Coolers are a part of every camping trip and fishing excursion, because they are a convenient and necessary tool for keeping freshly caught fish cold or frosty beverages close at hand. The problem is that modern coolers are mostly made from plastic and polyurethane foam, materials that are costly for the planet from production to post-consumer waste. Now, husband and wife duo David Nomura and Brook McLeod at Wool Street, LLC have designed a completely recyclable cooler with practicality and sustainability in mind. Called the Wooly Mammoth, this cooler strives to solve the problem of trashed coolers filling landfills, where they remain for generations.

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fruit on a bamboo cutting board attached to a cooler

The cooler uses stainless steel and aluminum for the main body, tray and hardware; both of these materials are completely recyclable. The handles use bamboo, a renewable resource that is also 100 percent recyclable. Perhaps the stand-out feature separating the Wooly Mammoth from nearly every other cooler on the market is the use of natural wool as an insulator. The wool can be added to any backyard compost when it is time to part ways with the Wooly Mammoth. After years of wear and tear, the cooler is easy to disassemble with nothing more than a screwdriver and a crescent wrench.

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person lifting lid to a steel cooler

Although each material is recyclable, sustainable product design also requires durability and superior functionality for long-term use. With this in mind, the Wooly Mammoth team thoughtfully planned the components for functionality and efficiency. A bamboo cutting board is built into the hinged lid. Designed to open like a tackle box, the entire lid lifts out of the way without disrupting food sitting on the cutting board. The hinges are removable for easy cleaning when necessary.

steel container holding meat and tomatoes inside a cooler

Because coolers need to be portable for picnics in the park, tailgating during football season and year-round camping, the Wooly Mammoth weighs less than 20 pounds, yet it has a 52-quart capacity and can hold up to 78 12-ounce cans. The estimated ice retention is three days.

ice and drinks in a steel cooler

The Wooly Mammoth campaign launched on Kickstarter on November 29. Backers can receive up to a 30 percent discount off the final retail price.

+ Wooly Mammoth

Images via Wooly Mammoth