STAINABILITY! All the talk. There’s hardly anything that can’t be stained. Clothes, furniture, the driveway, reputations. Even—undeservedly!—Real Journalism. Even things called …
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STAINABILITY! All the talk. There’s hardly anything that can’t be stained. Clothes, furniture, the driveway, reputations. Even—undeservedly!—Real Journalism. Even things called stain-resistant simply can’t resist. Going to Mars? Watch out for celebratory wine stains. Clearly, we need good people to fight this blight!
What?? Oh … SUSTAINABILITY! Sooo — when we fight the blight, it isn’t just unsightly stains, we need to sustain what we have, keep it going, clean it up while we’re at it. It’s really all the talk.
It’s talk and action because, cough, it’s a health matter—for People and Planet. If you breathe icky polluted air, and drink murky water, and eat chemicals, and live in a dust cloud, and find mammoth islands of mostly plastic refuse lapping at the seashore, and there’s more big storms and fires and droughts and your mood is glum — maybe dire — you do NOT feel well. Neither does Mother Earth.
Projects are going on, big and small, addressing tree planting, more open green space, walking and biking, composting, recycling, growing good things in good soil, harnessing the sun and wind, using crockery and silverware (or your fingers — “they were made before forks”). I heard that Mom Nature herself, with help from her friends, can clean up 37 percent of the problem. Encouraging! If you have a hi-tech thing, you can look up these topics, or just sustainability, or talk to your councilperson or pastor. Or even me. But Holey Ozone Layer, please DO get at it.
My neighborhood is gung ho to do a project. It’s the newest phase of its Founding Fathers’ ideals stated on Arbor Day 1886, when the University Park neighborhood began: to be a place of calm, conscience and culture, with clean air and open spaces, for “A healthy mind in a healthy body.”
These good Methodists came here from the confusion, dirt, noise, traffic, bad air and overcrowding of the city (Already! 10 years after statehood!). Clear air, scenic views, fields, fresh water, quiet — were just what their Denver Seminary — and families needed. In their first year, per wishes of the land’s donor, Rufus “Potato” Clark, they planted 1,000 trees. We should do that again.
For 132 years, UP residents have revered this legacy, and you may have, too, as you’ve done zoning, parks, mobility projects, INC, RTD, TREX, GDPs, SAPs — all the acronyms affecting quality of life.
Speaking of Q of L, we learned that ZIP 80216 has the worst air in the USA. Swansea/Elyria area. Not a “We’re No. 1!” statistic for our “great city.” It’s a siren call for attention. The University of Colroado Institute of Behavioral Science has a Denver Study of the Built and Social Environment (DBASE) in progress tracking health, behavioral and social features of all neighborhoods. Stay tuned.
The current Earth Movement may make you quake, but don’t be at fault for sitting by, making cracks about it. Holy Ecosystems! There’s hope — so let’s all save us, our grandkids and our planet. Plan it now.
Diana Helper is a writer, singer, neighborhood and open space advocate—including being a creator of the Buchtel Trail/Prairie Project—an INC delegate, and an active alumna of Oberlin College. She has written for The Profile for over 30 years; she and her husband John are longtime UP residents.
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