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Heroes

Students have designed an amazing new afterlife for our leftover coffee grounds.

If coffee makes your mornings way better, just look at what your leftover coffee grounds can do.

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Gates Foundation: The Story of Food

For many of us, coffee is essentially magic.

You buy it, you brew it, you drink it — it never lets you down. You get that nice little caffeine buzz going, and you're instantly launched into "I can do anything!" mode.

But have you ever thought about where your leftover coffee grounds go when you're done with them?


Some people compost; others choose the trash. Or, you know, some people find ways to save lives with their grounds.

Students from the University of Toronto are using coffee grounds to create an alternative to firewood for women and children in refugee camps.

Those coffee grounds you had from last week = a burnable log that helps kids? Yes. It's called Moto.

The Moto log! Image via Moto, used with permission.

Moto's aim is to eliminate women and children from having to leave their campsites to search for firewood in what can be dangerous situations. In refugee camps, women and children are known to walk many miles very early in the morning to find enough flammable materials to cook breakfast. This puts them at high exposure of the risk of rape and sexual attack from local militia and men living near their camps, according to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

With Moto, they won't have to travel at all.

"As soon as they're out of the camp, they're unsafe and that leaves them open to assault," Sam Bennett, one of the founders of Moto, told CBC Toronto. "[Moto] prevents the dangers associated with that, but also frees women up to spend time doing other things, whether that's trying to find another source of revenue or spending time educating their kids."

Looking for firewood. Image via Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images.

So, how exactly do coffee grounds become fuel?

A team of MBA and engineering students from the University of Toronto came up with a simple recipe: They made a burnable log by mixing dried-out coffee grounds, paraffin wax, and sugar and baking it in a loaf pan. That's it!

According to CBC Toronto, the team is currently getting coffee grounds from three participating coffee chains in the local area. But they'll be looking for a major partnership when they scale up in size.

Right now, the logs can burn for nearly 90 minutes and can be used for cooking, heating — pretty much anything firewood can do. The team hopes to increase the length of burn time in future versions of the product.  

Moto founders: Matthew Frehlich, Sam Bennett, Lucy Yang, Gowtham Ramachandran, and Lucas Siow.

The simplicity of the logs shows promise for its future, and they did that on purpose so the logs eventually can be produced locally.

In addition to helping keep women and children safer, Moto helps protect the local firewood supply (aka trees!).

There's rampant deforestation in and around refugee camps that we rarely hear about. The UNHCR points to how wood consumption in camps is greatly exceeding what nature is capable of replenishing — and that puts everyone in danger.

With Moto, they won't have to rely only on wood.

Image via iStock.

These burnable logs have the potential to decrease waste, help reduce hunger, protect forests, and keep women and kids safer.

They can create less food waste by reusing coffee grounds and help the environment by eliminating the need to cut down trees. The logs reduce hunger because they can be used as fuel for cooking and provide warmth and light in unstable areas. And they open up more opportunities for women and children, empowering them and keeping them safer.

It's truly a full-circle approach at making the world better — and one that we can all play a role in.

Though they're not at the level of commercial production yet, the Moto team will compete for the Hult Prize in March 2017, a global competition with a first-place prize of $1 million to continue their social venture and ensure Moto's presence in sub-Saharan African refugee camps. Good luck to them; they're onto something big.

How cool is it to think that the coffee you're already drinking every day could be used to help someone cook dinner for their family on the other side of the world?

Images provided by Pacifico

Making waves in the best way

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At last, summer is here. And for many people, that means it's time for heading to the beach and maybe even catching some waves. Surfing is a quintessential summertime activity for those who live in coastal communities—it’s not only really fun and challenging, it’s also a great way to celebrate Mother Nature’s beauty. Even after a wipeout, the cool water mixed with warm sunshine offers a certain kind of euphoria. Or, you know, just hanging back on the sand is plenty fun too. Simply being outdoors near the ocean is its own reward.

pacifico quiksilver beach cleanupLet’s protect the places where outdoor adventure happensAll photos provided by Pacifico

However, it's well known that our beautiful beaches are suffering the consequences of overcrowding, pollution and littering. What was once a way of playing in nature is now slowly destroying it. And of course, this affects beachgoers everywhere. The sad truth is—without taking action to preserve all the natural joys the earth provides, we will eventually lose them.

