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These Pink "Gumdrops" Are Making London Streets Cleaner

In the effort to make urban areas more clean and green, one pesky little culprit often gets overlooked: chewing gum. From sidewalks to the underside of bus benches, gum is a pollution problem that can be tough to manage. But with a new recycling initiative that’s showing up all over London, there’s a new place for you to stick it.

Gumdrops are bright pink spheres that can be found on signposts and lampposts, often under a sign that reads, “Recycle Your Gum Here.” Toss your chewed-up piece into the container, and it’s recycled into a brand new bright pink globe, which in turn will be used to collect even more gum waste.

That might seem a little icky at first, but the results are impressive. In case studies, Gumdrop receptacles greatly helped to reduce lengthy and expensive cleaning efforts, with overall decreases in litter as high as 89 percent at one location.

Founder Anna Bullus told Slate that Gumdrop is the first ever “closed loop” system for recycling gum. She wouldn’t reveal exactly how the company deals with the inevitable non-gum garbage that ends up in the globes, but said they’re able to handle that (presumably very gross) challenge.

One study suggests that around 374 billion pieces of chewing gum are sold worldwide every year (that’s 560,000 tons), which means it’s probably a good investment to start coming up with ways to tackle the resulting waste. According to the Gumdrop website, chewing gum can also be made into things like Wellington boots, mobile phone covers, stationery, and packaging.

There aren’t any Gumdrops in the United States just yet, but their expanding bubble in the UK suggests we might be seeing the pink orbs on city streets on this side of the Atlantic very soon.

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holidays
Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album
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iStock

Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.

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Nom & Malc, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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Food
Cheese Wheel Wedding Cakes Are a Funky Twist on an Old Tradition
Nom & Malc, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Nom & Malc, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If there’s ever a time you have permission to be cheesy, it’s on your wedding day. What better way to do so than with a pungent wedding cake made of actual wheels of cheese? According to Elite Daily, cheese wedding cakes are a real option for couples who share an affinity for dairy products.

One of the trailblazers behind the sharp trend is Bath, England-based cheese supplier The Fine Cheese Co. The company offers clients a choice of one of dozens of wedding cake designs. There are bold show-stoppers like the Beatrice cake, which features five tiers of cheese and is priced at $400. For customers looking for something more delicate, there’s the Clara centerpiece, which replaces miniature wedding cakes with mounds of goat cheese. Whether your loved one likes funky Stilton or mellow brie, there’s a cheese cake to satisfy every palate. Flowers are incorporated into each display to make them just as pretty as conventional wedding cakes.

Since The Fine Cheese Co. arranged their first wedding cake in 2002, other cheese suppliers have entered the game. The Cheese Shed in Newton Abbot, England; I.J. Ellis Cheesemongers in Scotland; and Murray’s Cheese in New York will provide cheese wheel towers for weddings or any other special occasion. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from clearing out the local fromagerie and assembling a cheese cake at home.

[h/t Elite Daily]

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