How one wine company is rescuing the world’s shores, one beach at a time.

There are more than 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in our oceans.

That's a STAGGERING amount.

269,000 tons of that debris floats on the surface of the water, while the rest pollutes the ocean depths, according to National Geographic.


How did it all get there? Well, about half of it comes from land, washed out to sea from storm drains or waterways, sent into the water by poorly managed waste facilities, or left on the beach by beachgoers.

Luckily, caring people across the world are coming together to keep our beaches clean and take beach waste out of the water. Check it out!

What an incredible way to do something meaningful for Mother Nature and have fun in the process! In fact, beach cleanups and feeling good go more hand-in-hand than we might think.

All images via Barefoot Wine & Bubbly.

Cleaning beaches can actually be more fulfilling than just walking on them.

In a 2010 study published in Environment and Behaviour, scientists examined the behavior of volunteers as they engaged in different beach activities, such as rock pooling or walking along the coast. But when it came to beach cleaning, they noticed a significant spike in participants' well-being, their understanding of the marine environment, and their desire to participate in future beach cleanups.

Which is absolutely awesome! But then again, who doesn't love a day at the beach? It's no wonder that a chance to improve it only makes it that much more special the next time around.

Figuring out how to make caring for our beaches and oceans a habit is a much-needed step in the right direction.

"There is no one answer to solving the problem of marine litter, but the public are absolutely key — we all use plastics in our everyday lives so small changes in behavior by a lot of people can have a huge effect," Richard Thompson, professor of marine biology at Plymouth University and an expert on marine litter, told Phys.org.

"The challenge is to reverse some 60 years of training for the throwaway society we live in today, lessening the environmental and societal impacts of marine litter, and initiatives such as beach cleans can play a big role in increasing awareness of the problems and potential solutions."

The challenge to get rid of marine waste may be daunting, but together, we can do amazing things.

No doubt it'll take time.

But there's an old Chinese proverb that says, "To get through the hardest journey, we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping."

And beach cleanups are a small but important step.

If people around the world have that same mindset in the journey toward cleaner shores, we may meet our goal sooner rather than later.

How can you help? Celebrate World Beach Rescue Day (WBRD) on July 9, 2016.

It's part of a project of Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and the Surfrider Foundation called Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project. Together, they've been cleaning beaches around the world for years. For their 10th anniversary, they decided to start WBRD and do something a little special.

Different countries will be holding different beach cleanups simultaneously with the single goal of improving the conditions of their shores.

Since the project's inception 10 years ago, the beach-cleaning effort has expanded to more than 14 countries around the world with 14,000 volunteers who have collected more than 20 tons of trash from beaches.

This year, they're encouraging people to do their part and “Leave Only Footprints.”

And, of course, have some fun with it.

Don't worry! Volunteers will be given everything they need: reusable bags, gloves, and ... wine?

That's right! WINE! Once the cleaning is completed, everyone will be able to kick back with Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and enjoy some delicious food courtesy of the Surfrider Foundation.

A sunny day at the beach. Improving the environment. Celebrating with a glass of wine. How can you not keep coming back?

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Barefoot Wine - Beach Rescue
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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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