I wanted this to be a fountain of knowledge but let face it, its a junk drawer of word vomit with morsels you can use.
But for those who want to know:
I'm a singer, writer, and queer teaching artist who enjoys talking out loud to himself
So you followed my Eco Gift Guide and want to go above and beyond on your sustainable gift-giving. During the holiday season, we throw away literally TONS of garbage. A Stanford study shows that Americans throw away more than 25 million tons of garbage from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. As easy as the thought of recycling paper may be, most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable. While shiny, laminated wrapping paper may be adorable, it could include toxic, unusable materials, and incorporating them in your recycling bin with other paper products will make the whole load un-recyclable. Approximately 4.6 million pounds of wrapping paper are produced each year, and about 2.3 million pounds of it ends up in landfills. With that in mind, here are a few excellent low and no waste hacks to wrap any gift.
With the current events and Climate Change being at the forefront, it’s no surprise that Sustainability is the topic on everyone’s lips. This Holiday season, prep your favorite people with these fantastic eco-friendly gifts. With different price points, you’re bound to find something they’ll love.
Dear Mr. President, ‘Tis the season of gratitude, and in that spirit, I wanted to take some time to reflect and give thanks. To be completely candid, I’m far from your biggest fan, and when you were elected, I felt extremely disappointed and afraid. I knew when we were in for a hell of a four years when a customer was brave enough to ask me what I was going to do when the wall gets built and I “have to go back where I came from.” Nevertheless, I tried my best to find the silver lining that would be this dark cloud, even if that silver lining was a light at the end. In the end, I’d like to thank you. But where do I start?
So they broke your heart. It's only understandable that you feel sad and wonder what happened for a while, but the only thing that hurts more than your heart is the burn you’ll be feeling in the gym. Soon the light at the end of the tunnel of despair will be your reflection with a body and confidence that will stop traffic. But where to start? Step 1: The Music.
The color red is often associated with danger or used as a warning. It has also been used to show resistance and courage. One group has taken the color to another level and created a movement with cosmetics. With the pandemic causing tensions to run high as we are forced to stay home, this has created another global crisis. Domestic abuse has risen worldwide as more families are forced to stay home with the added stress of Covid-19. UN Secretary General António Guterres tweets, “I urge all governments to put women’s safety first as they respond to the pandemic,” as layoffs and record unemployment cause surges in domestic violence cases. One organization is using cosmetics to bring this violence to light and empower people all over the world to fight back and support the people affected. You can join the movement, too, and it's as easy as opening your makeup bag.
Growing up as a little gay boy in a Latinx household, I was obsessed with special events; Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Birthdays, Parent-Teacher Conferences, anything that gave a reason to break out the “nice clothes.” As much as I loved my vests and perfectly shined cowboy boots, I was always mesmerized by the clacking of my mother’s high heels on our hardwood floor. They only came out on such occasions, and the outfit was never complete without the tube of Red Lipstick coming out before we left the house. It was then that my mother became much more than that. She became a superhero. Suddenly there seemed to be no obstacles; no language barriers, no need to ask for permission. She was a charmer, sweet talker, a fearless mama bear. As I got older, I would overhear my mom give life lessons to my sisters. Coming from those red-stained lips, I would pretend she secretly included me in the conversation on how to be a strong, fearless human being. As I got older, I held on to those lessons, and it wasn’t until the moment I picked up a tube of red lipstick that I realized how transformative a red lip could be. Yes, even for men.
This collage is from my first trip overseas. I was 23, just got my passport and was ready to fill it with adventures. I didn’t have a professional camera at the time, so I download a photo editing app, Cymera, to create my own postcards. Being a fan of the writer, Heinrich Heine, my first stop had to be his birthplace, Düsseldorf, Germany. Located in West Germany, this riverside town instantly stole my heart. It was like a dream being there; being face to face with things I’ve only seen in books. I was blown away with the modern architecture hidden within a forest. This city has a perfect balance of a high tech big city with an old-world charm that you would expect in any other historic city. Being there reminded me of all the settings and poems in Heine’s books. Being an opera singer, I couldn’t help but hum songs of other Düsseldorf natives. Before flying out, I did a little research on things I shouldn’t miss.
With everything going on in the world, it's very easy to stay home and become a couch potato. As most of us work and learn from home, we find ourselves ordering more takeout, mindlessly snacking, and snuggling at home with a good movie and a glass or two of wine. While this all sounds like a relaxing day, we are more than likely depriving ourselves of vitamin D from being out in the sun. Because of this, we’re probably feeling sluggish, bloated, and depressed. I know I have. Now more than ever, it’s important to stay active. One of my favorite ways to focus on feeling good, energized, and helps me release all those endorphins to get my day started on the right foot is hiking. Even with a hike related injury, I find a way to get out of my head and lose myself in the breeze. This is something that everyone, at any fitness level, could benefit from.