The Monday Media Diet with Liz Turrigiano

On sustainability, Michael Pollan, and Patagonia

Liz Turrigiano (LT) was introduced to us by friend of WITI Clémence Polès (her MMD here). She came up in the ad world, and is now focused on helping new parents be less wasteful. Here, she shares some of her reading and other recs. We’re grateful to have her on the page. Have a good week. -Colin (CJN)

Tell us about yourself.

I’m Liz, cofounder of two businesses and co-parent to two little kids. Art school led me to advertising— and motherhood took me from advertising and dropped me in entrepreneurship. Being environmentally conscious was always a value I didn't want to compromise as a parent; and with over 32 billion diapers tossed into our landfills annually in the US alone, I felt like I had to do something.  I launched my first business (Diaperkind, a cloth diaper service for NYC) in 2009 weeks after the birth of my daughter, and started R+D for my second company (Esembly, a diapering system for sustainability) while pregnant with my son.  I’m born and raised in NYC and married to my high school sweetheart (crazy, I know). I love to travel and miss it almost as much as I miss my kids being in school full time.

Describe your media diet.

It has changed so much in the past year. Like so many others, I spend way too much time staring at my phone bouncing from Twitter to Instagram to Pinterest. I used to listen to music but I now find myself with an insatiable appetite for political podcasts and audio books. I held on for a while to my New York Times weekend subscription because I love the feeling I get when reading an actual newspaper/magazine. But I switched it to a digital subscription during Spring quarantine because running two businesses and helping my kids with virtual school left me with no time to read it and the pile became a major source of stress. I also love reading real books (though sadly don’t get to it as much as I’d like). My sister gifted me a Book of the Month subscription and I’m enjoying that. 

What’s the last great book you read?

The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan

What are you reading now?

I just started Between Two Kingdoms by Suleika Jaouad and it is giving me all the feels. I’m also reading The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart to my son and I honestly don’t know who is loving it more.

What’s your reading strategy when you pick up a print copy of your favorite publication?

I’m a very visual person. When I pick up a newspaper or magazine I scroll from cover to cover taking in all the imagery. Then I go back and read what interests me. 

Who should everyone be reading that they’re not?

Oh gosh. I wish I was that finger-on-the-pulse person who discovered things before they were hot. I have been truly inspired by Leah Thomas’s writing on Intersectional Environmentalism. I’m also a big fan of Alyssa Mastromonaco because we need more smart female voices in politics. We actually just created a digital Zine with graphic artist Reyna Noriega called Arrival. Through that, I was introduced to some incredible activists who double as wordsmiths— doula Djali Alessandra Brown-Cepeda, food activist Yolanda Owens, creator and podcast host Elise Peterson, herbalist Synmia Rosine, I could go on. 

What is the best non-famous app you love on your phone?

This is so lame, but I am currently obsessed with an app called Privilege Points. It’s a reward system type program that we have our kids on to motivate them to be a bit more independent. 

Plane or train?

Oh definitely plane. I’m incredibly impatient. It’s for this reason that I prefer biking to walking. Walking takes too long and I get restless 

What is one place everyone should visit?

El Chaltén in Patagonia. It’s magic. 

Tell us the story of a rabbit hole you fell deep into. 

You mean aside from researching how to avoid the dreaded eyeglass fog while wearing a mask? 

So in June I got a call from my kids' sleep away camp director letting us know that camp was cancelled for the summer. I knew it was coming but after the spring we had (two working parents, one launching a new company, and two kids in need of LOTS virtual school assistance) the official cancellation left me in tears. That night I couldn’t sleep and ended up on my laptop desperately looking for safe, fun, and affordable summer solutions for my kids while my husband and I worked. I was looking for a unicorn. And at about 4am I found it. A super-tacky above ground pool that would *just* fit into our small NYC backyard. Satisfied with my finding, I placed the order and went to bed. I woke up in the morning and realized I didn’t actually consult with my family on this very big purchase that would require some yard remodeling and leveling. Thankfully when the pool arrived a few weeks later everyone was pumped. My middle of the night deep dive saved our summer! (LT)

Thanks for reading,

Noah (NRB) & Colin (CJN) & Liz (LT)

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