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Put a Cork in It — In Your Flip-Flops, That Is

Put a Cork in It — In Your Flip-Flops, That Is



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Vancouver-based company makes recycled wine corks into fun footwear

Flip-flops made from recycled wine corks.

Sip it, wear it, do the environment a solid.

That’s the end result of a recycling initiative by specialty beverage seller BevMo!, Vancouver-based footwear company SOLE, and ReCork, a cork recycling initiative.

Here’s what they’re doing: If you bring used corks to any California or Arizona BevMo! store, they’ll pass them along to be made into some happening flip-flops. So the corks get a second life, and someone gets a cushy walk in new shoes.

If you’re just dropping off the corks, BevMo! is handing out free cork coasters and wine carriers made from recycled materials (while supplies last).

Natural cork is a very sustainable product, and it’s what the footwear firm SOLE has been using so far. But SOLE has also tested recycled corks, and are now integrating them into the supply stream.

The cork flip-flops are said to equalize pressure distribution and increase balance, while providing cushioning.

You can buy them ($79) at the SOLE web site, and they come in both men’s and women’s. Colors vary by size.

Do you do anything with your corks now? Tell us below!

Click here for more from The Daily Sip


PHOTO FEATURE: Put a cork in it!

It’s sad to learn that the Spanish cork industry continues to struggle. Despite regular bumper crops every Autumn the price has fallen once again. In the last few years it has plummeted by a massive 30 per cent and according to some agricultural collectives in the last two years the sector has lost 12 million Euros.

Why has this happened? Because the demand for cork, particularly from the wine industry, which increasingly uses plastic corks or screw tops for its wine bottles, has dropped dramatically.

Cork production is a major industry in this area of Andalucía and an important source of income in the Serranía de Ronda, in particular in Ronda itself, Gaucín and Cortes de la Frontera. In Málaga province as a whole there are around 12,000 hectares of cork oak forests.

Can anything be done to save the cork industry? Apart from producers appealing to bottlers to return to the traditional cork and the likes of you and me boycotting “non-corked” wines, probably not. However, there have been recent encouraging signs of cork being used to manufacture a whole range of imaginative products, including handbags, purses, wallets, diaries and souvenirs.


Put a cork in it!

Do you ever wonder where corks come from or why we use them? Do synthetic corks work just as well as natural ones? And what about those screw tops? Are they just for Two Buck Chuck?

Natural cork makes a great stopper for wine because it&rsquos water tight, but still lets tiny amounts of air in. The cork comes from the bark of the cork oak, which is native to southwestern Europe and northwestern Africa. Cork is a sustainable product. The trees do not have to be cut down, and the cork grows back! Unfortunately, it is not a super-fast process. They don&rsquot strip off the cork bark until the tree is between 15 and 20 years old. After that they have to wait nine or ten years before taking more cork bark from that same tree. The harvested cork bark is removed from the forests, and left out in the open air for six months before any wine stoppers can be made. Only high quality cork can be used as wine closures. The lower grade cork and crumbled cork is used to make a composite cork, like what is used for sparkling wine bottles. In addition, cork is used in many other products &ndash anything from shoes to flooring and building insulation. With over 30 billion (yes, billion with a &ldquob&rdquo) bottles of wine being produced every year, someone thought they would run out so they had to come up with an alternative to natural cork. Fortunately, it turns out there are more than enough cork oaks to keep pairing them with our wine bottles for at least another 100 years. It could be that &ldquocork shortage&rdquo rumor was started by screw cap and synthetic cork manufacturers.

Synthetic corks are made from plastic and silicone compounds to look and &ldquopop&rdquo like natural corks. They have two advantages. The first advantage is that they are cheaper than natural cork. This advantage is mostly for the wine bottler. The second advantage is that they don&rsquot have that pesky &ldquocork taint&rdquo that natural cork can have that contaminates an average of 5% of aged bottles. This can occur in natural cork when a chemical compound, TCA (trichloroanisole) transforms the wine into something nasty and undrinkable. With those two advantages come several disadvantages. First of all, natural corks maintain a consistent tight seal because they expand and contract with the glass. Synthetics do not. Second, synthetic corks do not &ldquobreath&rdquo to allow the small amount of oxygen in that helps to age the wine. On the flip side of that, if the synthetic cork doesn&rsquot fit well, it may let in too much oxygen, leading to that not-so-lovely vinegar flavor. Finally, synthetic corks can be difficult to remove, especially if they&rsquove been in the bottle for 18 months or more. Having a wrestling match with the wine bottle can definitely sour the mood.

