choose Packaging

Investigators close in on cause of Colorado wildfire

January 5, 2022 by  
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Investigators are moving closer to determining the cause of the recent Colorado wildfire that destroyed nearly 1,000 buildings. Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle told reporters on Monday that investigators have narrowed the fire’s origin to an area near Boulder. Pelle declined to give out more information, saying that the full report will come later. The inferno broke out late last year, following months of drought that included a dry fall and snowless winter months. According to investigators, the area they have narrowed it down to did not have any fallen powerlines or evidence to suggest the fire was caused by power problems. Related: California fires killed nearly 20 percent of the world’s Sequoias Investigators say that a burning shed was captured on video by a passerby in the area identified one day before the fire began. Dozens of people have been interviewed over the matter, allowing investigators to narrow the region. The FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Forest Service officials aided the investigation. At the moment, experts are still searching the fire scene for more evidence, and rescue efforts are still underway. Two people are still missing, and survivors are still searching their charred homes to salvage whatever can be saved. The sheriff told reporters that the area of Boulder known as Marshall Mesa near the base of the Rocky Mountains was the main source of the deadly fire. The region overlooks heavily populated suburbs in the east, where the fast-moving fire caused the worst damage. Pelle says that the stakes are high at the moment, and it is in everyone’s best interest to wait until investigations are over to find out the real cause of the fire. He told reporters that everyone will have to wait for the investigators “to announce some progress — perhaps that may be a week, perhaps that may be a month.” He added that getting it right is “more important than the urge for speed that a lot of folks are feeling right now.” Although experts say that the winter fire was a rare occurrence, they have warned that similar situations should be expected in the future. They say as climate change warms the planet, extreme wildfires are likely to break out, especially considering local droughts . The fire is no longer considered an immediate threat. Temperatures have dropped, and snowfall covered most of the affected areas. However, fire experts are still on the ground working to get everything under control. Via AP News and CNN Lead image via Pixabay

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Investigators close in on cause of Colorado wildfire

LA County beaches close after massive sewage spill

January 5, 2022 by  
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Los Angeles County suffered a sewage spill of historic proportions last week. More than 8 million gallons of raw sewage led to seven  beach  closures over the New Year weekend. It all started on Dec. 30 in the L.A. County city of Carson. A 48-inch sewer mainline near the 110 northbound offramp to 220th Street collapsed, allowing sewage to flow into the Dominguez Channel. From there it poured into  Los Angeles  Harbor. Related: LA County beaches close after an 8-hour sewage spill Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn questioned whether an aging or inadequately maintained infrastructure led to the sewer failure. “A spill of this magnitude is dangerous and unacceptable, and we need to understand what happened,” she said in a statement. “The recent storm undoubtedly contributed, but we need  infrastructure  that doesn’t fail when it rains.” Closures included Seal Beach in Orange County and seven miles of shoreline in Long Beach. To make matters even grosser, sewage oozed onto some city streets post-spill. Reporter Jessica De Nova tweeted about a sullied  neighborhood  “filled w/awful odors & this river of raw sewage running through their street Thursday.” The spill was bad timing for a popular tradition, the New Year’s Day Polar Bear “ Swim  & Dip” at Cabrillo Beach. This year would have been the event’s 70th. Instead, it was canceled. “Tragically — the annual New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim at Cabrillo Beach has been cancelled,” Hahn tweeted. “This is a treasured local tradition — canceling it is a terrible way to start off the year.” The city of Carson had an unusually busy start to 2022, as it rigged sewage bypass systems, monitored  water , excavated the collapsed sewer, removed debris, cleaned streets and prepared for a slip-lining procedure scheduled to begin next week. “Slip-lining involves placing a 42-inch pipe within the existing 48-inch sewer, which will provide a new, corrosion-resistant pipe to carry the sewage,” the city of Carson’s website explains. “We are expecting the 42-inch pipe to be delivered later this week and the permanent repair would then begin. Once the permanent repair is done, the area can be restored including reopening the 110 offramp lanes.” By Jan. 4, sampled water from affected beaches showed that the quality again met state standards. Via City of Carson , HuffPost , The Hill Lead image via City of Carson

