Keeping the planet clean in February


Oh, them Romans! It’s the Month of Purification and fumigation, as we all—now—know. We must think about where to start!

The heavy equipment will move in soon. First, Feb. 1, Groundhog’ Eve we’ll start by honoring when the groundhog underground that makes decisions about next-day events due to—hiding away or out cavorting in one’s festive tutu. You’ll find out Feb. 2: six more winter-weeks? An early spring? Then party on with the birthday of our friend Shirley.

On Feb. 5’s Chinese New Year — the honor is big — eat all you want, it’s the Year of the Pig. Then honor Abe Lincoln born on Feb. 12, then Washington, who claims Feb. 22 all to himself. In between, Feb. 18, honor all prez with impunity, our annual expression of kindness and unity. Save love to honor the rose, candy, wines, cards, candy, cupids: Feb. 14 is Valentine’s!

February’s the shortest month; born on Leap Day, my dears, your birthday comes `round only every four years.

Now, what most needs February’s fumigation and purification??? Dirty old Planet!

And who’s responsible for getting out the scrub brushes and shovels? This isn’t a matter for feather dusters. We have dirty air, water, and, yes, dirty dirt. Need to compost, recycle, bicycle, plant and maintain trees and open green space. Build on hardscape, not permeable. Require construction/developers to include plenty of green space to serve buildings.

We need people of all ages to work, and they need good useful programs, mostly under the title of “climate change” for neighborhood programs, such as trees, gardens, for kids and everyone. Schools, churches. More and more are growing and in “cleaner dirt.” Amazing what they can do and how good you’ll feel. Just go online for climate change groups. Get in touch with Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation (INC), which has many communities involved. For all our health, including old Mom Planet!

Healthwise, we all could work on alternative transportation as better, cleaner exercise. Keep hearing about all these chubby kids who don’t have running space and will be waddling around. Then there’s the kids whose playgrounds are near high-pollution highways. Hack-kaff. The folks who have to stay in on asthma days. The pretty fit folks who’d be so much fitter out there walking and biking. Improved bus and train connections! Sidewalks and trails!

And blub, blub — water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink matter of oceans! Rising, warming, clogging, polluted—call in the purification team! Surely there’s a way to scrub water?

Imagine a great city all purified and fumigated. A great country, clean and green. A gleaming globe! Like a diamond in the sky!! Isn’t it Roman-ic? Make it happen.

Now hand me that compost bucket.

Diana Helper and her husband have lived in Denver for 63 years. She works on projects with the city, University of Denver, Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation and Open Space and Parks and Recreation.


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