And what about those screw caps? One would think that the screw cap would be free of that undesirable TCA &ndash cork taint. T&rsquoaint so. They are actually susceptible to the sort of moldy, icky aromas typically associated with contaminated corks. Screw caps have been around since the 1950&rsquos, but were generally associated with very low end wines. That was, until winemakers in Australia and New Zealand started using them for some of their better wines. The screw cap is now the preferred seal of some winemakers, mostly for crisp whites or reds that are meant to be imbibed while young. (The wine, not the imbiber). They provide a solid seal, they have been designed to allow no oxygen to varying levels of oxygen, which, as we know, helps with the aging process, however, the oxygen permeable caps have not been perfected enough for high-end wines that are meant for ageing. Bolder and age-worthy whites, such as Chardonnay, and most reds still benefit from the natural cork. The most appealing reason for screw caps is the lower price.

Synthetic corks and screw caps do have their place, but since there is a whole industry around the production of cork, and it is a sustainable resource, it stands to reason that natural corks are here to stay. Somehow &ldquolet&rsquos pop open a bottle of Merlot,&rdquo just sounds better than &ldquounscrew that bottle of Blanc du Bois, would you?&rdquo


Environmentalists: “Put a Cork in It”

Cork versus screw cap. Screw cap versus synthetic cork. Just when you thought the balance of power was tilting solidly away from the old standby (which has an unpleasant tendency to spoil wine by introducing a compound known as TCA), there’s a new argument for the old closure.

The AP reports that the renewable nature of cork makes it a popular choice among environmental groups that worry that a traditional, sustainable method of sealing wine is being phased out for a less earth-friendly plug. And there are also the cork forests to be considered:

Cork oak covers about 6.7 million acres in the [Mediterranean] and provides income for more than 100,000 people, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Cork forests are predominantly privately owned, which puts them at greater risk for neglect or sale for development if the popularity of cork lessens.

And the Rainforest Alliance recently began offering a certification system for wineries to verify that their corks come from forests that meet the group’s social, economic, and environmental standards.

Mar’s Everything opens up a sympathetic blog post by stating:

So for a couple of years I have rejoiced in the rise of the screwtop wine bottle, mainly because I love when ‘traditional’ elitist methods become exposed as a bunch of crap.

… and then wending through the reasoning for going back to cork. It’s a nice example of how facts can sway (some) consumers.


Put a Cork in It

Even though our to-do list seems to be growing at breakneck speed around our new home, somehow I find myself getting preoccupied with small projects. Maybe because I can feel accomplished that something gets finished? Even though it’s entirely not necessary, critical, or even (the Mr. might argue) even beneficial in the tiniest way? Hmm . . . maybe it’s just my way of procrastinating on the big projects. Like those two brand new toilets that have been sitting in our garage for a few weeks waiting patiently to be installed. Yeah, that’s probably it.

Nevertheless, here are some details on a random project that I undertook during the middle of unpacking the kitchen. That’s right–I stopped unpacking the myriad of kitchen gadgets, dishes, food-stuffs, and all things useful so that I could get this pressing project completed. So what was so pressing? Or at least pressing in my procrastinating mind? Well, it was lining drawers. Specifically, these fancy kitchen drawers with built-in dividers:

Who knew that behind this dated facade there was some serious forward-thinking function?!

But I’ll divulge more of that later. For now, let’s just say I was pleasantly surprised to find that the two drawers underneath the cooktop had built-in drawer dividers.

Awesome, right? Yes and no. Yes because I have a ton of gadgets and cook’s tools that need organization and no because, upon closer inspection, they were a bit chewed up and nasty-looking.

While I’m all for getting more fiber in our diets, I’m not that keen on getting it in the form of fibrous wood splinters. So of course I needed to do something immediately. I was just NOT going to unpack anything into those drawers until the situation had been remedied. Again, we’re talking some serious unpacking procrastination going on here . . .

So what did I do?! Well, I remembered that years ago I had bought some cork tiles . . . See, I had a grand idea of making some cool DIY corkboard wall . . .

Needless to say, though, it didn’t happen. Instead, I had five 12 x 12 cork tiles that remained unused in a plastic storage bin with a bunch of my other crafty/DIY project supplies. But alas–now I had an idea! And those cork tiles would finally be used! Oh happy day. And so, just this once, hoarding craft supplies paid off. Take that Mr. Bunches!