But there is hope. Two popular brands that both have roots in surf culture have teamed up to help make trips to the beach a more sustainable pastime. The best part? You don’t have to know how to hang ten in order to participate.

Pacifico®, a pilsner-style lager originally brought to the U.S. by surfers, and Quiksilver, an iconic apparel company loved by both surfers and beach goers alike, have created a brand-new range of clothing and accessories with sustainability in mind.

Take a look below. These threads are great for all kinds of fun in the sun, without compromising the environment.

pacifico quicksilver beach cleanupsReady to make some waves

The collection launches on July 5 and includes tees and woven shirts, boardshorts, hats, flip-flops and a special beach towel and tote bag. The unique collaboration features the vibrant, colorful designs that are the hallmark of Quiksilver combined with Pacifico elements, created to make a positive impact.

Each item has been thoughtfully curated to minimize an environmental footprint and protect the outdoors. The hats, for example, are made from NetPlus® by Bureo®, a raw material created from South American recycled fishing nets. Additionally, the board shorts are made from recycled plastic bottles, and tees are made with 100% organic cotton. Pretty rad stuff, to put it in surfer lingo.

The prices on these pieces are equally rad, ranging from $28 flip-flops to $60 boardshorts.

In keeping with the sustainable ethos and protecting the places we play, Pacifico and Quiksilver will celebrate the products’ launch by hosting two beach cleanups. The first is on July 5 at Sunset Point in Malibu, California, from 4-5:30pm, and the second is on July 9th at Deerfield Beach in Florida from 8:30 – 10:30am.

pacifico quicksilver clothing lineCleaning up and looking good while doing it

Theses beach cleanups are open to anyone over the age of 21 who’s ready to have some fun while taking care of nature’s playground.

Those who can’t make it to the beach (bummer, dude) don’t have to miss out on all the fun. The new collection will be available on July 5th at www.quiksilver.com/mens-collab-pacifico. And even if you don’t surf, never plan to surf, have no desire to even be near a surfboard, rest assured, the apparel is still cool. Plus sustainable choices are always good fashion.

Our planet provides us with an endless supply of beauty and adventure. But without more mindful actions from humanity, its natural wonders will eventually diminish. Fortunately Pacifico and Quiksilver are making it easier than ever for people to enjoy the great outdoors without jeopardizing it. That’s a wave worth riding.

Paul Rudd in 2016.

Passing around your yearbook to have it signed by friends, teachers and classmates is a fun rite of passage for kids in junior high and high school. But, according to KDVR, for Brody Ridder, a bullied sixth grader at The Academy of Charter Schools in Westminster, Colorado, it was just another day of putting up with rejection.

Poor Brody was only able to get four signatures in his yearbook, two from what appeared to be teachers and one from himself that said, “Hope you make some more friends."

Brody’s mom, Cassandra Ridder has been devastated by the bullying her son has faced over the past two years. "There [are] kids that have pushed him and called him names," she told The Washington Post. It has to be terrible to have your child be bullied and there is nothing you can do.

She posted about the incident on Facebook.

“My poor son. Doesn’t seem like it’s getting any better. 2 teachers and a total of 2 students wrote in his yearbook,” she posted on Facebook. “Despite Brody asking all kinds of kids to sign it. So Brody took it upon himself to write to himself. My heart is shattered. Teach your kids kindness.”

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This article originally appeared on 09.06.17


Being married is like being half of a two-headed monster. It's impossible to avoid regular disagreements when you're bound to another person for the rest of your life. Even the perfect marriage (if there was such a thing) would have its daily frustrations. Funnily enough, most fights aren't caused by big decisions but the simple, day-to-day questions, such as "What do you want for dinner?"; "Are we free Friday night?"; and "What movie do you want to see?"

Here are some hilarious tweets that just about every married couple will understand.

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