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LA County beaches close after massive sewage spill

Furniture transforms any space in a couple of seconds

January 5, 2022 by  
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A smaller space consumes less resources, but can create problems when trying to move in the furniture. Resource Furniture understands the struggle and responds with multi-purpose furniture that fits the needs of the minimalist lifestyle, reduces waste and provides solutions for small spaces.  Resource Furniture pieces are versatile, often serving more than one purpose, which intrinsically means less furniture is required in the home . This reduces consumption of products and the materials required to build them. For example, Swing, one of the company’s cornerstone wall beds, works in conjunction with the sofa for easy set up and retraction without moving any furniture to make space. Other wall beds work in conjunction with desks. Related: Cheap, durable and natural furniture from PlayWood “Unlike a sofa bed, our wall beds are designed to be comfortable and easy enough to use every single day,” said Challie Stillman, VP of sales and design at Resource Furniture. “In a studio, for example, a wall bed transforms the way an occupant lives with and in the space. The apartment can function like a one-bedroom, and the conversion from sofa to bed also allows a mental conversion to take place — out of sight, out of mind!” The company also offers a seemingly small table that converts into a dining table that will seat eight guests. That’s a recipe for a successful dinner party, even in a small space.  It also has a desk that looks like it’s part of the wall until it’s folded out to create a workspace. Anyone living, working or studying in a small space can appreciate the ability to hide a desk from sight when it’s not in use. Similarly, the company makes hidden closets, nesting table sets and modular storage solutions. The modular aspect of many of the pieces allow the user to replace parts without the waste that comes from throwing out the entire piece of furniture. However, the company is dedicated to making durable furniture and offers a lifetime warranty with that in mind.  To this end, Resource Furniture is committed to material selection and production that ensures a long usable life for each product. According to a press release, “Resource Furniture facilities and furniture craftsmen adhere to the most stringent environmental , quality and ethical standards in the world.” This is reinforced by the selection of sustainably sourced, FSC-CoC Certified, TSCA Title VI and CARB2-compliant materials. Resource Furniture’s wall beds are constructed with composite wood panels, which contain a minimum of 90% recycled and reforested wood product. Even the mattresses are environmentally-conscious, made from completely biodegradable and solvent-free materials. The company relies on water-based lacquers, paints and glues to prevent off-gassing emissions. During production, the Italian manufacturer for the wall beds, Clei, recaptures sawdust and gas by-products that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. To the very last moment of use, Resource Furniture has a plan for environmental responsibility . “I like to say that our product is low-tech — most of the products are operated manually,” said Steve Spett, cofounder of Resource Furniture. “This serves several purposes. The furniture is easy to maintain and has a long warranty. Since it uses no electricity, it’s also a zero-emission product. The products are also easy to operate and do not require any special accommodations for electrical outlet placement.” + Resource Furniture  Images via Resource Furniture

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Furniture transforms any space in a couple of seconds