Shockingly, I was able to lay my hands on the tiles pretty quickly, and then I just gathered some other tools–basically a pair of scissors and some junk mail.

I used the junk mail to make templates of each area I wanted to cover with cork . . .

And then just cut out cork pieces to match the templates.

Since the pieces were just the right size, and about a 1/4 inch thick, all I had to do was slide them into place and they stayed put–no glue or tape needed.

You can also see in those pictures that I used a plastic drawer liner to line the bottoms of each section. I picked up the liner during our trip to Costco, and I just cut it to size and laid it down.

Easy-peasy fix to some seen-better-days drawer cubbies, huh?

So once I finished my 30-minute diversion project, I could finally put stuff in those drawers. Hallelujah.

Now I can rest easy that I won’t end up with wood splinters in my next batch of brownies. Oh, and no judgments on the number of measuring cups I have . . . I use them all–I swear!

Anyone else find yourself procrastinating on big to-do items so that you can accomplish seemingly trivial and unnecessary smaller tasks? Or is it just me?

Okay–new posts soon on our finished hardwood floors and some other home updates . . . stay tuned!


Don’t Put a Cork In It

The days of re-corking a bottle of wine are behind us. No longer do you have to worry about not finishing a bottle of wine and it declining in taste by the next day. With a simple wine preserver, you can keep your wine fresh overnight or for numerous days. Preservation systems remove the extra air from a bottle, effectively slowing down the oxidation process . As a result, the flavor of the wine stays sharp rather than flattening out.

The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to purchase a wine preservation system. While some top-of-the-line systems range in the hundreds, you can also find many for under $50 . And wine pumps are just the beginning. There’s also decanters, aerators , and even breathers . Whatever your needs, we’ve compiled a great list of wine a ccessories for you or the wine-lover in your life. Perfect for a holiday gift or for keeping those half-empty Thanksgiving bottles fresher, longer.

Coravin Wine Systems ($199.95 – $999.95)

Imagine sampling that special-occasion wine you’ve been letting age for years…and then putting it away so you can try it yet again in 10 years time . Now you can, with the Coravin wine system. This revolutionary system allows you to pour any bottle of wine without actually removing the cork . The ingenious design relies on capsules of argon gas and a needle that pierces through the cork to deliver wine from the bottle. Simply insert the needle, pour your wine, and enjoy. Once you remove the needle, the cork will naturally close around the hole. Because argon gas is delivered through the needle, no oxygen enters the bottle , meaning the remaining wine will stay fresh-as-new for weeks, months, or even years. The system comes in various models, at various price points, catering to casual wine drinkers and serious connoisseurs alike. You can find it online, at coravin.com, or at retailers like Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Target.

Savino Wine Preserver ($47.00)

Sold through Amazon, the Savino Wine Preserver doubles as a preserver and decanter , keeping wine fresh for up to a week. All you need to do is pour the wine into the decanter, insert the air stopper, and the preserver will do the rest . This handy preserver can hold an entire bottle of wine — white or red — making it the perfect gift for any wine-lover in your life.

OXO Vacuum Wine Preserver ($16.99)

A simple hand-pump preserver, it doesn’t get more simple than this. Sold at retailers like Target and Bed Bath & Beyond, this pump does the simple task of sucking the air out of the wine bottle. By taking the air out of the bottle, the pump slows down the oxidation process which in turn helps keep the wine’s flavor alive. The preserver has a chic look and comes with two push-tab wine stoppers that make removing them from the bottle smoother and easier.

Kalorik 2 – in – 1 Wine Bottle Opener and Preserver ($62.99)

This wine preserver comes with more features than simply sucking the air out of the bottle. Along with being a preserver, the Kalorik 2 -in-1 Wine Bottle Opener and Preserver also opens your bottle . Perfect for anyone who may struggle with opening wine bottles, this product also comes with a foil cutter and two traditional wine stoppers. You can find it at retailers including Koh’ls, Macy’s, Home Depot, and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Lestaven Wine Decanter and Breather ($32.99)

Although not technically a wine preserver, the Lestaven Wine Decanter and Breather is the perfect addition for any wine lover’s collection. Made out of crystal, this decanter holds up to 54 ounces of wine . Containing a double-layer filter which helps filter out impurities, this decanter spreads the wine 360 degrees , which ultimately increases the contact area between the wine and air. Available through Amazon, this breather is a stylish gift for friends, family, or yourself.

