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Why are we saying goodbye to plastic straws, single-use plastic and other unsustainable materials? Not only will plastic products outlive us, but they will outlive generations to come. The demand we place on unsustainable materials like plastic has led to the development of a fossil fuel-dependent economy. Here are 5 ways bamboo makes the perfect green alternative by fighting climate change!

Article by Caribamboo.com

WHY BAMBOO?

1. SEQUESTERS CARBON

Bamboo releases 30% more oxygen into the atmosphere compared to other plants. It also absorbs more carbon dioxide. As a result, bamboo greatly decreases the amount of greenhouse gases and cleans the air! Once ready to harvest, it’s more environmentally friendly to cut bamboo down to make sustainable products. This avoids carbon being released into the atmosphere when it dies.

2. REDUCES PRESSURE ON FOREST RESOURCES

Bamboo is the world’s fastest growing plant. As a result, it’s ready to be harvested annually and sustainably after four to five years. Typical hardwood takes many years longer to mature and can be harvested only once! Once harvested, bamboo can produce a vast range of sustainable goods including straws, textiles, furniture, construction, tissue and paper products.

3. HELPS FARMERS ADAPT TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate change is causing new growing conditions. As a result, farmers have to adapt their management and harvesting practices. Bamboo’s rapid growth allow frequent harvesting, which means less exposure to disaster.

4. RESTORES DEGRADED LAND

By planting bamboo, we can help restore land degraded by deforestation. This is due to several reasons including: bamboo’s effectiveness as a windbreak and its ability to thrive on problem soils and land unsuitable for other crops. The plant therefore offers an outstanding opportunity to replace non-sustainable technologies.

READ FULL ARTICLE AT Caribamboo.com

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Thanks to their highly favorable wind and water conditions and year-round pleasant weather, Aruba is a windsurfing mecca, and for more than three decades, the sport’s largest amateur competition has been held on Aruba. Along the way, kite boarding (including foiling) was added to the competition events.

The local community embraces this sport, with many of their youth spending afternoons and weekends on the water with the wind in their sails, joined by the adults (who are still kids at heart, after all!) who love to escape the stresses of everyday life for an exhilarating session on the water. In fact, the reigning PWA 14-time World Champion is local darling Sarah-Quita Offringa.

Every year, thousands of vacationers come to the island just to windsurf, while many others have enjoyed their first experience with the sport, learning from one of the several windsurf schools on the island. And just about anyone can learn—a 30-minute session on land to learn the basics, followed by another 30 minutes of instruction in the water will have you sailing on your own the same day!

The Aruba Hi-Winds is dominated by amateur competitors classified by sex and age, but there is prize money to be won!. Race events include slalom and long-distance courses for both windsurfers and kite boarders. All events are held at Fisherman’s Huts.

Even if you are not a competitor, the atmosphere is beach electric and contagious! Not only are the competitions exciting to watch-especially the Kite Big Air competition-but the festivities surrounding the event: live concerts and beach parties, it all creates a fun beach culture to experience! There will also be a Hi-Winds Mountain Bike Race.

The Aruba Hi-Winds will take place at Fisherman’s Huts, just a skip down the beach from The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba.

For schedules, news, sponsors and more comprehensive info go to HiWindsAruba.com

Release date Hi-Winds 2019 - YouTube

Other related info:

ACCOMMODATION:
Casa Del Mar Beach Resort and Timeshare is located on Eagle Beach, just south of Palm beach. They might still have rooms available: www.CasaDelMar-Aruba.com

CAR RENTALS:
There are many car rental agencies on Aruba, but Thrifty Car Rentals may be one with a  wider variety and more available: www.ThriftyAruba.com

WINDSURFING & KITESURFING LESSONS:
Aruba being the kitesurfing and windsurfing mecca in the Caribbean you will find several windsurf and kitesurf schools on island. Vella Aruba offers it all boasting top international instructors: www.VelaAruba.com

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In this jungle community, self-sustaining homes are built from trash and can withstand the deadliest storms.

