5 Best Caribbean Islands to Live On

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Mention the word “Caribbean” and most people think of places like Aruba, the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, and other tourist-rich dollops of sand. The region conjures well-deserved images of crystal-clear waters and white-sand beaches.

And there’s no question: If you like sun and sand, these islands are great for a vacation. But move there? Most folks assume it’s just too expensive and don’t give it another thought.

But that’s too bad. Because the Caribbean is bigger than many people realize. And when you look beyond the mass-market shores the tourist brochures describe, you’ll find a variety of sun-splashed islands well worth your attention. They’re not only beautiful… but a lot more affordable than most people realize.

Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Mexico all offer islands off their Caribbean coasts—islands that share the same turquoise-blue waters and powder-white beaches you expect when you hear “Caribbean”—only you won’t pay a fortune to live on any of them.

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Top 7 Ways to Support Sustainable Fashion

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Shopping is often referred to as “retail therapy.” Some suggest buying stuff, especially new clothes, can make you feel better — more relaxed, perhaps, or prettier or popular. While shopping for the latest trendy fashions may boost your mood temporarily, most people agree the positive vibes seldom last long.

Even if they did, there is more to modern fashion than meets the eye. Underneath all the glitz and glam portrayed in store windows are layers of what a new BBC documentary refers to as “fashion’s dirty secrets.”

If you think turning over your wardrobe frequently has little impact on world events, you may want to take an hour to watch the film. From start to finish, it will compel you to seriously consider how the fashion industry is actually wreaking havoc on the environment and endangering human health.

BBC Reporter Suggests Our Clothes Are Wrecking the Planet

In the featured 2018 documentary, BBC investigative reporter Stacey Dooley unearths some of the fashion industry’s “dirty secrets.”1 Her conclusion: Our clothes are wrecking the planet. At the onset of the film, Dooley is quick to admit she is a fan of fashion.

Read full article on Articles.Mercola.com

 

The Value of having a Farmers Market Within the Community

Organic Caribbean Urban Farms
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Everybody benefits from supporting their local farmers market. It’s easy to do, especially when the market has multiple vendors offering a good variety and is close to your home. When you support your local farmers’ market, you are supporting something much greater than you imagine.

The Fiber of the Community

Local farmers markets have the unique ability to bring locals together by providing a lively, family friendly environment that everyone can enjoy.

Local produce; crafts; vegan, vegetarian, and mainstream food options; desserts; clothing and more can be found at your local farmers market. In a way it should be called a Community market as it represents a segment of your town coming together offering their best products for everyone to consume and enjoy.

Business Incubators

Building the local economy begins at the farmers market. New small businesses often begin their journey here in order to test the market with their products. The level of success many of them find at the market will decide if they go on to open a local store front. The merchants that move to a brick and mortar space will look to hire local help. This is something that often gets overlooked but is very important to keep in mind as you support your local farmers market. The success of the small business merchants will spill over to the economical success of your town.

Tourist Attraction

Tourist will come from far and wide to visit your town because of your beautiful beaches, your beautiful rivers or your grand mountains. One way of exposing tourists to the local people and culture is through the farmers markets.

Tourists often look to find the local farmers markets and see for themselves the produce and arts that are not necessarily available at your traditional malls. These folks want to take as much as they can from their experience in your town and what better way to do so than at the local, friendly farmers’ market.

One more attraction for tourists are local farms which gives your guests a refreshing perspective on how food is grown locally. We wrote a blog post on the tours we offer of our urban farm and we were amazed on how many great friends we made thanks to them.

Better Prices

Way too often the price point is overlooked. Local products, especially produce are immune to the price shifts in the general market as they are transported a very short distance to arrive at their destination.

Read Full Article on RossiNaturals.com

Why Bamboo Is the Perfect Alternative to Plastic

Bamboo is extremely sustainable
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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

Aruba Hi-Winds: A fantasy for windsurfers AND kitesurfers. July 4-8, 2019!

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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

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

Living Off the Grid and Safe From Hurricanes in Puerto Rico

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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

20 Top Things to Do in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands While on a Cruise

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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.

St. Croix Cruise Port
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

Jamaica leads in Richard Branson-backed plan for a Caribbean climate revolution

Sustainable Energy against climate change
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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

The Diverse Food and Drink of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Restaurants
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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

Come for Kitesurf Sailing Trip in the Caribbean

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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!

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