Zazzol Wine Aerator Decanter ($25.97)

Strictly an aerator , this gadget is perfect for red wine lovers. Simply put, an aerator forces the wine to interact with air and thus increase the process of oxidation. While this may seem the opposite of what a wine pump does, this process greatly benefits red wine, for it will soften the tannins in the wine and make it smoother to drink. Aerating is also important for any bottle that’s been stored away for more than a year. Sold on Amazon, this aerator is a must for anyone who enjoys vintage or red wine.


Environmentalists: “Put a Cork in It”

Cork versus screw cap. Screw cap versus synthetic cork. Just when you thought the balance of power was tilting solidly away from the old standby (which has an unpleasant tendency to spoil wine by introducing a compound known as TCA), there’s a new argument for the old closure.

The AP reports that the renewable nature of cork makes it a popular choice among environmental groups that worry that a traditional, sustainable method of sealing wine is being phased out for a less earth-friendly plug. And there are also the cork forests to be considered:

Cork oak covers about 6.7 million acres in the [Mediterranean] and provides income for more than 100,000 people, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Cork forests are predominantly privately owned, which puts them at greater risk for neglect or sale for development if the popularity of cork lessens.

And the Rainforest Alliance recently began offering a certification system for wineries to verify that their corks come from forests that meet the group’s social, economic, and environmental standards.

Mar’s Everything opens up a sympathetic blog post by stating:

So for a couple of years I have rejoiced in the rise of the screwtop wine bottle, mainly because I love when ‘traditional’ elitist methods become exposed as a bunch of crap.

… and then wending through the reasoning for going back to cork. It’s a nice example of how facts can sway (some) consumers.


12 Best Walking Sandals That Are Super Comfy and Cute

Through the summer, whether you're trekking distances on your daily commute, exploring new terrain on a summer family vacation, or running errands, you need a pair of walking sandals that look cute and can keep up with your busy lifestyle &mdash without hurting your feet. By now you probably know that typical flip flops just won't cut it, so the pros at the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab found comfy sandals that will keep your toes (and arches!) happy all day long.

Dr. Jordan Metzl M.D., a sports medicine physician at the Hospital For Special Surgery in New York recommends trying out many different walking shoes before buying to find the pair that fits you best. Remember to trust your feet: No matter what the product claims, the walking sandals must be comfortable for you.

We found the best walking sandals to fit your arch and stay comfortable all day from brands we love and trust, styles with rave reviewers, and designs that have innovative and fashionable features. Practical and stylish? Yes! Here are our top picks for the best walking sandals you can buy:

Vionic makes orthotic shoes, but they're such fashionable designs, you can&rsquot even tell. These sandals have a super soft microfiber wrapped footbed and rubber outsole with a leather upper. We love that these are available in both medium and wide widths. Offered in multiple styles and shades, these shoes can go from day to night with ease.

This cozy pair of sandals has a sole that is made from the same material as yoga mats to provide extra cushioning while the fabric straps keep your foot in place without irritation. Reviewers have worn these sandals everywhere from Europe to Costa Rica and have given them over 1,000 five-star reviews. Note that these are not orthotic sandals, so other picks would provide more arch support.

From water parks to river exploring, these sandals are up for any water adventure. Keen&rsquos &ldquoMetatomical Footbed&rdquo design is meant to provide arch support and comfy cushioning. Since the rubber sole extends upward, your toes are kept secure and protected and the bungee lace detail ensures a snug fit. Plus, the polyester upper is waterproof so these sandals won&rsquot weigh you down after any water activities. We love that these are machine washable, too!

Good news: Wedge sandals can actually be supportive and comfy. There is extra cushioning for the ball of your foot and a platform for additional relief. With an orthotic footbed and a three-inch heel, you can have both comfort and height &mdash stilettos be gone. Reviewers recommend going up a size as they run a bit small.

Flip flops typically provide no support whatsoever, but these sandals are the exact opposite. Vionic created a better flip flop with built-in arch support and a shock-absorbing foam midsole. These easy slip on sandals may need some time to break in to get them extra comfy.

Expert hikers and everyday trailblazers adore these durable hiking sandals from Teva. The contoured footbed is designed to support your arch while providing cushioning to absorb impact. Uneven terrain is no match for the durable rubber outsole. Plus, the synthetic and polyester webbing upper is designed to dry quickly and has a treatment to reduce stink. Say goodbye to wet, sweaty feet!