Rum and beach bag collaboration is ending plastic pollution

December 24, 2021 by  
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What do you get when you combine companies who are passionate about ocean conservation with beach-inspired products? A collaboration that adds up to rum, beach bags and benefits to the environment .  Mount Gay Rum, the oldest running rum distillery in the world, paired up with Sea Bags, a Portland, Maine-based company who has been making totes and bags from recycled sail cloth since 2006. The two companies are raising money to benefit 4ocean’s Pound + Program, whose mission is to end the plastic pollution in our oceans. The team also includes actor and environmentalist Adrian Grenier. The resulting Mount Gay x Sea Bags Ocean Currents Collection features two bags, both made in the USA on a limited basis.  Related: This distillery helps you make delicious, carbon-negative cocktails “The plastic crisis in our oceans continues to grow, and collectively we need to support conservation efforts and raise awareness around ocean health or we will lose one of Earth’s greatest assets,” said actor and environmentalist Adrian?Grenier. “Working with Mount Gay Rum and Sea Bags to create the sustainable Ocean Currents Collection furthers our shared goal and serves to inspire others to help protect the ocean, while offering a sustainable gift just in time for the holidays.”??  The Ocean Currents Tote celebrates the groups’ efforts to protect the ocean with a map of water currents as the primary design. Each tote is made from recycled sails that would likely be able to tell a story of the Caribbean, rum and history of sailing in the region. Hand-spliced hemp rope handles further set the tone for a connection with plants and water. A red base contrasts the body of the bag, bringing nautical colors into the mix. It’s large enough for an afternoon outing or a weekend away, yet compact enough for easy storage.  The iconic Mount Gay Rum logo speaks to the long history of rum in the region. The distillery dates back to 1703. Even today, Mount Gay Rum has a unique connection with the ocean, since the salty seawater directly contributes to the flavors in Mount Gay Rum. The process for making the rum dates back 300 years, yet has changed very little with the ocean, providing the salt-infused air and coral naturally filtering water for the distilling.  Without the ocean surrounding Barbados, Mount Gay Distillery would not be able to hold on to their heritage. The company has a mission to give back, protecting the ocean by donating a portion of each tote to a non-profit working to clean up the damage humans have caused to the waters. The contributions will result in the removal of trash for each tote sold. This isn’t Mount Gay’s first foray into ocean initiatives. In its long-standing work with 4ocean, the brand has helped remove 20,000 pounds of plastic from the world’s oceans. “Our new?partnership with Sea Bags is an important?step?in our ongoing efforts to conserve the ocean,” said Ian?McLernon, President and CEO Americas at Rémy Cointreau (owner of Mount Gay Distillery). “Mount Gay and sailing have a storied, interwoven relationship and we are proud to be united in our mission to protect the ocean, while encouraging our community to take action for a more sustainable future.”?  The second bag is called the Ocean Currents Beverage Bucket. Also made from recycled sails and other materials, the Beverage Bucket was created to celebrate the ocean with a trip to the beach or an outing on the sailboat. Each bag features six pouches to hold bottles of rum or other beverages and supplies. The center of the buckets hold ice to keep your selections chilled. A grommet in the bottom allows melted ice to drain. Simply load and go for cocktails by the lake or at the beach. Each purchase funds the removal of one pound of waste in the ocean and along the coastlines. This year Sea Bags earned GreenCircle Certification for recycled content on these iconic Totes and Bucket Bags.  4ocean?tries to make it easy for businesses to help support their mission of ending ocean plastic pollution . It works to clean the ocean and eliminate the inflow of plastic from the waterways and beaches along the shore. 4ocean is a business that funds cleanups, provides jobs, contributes to local communities and continues to invest in technologies to advance their purpose. It also makes regular donations to marine conservation organizations.  Personal review When I heard about this campaign, I instantly fell in love with the idea of using recycled sails and the nautical theme on each of the bags. The company offered to send a sample and I readily agreed. However, instead of receiving a bag, I received a fifth of Mount Gay Barbados Rum. Winning! After all, how can I fail to find joy in a surprise gift like that.  But, down to business. I’ve traveled through the Caribbean . In fact, I’ve tasted flights of rum on the island of Barbados. The history of rum throughout the region cannot be denied. It’s culture is ingrained in generations of people throughout the region. A worker at a distillery on the island told me even children commonly sample rum, in the same way wine is served at every table in Italy regardless of age.  The bottle they sent was a Black Barrel Double Cask Blend. It has a rich, caramel coloring and distinct rum scent. Since this is a blend, it’s a combination of other rums made by Mount Gay. If you’re familiar with the brand, you might recognize some of the flavors. Personally, I picked up on a sweet overtone of brown sugar or molasses and a finish of the bourbon oak barrel where it aged. This is a smooth rum. I look forward to mixing with it and drinking it by the fire on a cold winter’s night. Cheers! + Mount Gay and Sea Bags  Images via Mount Gay and Sea Bags   Editor’s Note: This product review is not sponsored by Sea Bags. All opinions on the products and company are the author’s own. 

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