When Noemi and Carlos Chaparro peered outside on September 21, 2017, they gasped at the destruction. Hurricane Maria, which had made landfall the previous day, had uprooted the gracious old palm and bamboo groves that once stood on their family farm in northwest Puerto Rico. The wind had torn the roof off the bedroom their two sons shared. The electricity was down. To get water, Carlos and Noemi had to carry buckets from a nearby river. To feed their three kids, they captured a pigeon and cracked open coconuts. The family couldn’t reach a working phone until early October. “It was traumatic,” Noemi told me. “Apocalyptic.”

For the Chaparros and millions of other Puerto Ricans, the hurricane served as a bitter reminder that this vestige of forgotten American empire still relies on a federal government that can’t be trusted to provide for even its most basic needs. After Maria, the Trump administration responded, but with delays. Convinced the funds would only go to paying off Puerto Rico’s debts, President Donald Trump tried to divert aid to the battered coasts of Texas and Florida. Poor communication, ruined infrastructure, and shoddy transportation left crucial aid stranded in Puerto Rico’s ports for weeks. Nearly 3,000 people died. Five months after the storm, a fifth of the island’s population still lacked electricity. No American community has suffered through a longer blackout.

Read full article on The New Republic

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You should check these top 20 things to do in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Mainly catered for cruise ship visitors who are on a Caribbean cruise vacation.

From wandering quaint waterfront towns to exploring green rolling hills dotted with sugar plantation ruins and lying on miles of soft white sandy beach there are plenty of things to do in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.

Whether your cruise to the USVI is scheduled to dock in St. Croix or you are planning a visit of your own. You are in for a treat. If you are interested in history, culture, perfect beaches, lush outdoors and unparalleled underwater adventures then this eastern Caribbean island is the place to be.

This lesser traveled island in the US Virgin Islands cluster is actually the largest and boasts of such a diverse land and water ecosystem it’s impossible to explore it all in just a day on-port.

But don’t take our word for it, we’ve done the research and found 20 things for cruise ship passengers to do during a visit to the island. First, some essential port information to help you out.

St. Croix Port Information

St. Croix also known as ‘Twin City’ has two major cities. Unlike other USVI islands, cruise ships don’t dock in the capital of St. Croix. Instead, ships dock at the Ann E. Abramson Pier in Frederiksted on the western side of the island. This pier is long enough to host two mega ships.

Photo Credit: Prayitno (Creative Commons)

The pier has a tourism desk, bathrooms and from there downtown, Frederiksted is just a walking distance. You can take a taxi from Budget Frederiksted to Christiansted to explore the capital city and the eastern side of the island. Since St. Croix has been a United States territory since 1917, the official currency on the island is the dollar and English is the common language.

1. Explore Frederiksted

Before you wander to the eastern side of the island, check out the west. This is where most of the magic is. From lush botanical gardens and rolling mountain background to pristine white sand beaches, Frederiksted has it all.

Take a walking tour of the town. Explore the Victorian Era architecture while you pop in and out of shops and quaint restaurants. There is plenty to eat, drink and shop in and around the town area.

Read rest of above article on CruiseHive.com

Businesses in St. Croix, USVI listed on CoolestCarib.com include:

BEACH RESORT:
Chenay Bay Beach Resort: www.ChenayBay.com

CAR RENTALS:
Olympic St. Croix: www.OlympicStCroix.com

RESTAURANT & BEACH BARS:
The New Deep End Beach Bar & Grill: www.NewDeepEnd.com
Eat At Cane Bay: www.EatAtCaneBay.com

SCUBA DIVING:
Latitude 17 Scuba St. Croix: www.Lat17Scuba.com

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If your idea of the ideal permanent getaway includes clear turquoise water and white sand beaches, consider these five Caribbean islands.

You can enjoy a relaxing retirement for just $36,000 a year – and that’s on the high end. A report from InternationalLiving.com says these five island locales are beautiful, accessible and, most of all, affordable on an income that’s in line with the average monthly Social Security check for a couple.

For an idea of prices for rent, restaurants, groceries and other daily items, try the calculators on Numbeo or Expatistan. Price data may not be available for some areas.