These sandals are a must if you are constantly on the go. The cork and latex footbed is designed to fit your arch without a long break-in period plus, it's wrapped in suede that will adjust to your specific foot shape. These stylish sandals come in 33 colors, including sea green, black patent leather, and silver. Whether you are touring the sights all day or dancing all night, these luxe walking sandals will keep up with whatever adventure you have planned next.

When you have flat feet, you want sandals that are the same width of your feet, fit your arch to provide proper alignment, and have a deep heel cup to prevent ankle rolling. This pick from Birkenstock checks off every box. The anatomically designed latex cork sole will break in to match your foot, but will require a bit of time to get a perfect fit. Once they fit though, you'll never want to take 'em off. Take note that some reviewers find the straps a bit short on wider feet.

Whether you have bunions, hammertoe, or just wider feet, these slides are designed to be comfy. Coming in either narrow, medium, or wide, there is a pair meant for your feet. Plus, there are three adjustable straps to ensure a snug fit. The orthotic footbed is designed for support while the rubber outsole makes walking in them a breeze.

If you feel like you're swimming in your sandals, you need sandals specific for women with narrow feet. These sandals by Munro are available in a whopping six different widths, including super slim and narrow. With a velcro ankle strap, these sandals stay in place when on the move. The brand and online reviewers recommend ordering half a size up, as they tend to run a bit small.

These sandal slides are made from foam that supports your arch, cushions your foot, and absorbs shock as you walk to take the pressure off your high arch. They are designed as a recovery tool after working out but they are so comfy, reviewers wear these walking sandals everywhere from amusement parks to the beach.

Plantar fasciitis is a type of foot pain that is caused when the tissue connecting your heel and toes becomes inflamed. These walking sandals by Olukai feature a contoured midsole that provides ample arch support &ndash very important to look for in plantar fasciitis shoes. The leather ankle straps are adjustable to ensure a perfect fit.


Designers Put Cork in It

CORK MAY HAVE lost a few battles in the wine world, with the rise of screw caps and plastic stoppers, but it’s beginning to win the war on the home front, as top designers use the tree bark to create pieces that are not only sustainable, but covetable.

French furniture designer Inga Sempé used to turn her nose up at cork. “I didn’t like it,” says the 47-year-old Parisian, known for her clever and playful modern designs for labels like Cappellini, Ligne Roset and Baccarat. But that all changed a few years ago when she was commissioned to design a flexible storage system as part of the Materia series from Amorim, Portugal’s leading cork producer. Called Torno, the matching cork bowl and tray are attached to a clamp that can be added to shelving or tables (€73 each corkway.com).

While working on the design, which launched in 2011, she was impressed by the material’s natural elasticity and ability to absorb sound. “You can throw your keys” onto a Torno surface, she says, “and it won’t make that horrible noise.” Four years later, Ms. Sempé is still working with the material earlier this year she reinvented the traditional bulletin board for Denmark’s Hay label. Her Pinorama design, which places a metal grid over a cork surface, allows you to place objects on both materials, using magnets or pins (199 Danish kroner, or €27 hayshop.dk)

After decades in a wilderness of cheap flooring and wall paneling, chic cork design got a jump start in the early Noughties when French designer Martin Szekely began using waxed or varnished cork for limited-edition pieces. His 2009 blocklike Cork coffee table is on sale at Galerie Kreo in Paris (price upon request galeriekreo.fr).

British designer Jasper Morrison was also drawn to the material, creating cork furniture for Switzerland’s Vitra and Dutch furniture label Moooi. His work in the material culminated in 2007, with a limited-edition Vitra chair made of recycled bottle stoppers.


Cork Flooring In Basements

Cork floors are a durable and easy-to-maintain option for basement flooring. Find out how this natural material can work to enhance the appearance of your home.

Basket Weave Floor

This kitchen has a unique basket weave patterned floor that give the space charm and character.

Related To:

It turns out that cork is not only useful for preserving your favorite bottle of wine, it makes great flooring, providing a resilient and eco-friendly finish to your basement, or any space.

Not only are no trees cut down to produce the material, but the flooring is made from the scraps that are leftover from producing bottle stoppers. Cork flooring is available in tiles or panels, and comes in many textures and patterns.

When it comes to choosing cork flooring in a basement, there are several benefits, including the fact that while cork is durable, it allows for a good amount of cushioning. It can also help to increase the temperature in a space that is often the coldest room in a home.

If you are choosing cork flooring in your basement, it will be necessary to coat it with a sealant in order to protect it from moisture or water damage.


Watch the video: SOLE Bloom Cork Flips Sandals for Women @ (August 2022).