The fires are still burning in Oregon and California, and many thousands of folks have lost their homes. Locally, the winds have shifted, so we here in Portland are not suffering. The only damage we have so far is that my bonsai, The Hundred Acre Wood, was left outside for a few days of smoke, and its leaves have shriveled.
I’m not sure if it is totally dead or if the smoke has just caused it to go into a sort of premature hibernation, but for now it is getting regular care out on the balcony. We will see what happens come Spring.
We walk around our neighborhood a lot, and when we do, we notice things. New paint jobs, blooming cherry trees, sunflowers taller than our heads. And sometimes, trash. Sometimes, a lot of trash.
This morning Auntie Bridgett and I gathered up our trash buckets and bags, our new grabbers, our new VOTE masks, and headed out.
Our day working with SolveOregon.org last month made us feel empowered to help. We don’t have to just step over the trash and disapprove of it. We can DO something about it. It is what my dad would want us to do.
We picked up lots of paper and cigarette butts, beer cans, old nasty socks and even masks. Following the SolveOregon guidelines, though, there are some things we won’t touch. These jugs, for example, contain materials that are likely to be toxic, and have been sitting on this curb for months and months.
I have researched which city department is in charge of removing such things (Environmental Quality) and called to make them aware of the situation, and gave the address.
I like that we can take charge of a part of our world. Little changes can help. Litter pick up. Donations to local charities. Buying from local shops. Voting, voting, and…. voting.
Acting locally, making a difference.