  • 1. Ambergris Caye, Belize

    No longer just a sleepy Caribbean hideaway, the largest island in Belize has a dynamic community. Ambergris Caye is the most popular spot for expats in Belize, according to Escape Artist, a resource for people looking to live abroad. The Belize Barrier Reef, half a mile from shore, draws fishermen and divers.

    Two domestic airlines – Tropic Air and Maya Island Air – have frequent flights to the island from Belize City, so getting to Ambergris is easy. You can also reach the island by water taxi.

    A three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant will set you back $55, according to Numbeo. On a monthly budget of $2,900, or $34,800 a year, a couple can enjoy a comfortable retirement in Ambergris Caye, including rent for a house or apartment. If you own a home, expats report it’s possible for a couple to live quite comfortably on less than $24,000 a year.

    Read full article on CNBC.com

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After hurricanes Irma and Maria tore through the Caribbean in 2017, devastating dozens of islands – including billionaire Richard Branson’s private isle, Necker Island – Branson called for a “Caribbean Marshall Plan.”

He wanted world powers and global financial institutions to unite to protect the Caribbean against the effects of climate change.

Branson at a Climate-Smart Accelerator event. Adrian Creary/Studiocraft, CC BY

That hasn’t happened. So Branson and his government partners from 27 Caribbean countries hope that his celebrity, connections and billions will prod local politicians and the financial community to act.

In August 2018, at a star-studded event at the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica, Branson helped to launch the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator, a US$1 billion effort to kickstart a green energy revolution in the region.

Read full article on TheConversation.com

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This incredible island is home to some incredible tastes
Without fail, when I mentioned to friends and family my upcoming trip to Puerto Rico, everyone’s reaction was pretty much the same. Mostly a combination of confused looks and concerned comments about the state of the island. I guess it’s understandable since most people on the mainland still have images fresh in their memory of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Even though the small Caribbean US territory had suffered terrible losses due to the storm, Puerto Rico and its resilient people today are all about restoring and rebuilding to be better than ever, while moving towards becoming a more sustainable and self-sufficient island. In fact, the saying I heard time and time again from locals is their excitement for the island’s “new beginnings,” symbolizing a rebirth after losing almost everything to the storm.

On our first day in Puerto Rico and after a blissful night’s rest at Hyatt House San Juan, we embarked on a three hour Old San Juan Walk & Taste Tour by strolling through the cobblestone streets and popping into cafés to sample local, sustainably-sourced eats.

Read full article on TheDailyMeal.com

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HAVANA, Cuba (ACN) — According to a Florida International University (FIU) survey conducted in Miami-Dade County, the majority of Cuban-Americans support rapprochement with Cuba, Prensa Latina reported.

The study, which is the first of its kind since the beginning of the Trump administration, revealed that 80 percent of those surveyed are of the opinion that the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on the island is a failed policy, as former president Barack Obama acknowledged.

The polls also revealed that 63 percent of Cubans in Miami-Dade support the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations and 68 percent of those polled are in favour of the expansion and maintenance of trade relations with Cuba by US companies.

Read on

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CHARLOTTE AMALIE, SAINT THOMAS, USVI. It’s been just about a year since two witches smashed their way through the Virgin Islands. You know their names – hurricanes Maria and Irma. As you know, the thrashing was particularly bad this time with various houses, businesses and lives completely destroyed.

When you think of St. Thomas, you might have a nice resort, beach and lounge chair reserved for yourself in your head. Yes, resorts (and jewelry) have been the main business here of late. In terms of resorts, whichever type you may like, they had it pre-hurricanes. Post-hurricanes – as you can imagine – the well-known ones are not the same anymore. But the blessing is, there are some new and old ones with new facelifts:

The Ritz Carlton took a helluva knock. After one year there are still renovations in place, although, some rooms are available. The beach and wonderful pool are still there, if that’s all you’re after – by all means book in.

Bolongo Beach Resort (you might know Iggy’s as a party spot at this resort) is almost in full operation, and all the rooms that are operational are fully booked! That’s a good sign if you take that as an indication of popularity.

Frenchman’s Cove, a timeshare location, seems to be back in full swing. Seems, because the various buildings on the property don’t show any sign of injury. The pool is fabulous, the shop, bar and restaurant in working order and they have many guest activities and live music to liven up your visit to the island. What’s more, one can take a sunset cruise from here with The VI Cat (thevicat.com) and enjoy a dinner and cocktails on the luxury catamaran. Day cruises are also available.

