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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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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via KGW-TV / YouTube

One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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Culture