For years, I’ve published holiday gift guides and, separately, information on nonprofits that I love and trust in anticipation of Giving Tuesday. This year, I’m combining the two, featuring actual physical gifts as well as great organizations where you can make a gift in someone’s name. Happy holidays!
Wah wah. After feeling a slight sore throat and stuffy nose and testing negative for three days, on the fourth I got the dreaded covid double line. The good news (besides the fact that “The Crown” just dropped four new episodes) is that I’m vaccinated and my symptoms are mild. According to the World Health Organization, cases of the illness are down globally, but in California, where I live, there’s been a slight uptick in the number of people testing positive over the last few weeks. Time to break out the masks!
To my beloved children, Despite the fact that you have lived in my house for most/all of your lives, during which time I have consistently demonstrated effective recycling behavior, there seems to be some residual confusion about what you can can and cannot recycle. It’s complicated, I get it. From the time you were small, the a profusion of different materials has exploded exponentially and therefore you were required to continuously improve on your knowledge. This is a problem for all of us — that’s why we have that giant plastic trash slick in the middle of the ocean and microplastics in our fish. And it’s why so many people…
What’s in your bathroom cupboard? If you’re buying toilet paper made by Procter & Gamble, that purchase contributes to the destruction of rainforests in Canada and Indonesia — one million acres of which are razed every year to make what you’re flushing. Every day ONE MILLION TREES are cut down to make TP!
Last year, I wrote about watching “Stranger Things” with my daughter. I described how the series helped us connect during the pandemic. I was conflicted about whether or not to publish the piece, but finally felt that sharing what we went through might be helpful to other parents – and it was. I heard from so many people that they had also shifted habits, gotten more lenient with things like television watching and chores, all in the name of making things a little bit easier for our children, who were going through so much.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, which is great for people but often fails to keep in mind the planet: Many awareness campaigns from sunscreen companies don’t disclose that the chemicals in their products can damage ecosystems — especially in the ocean. Are you using reef safe sunscreen? Here’s how to find out.
I just finished Sally Rooney’s Beautiful World, Where Are You. I’m not giving away any spoilers with this reveal: The Irish author’s third book is narrowly focused on four characters; one, a writer, seems to be a stand-in for Rooney. The plot is straight out of a Brontë novel — there’s even a brooding Heathcliffian love interest — and the prose can be distractingly cold and distant. But the questions this book forces readers to contemplate — wow. I’ve never read anything like it. Have you?
Last week a flood zone home in a beachfront North Carolina town partially collapsed into the Atlantic Ocean, scattering boards and debris that floated as far as seven miles. The cream-colored clapboard beauty with the bright-blue shutters was built in 1980 and had recently been listed as a vacation rental. Its dismantle must have been shocking to residents of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, where the home was located, but it didn’t seem to make much of an impact on a national scale. Why? I think it might have something to do with Celsius.