Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Clean community improves mindset

Kudos to Tony Evans for his insightful column "The Dalai Lama's brother" (May 4). He highlighted on the desperate need to find solutions to the enigma of a chronic and prolonged mental illness.

I have been concerned about going right off the deep end myself. I have renewed hope for improved mental health since last fall when my brother Jay's remains were found, bringing closure.

Evans' column reminded me that last month I heard the noted neuroscientist Dr. Richard Davidson speak to our community. Davidson said that studies show a direct correlation between one's physical and mental health and one's ecological footprint. I choose shrewdly that which I put in the garbage, which is very little these days. I reuse, recycle and compost. I notice when friends and businesses have a small waste trail and applaud them for it.

For Earth Day last month, Blaine County had a good-natured competition over which department was the "greenest" for the week, with employees earning points for recycling, using reusable cups, turning out lights, riding bikes to work, carpooling or taking the bus. Local post offices are now finally on board with recycling, and there have been great improvements at our Ohio Gulch transfer station. More cognizant restaurant owners are using free-range "happy" eggs and purchasing a large bulk of their food products locally. These leading examples give me great hope that we can transform the world into a better place for my beloved children.

On the flip side, I tend to become agitated when I witness those who need a sharp kick in the rear to improve their behavior. With our global consciousness orienting toward a better earth and abundant community resources such as the Environmental Resource Center leading the way, it shouldn't be that difficult to do the right thing. I implore our community to do its best to follow these leading examples, as a cleaner community makes for an improved mindset, within and throughout.



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