The VI Cat daily sailing & snorkeling excursions at Frenchman’s Cove

Things are on the up and up too at the brand new Margaritaville Resort on the other side of the island. It looks nearly as good as new, post-hurricanes.

The Marriott Hotel at the Frenchman’s Reef is completely closed as it suffered severe damage.

Lindbergh Bay Hotel and Villas are operational again too with restaurant Oceanside Bistro in full swing. They host theme parties there, this month it’s the Halloween Costume Party on 27 October 2018, sure to be fun! Their pool is being fixed as I type this blog. This is a very convenient location for tourists, as it is walking distance from the St. Thomas airport.

Oceanside Bistro at Lindbergh Bay walking distance from St. Thomas airport.

Emerald Beach Resort is great as it’s right on the beach. This is one of our favorite swimming spots and the ocean truly has an emerald color here (especially through some good Polaroid sunglasses!) Great views from every room and many resort activities (like karaoke) at the beach bar and water sports: including jet ski’s, kayaking and SUP-ing with Jetskivi.com. This beach is also very suitable for sunset wedding ceremonies with beach goers respecting the space. Chances are high that these blissful unions have been organized by Heart And Soul Unions.

Heart And Soul Unions Wedding Planners in St. Thomas USVI

Sometimes a big natural disaster also brings new life to a town. Although, many people have suffered severe loss emotionally, financially, morally and physically, other people’s lives are now better than it was before that fateful September of 2017:

Downtown St. Thomas has seen a few businesses closed down, but there is a new high-end supermarket called Moe’s (also one in Red Hook) next to FirstBank in Charlotte Amalie.

Café Amalia is still where it has been for many years in Palm Passage. Food is still lovely, the people friendly and a nice cool breeze sweeps through the plants and other businesses located in the well-designed, old Danish building that has stood the test of hurricanes for hundreds of years. This is a good restaurant to stop by if you’re shopping downtown, sometimes the heat can be a drain on your energy, especially in summer time in the Caribbean. www.amaliacafe.com

Amalia Cafe Spanish Restaurant in Palm Passage, Charlotte Amalie

Barefoot Buddha, at Havensight Mall, is a cool oasis to visit for great healthy food (real fruit smoothies, love their veggie wraps and organic cuppa Joe) and to try on the latest fashion at their boutique. Lots of yoga mama’s hang here because right next door, at Breathe, there are now yoga classes offered for free – donations welcome. barefootbuddhavi.com

Coffee Shop, Deli and Fashion Boutique in Havensight, St. Thomas USVI

Tap & Still – discovered this bar and grille at two locations on the island. One is located at Havensight Mall and the other in Red Hook. It’s a burger and beer joint with a modern flair and you can watch the latest sports events on big screens all around the bar. Love the open plan design and fresh breezes cooling the place through no windows, in true old Caribbean style.

Tap and Still Bar Restaurant Havensight, St. Thomas, USVI

As you can see, a lot of good times are still to be had on this island, so don’t wait too long to book your next vacation here. There are so many resorts and restaurants to choose from, not to mention beaches, scuba, snorkeling and sailing trips to explore.

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Join us on our adventure through the windy little Antilles islands. During the kitesurf – sailing trip we will look for our personal kite spots around the Grenadines and enjoy the sun, the warm Caribbean Sea, constant wind conditions and the lifestyle of the islands.

The highlight: we spend the entire sailing trip on the water. With our boat the Lagoon 52, a 52 feet long luxury high-sea catamaran, we sail from island to island at our own pace. During island-hopping in the Caribbean the luxury sailing yacht leaves nothing to be desired. Six high-quality cabins, each with there own private bathrooms, a large open kitchen with living area, BBQ grill and open-air lounge, offer the perfect base. A relaxing sailing trip in the Caribbean is guaranteed. Because of the two skids the catamaran is much more stable in the water. A professional skipper is on board of the fully equipped sailing ship. A special highlight is our cook on board who will take care of your physical well-being!

Read more and get a quote

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