April 22, 2022


“There are way too many people in there.”~my 7yo’s review of Where’s Waldo

--Jessie, @mommajessiec

weekly tip

We all know that exercise is essential for good health. But did you know that cardiorespiratory fitness can even boost your immune system? True story

trail talk

Mom guilt. It would be a miracle if there was any mother anywhere who doesn’t feel it—and, frankly, probably too often, too. But this essay by Lara Bazelon, and adapted from her book, “Ambitious Like a Mother: Why Prioritizing Your Career Is Good for Your Kids,” suggests that it’s high time we start thinking about the conditions of motherhood differently. That is, we all must accept and embrace the fact that there is no perfect balance in mothering between prioritizing our children and our other obligations, such as to our jobs. And that’s just fine. Because, as it turns out, seeing a mother’s ambition is as good for children, and as important to their development, as are her embraces and her freshly baked cookies. What a concept!

The pay gap between men and women—where in the U.S. women earn, on average, 82 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn—has been a perniciously slow problem to fix. But, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center, in 22 metro areas in this country, young women aged 16 to 29 are actually out-earning men now, sometimes by as much as 120 percent. Education levels, what industry women work in and whether or not they are mothers yet are all factors influencing the findings. And while the study is welcome news, whether or not the trend will persist as women age and many have children, is still not known. Historically it hasn’t. Here’s hoping for a new era.

trail magic

House plants are a lovely addition to any home. And, as researchers in England have discovered, some of them can significantly reduce air pollution from nitrogen dioxide (NO2) too. A study examining three common plants—the peace lily, corn plant, and fern arum—all of which are easy-to-care for and affordable, discovered that they were able to remove NO2 from the atmosphere in a test chamber, regardless of whether it was light or dark or their soil was wet or dry. The test chambers had NO2 levels similar to what you would find in an office next to a busy road. The scientists were then able to calculate what this would mean in a real-world environment and they found that five of these plants would reduce NO2 levels in a small, highly polluted, office by about 20 percent. Not bad for a little potted greenery, eh? Time to hit up the nursery…

Can the natural world have rights and standing in courts of law like people? If that seems an absurd question on its face, take a moment to read this piece in the New Yorker by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Elizabeth Kolbert. The story is about Lake Mary Jane in central Florida, which is suing (yes, the lake is the plaintiff here, along with a few other bodies of water and one human advocate) a real estate development on the grounds that the planned housing and office project would irreparably harm the lakes and marshes. As Kolbert writes, “Jane’s case is a first. Never before has an inanimate slice of nature tried to defend its rights in an American courtroom. Depending on your perspective, the lake’s case is either borderline delusional or way overdue.” And regardless of that perspective, we’re sure you’ll find the approach by those bringing the lawsuit on behalf of the lake a fascinating, potentially groundbreaking, strategy for protecting the environment.

trail treasures

The entire month of April is Earth Month, a time to celebrate the natural world. It’s also a perfect time to think a little more consciously about how we treat it. In honor of this time, you might check out some of the great sales going on now for sustainable and earth-friendly products. Companies selling make-up, clothing, home products and outdoor gear are all getting in on the action, including some of our favorites like Kleen Kanteen, Stasher and Rumpl.

Of course, we’ve got our own earth-celebrating sale going on at iksplor as well! Use code APRIL20 for 20 percent off when you check out!