By Bonita Davis, Master Recycler and SE Resident

Can anything compare to spring in our slice of Portland? Oregon weather brings us everything from sunbreaks, late snows and stormy rains resulting in unbelievable blooms.

Set to usher in spring, and celebrate Earth Day 2020 on April 22, we now find ourselves curtailing activities and distancing ourselves socially as a precaution from spreading the COVID-19 virus.

Celebrating will be different this year. Some events have been rescheduled but there is still a lot we can do, even if it doesn’t involve large gatherings.

For starters, why not enjoy our natural world? Go out for bike rides, hike or walk through our neighborhoods to get exercise and fresh air. It helps to remember what we are fighting for.

Put this time to good use by reviewing RecycleOrNo.org with your housemates and get your recycling on track, or how about using this time to plan for a compost bin or plot out garden or patio planters?

If you are staying in, what a great time to take a hard look at the excess clothes, shoes, appliances, toys and even food waste that have accumulated.

Start with clearing out, then strategize how to change up what is being brought home. Take aim at toxic home and garden products, then choose less toxic replacements.

In her inspiring book, The Parent’s Guide to Climate Revolution, 2018, a Eugene soccer mom and climate activist gives readers pages of ideas to involve any household in year-round activism.

Still focused on recycling alone as a strategy? Get inside the recycling process and learn why reusing and reducing might yield a higher impact by reading Adam Minter’s Junkyard Planet, Travels in the Billion Dollar Trash Trade, 2013.

Both of these books are available in eBook format through the Multnomah County Library.

This could turn out to be a very valuable time to reassess lifestyle habits and make changes that really have an impact.

Find great ideas for composting, gardening, natural pest control, natural cleaners and more at oregonmetro.gov/tools-for-living.

Park or greenspace information can be found at portlandoregon.gov/find-a-park.

You’ll find thousands of acres of greenspace opportunities at oregonmetro.gov/metro-parks-and-natural-areas.