A Man Crawled Into A Dumpster

43648586_10155067784098039_9207806800496164864_nSounds like a joke set-up but it’s not. Last month, I witnessed a guy get into a dumpster and close the lid. He didn’t come out. After 30 minutes, I called the police thinking what if he was sick, wounded, dying? Two squad cars responded within 5 minutes and he turned out to be none of those. But he was clearly disheveled, disturbed and in trouble. This incident weighed on my heart. How does one get to such a low point in life as to seek refuge in a dumpster? More importantly, what could I or anyone do to help? The mental health system continues to be overwhelmed. Police are getting special training in counseling and intervention. Street drugs have become the norm. Homelessness has arrived at our doorstep. So again, what can be done to help? I called back the police to thank them for their quick response and to ask what they suggest if a citizen wants to help in prevention or solution? The answer? 211. Ever hear of it? Me neither. Apparently, a lot of folks don’t know about it including my neighbors, my dentist, his assistant and pretty much anyone I’ve talked with in the last few weeks. 211 is the 911 for resources. Everything from suicide to abuse to hunger to shelter to senior needs and paying bills. It’s a clearinghouse for 50k programs and over 3k agencies across the nation and Canada. Anyone can call the 211 hotline and talk to an operator who is trained to listen and provide appropriate connections. Part of the 211 manifesto reads: WE BELIEVE in the transformative power of collective action. So do I. Please share this number. Visit 211.org to learn more about services and volunteering opportunities in your local community. Shine the light!

Here’s the Facebook page for the Oregon area.

The Clear Gift of Humor

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SPLASH, Eugene Levy, 1984, (c)Buena Vista Pictures

What a week I’m having! If 2017 has been as full of angst for you as it has been for most of us, you’ll enjoy the suggestions in my December Enews. This issue features a nod to laughter, seasonal donation opportunity, help from a fellow blogger, favorite product tip and a first time offer for 30% OFF A Clear Place Wisdom Cards. Here’s to lightening the load with humor … and a bright holiday for all! View the good stuff now.

Solution for Styrofoam Scourge

Styrofoam (1)The waste industry has made major strides in coming up with ways to recycle our refuse. Everything that is except those ginormous blocks of Styrofoam. You know the ones – hermetically sealing everything from flat screen TV’s to furniture and glassware. Even if you break them down into tiny pieces, the choice for disposal is still an ugly one: landfill. UPS takes peanuts but not blocks. The only recycling center in Portland that took Styrofoam stopped accepting it in March. Now what? Enter Agilyx – an energy alternative company located in Tigard, OR. Implementing new technology in renewable energy and chemical recycling with a focus on environmental impact; the company broke ground this year on a facility that will convert polystyrene foam (foam cups, packaging materials) into styrene monomer. Reducing to the monomer form allows for global reuse in tons of ways. Fuel, helmets, housing … sky’s the limit. Best part for Portlanders? Consumers can drop off their Styrofoam for free. YAY! I spoke with the folks at Agilyx to confirm the free part and they shared that there are bins available 24/7 at their facility. Make sure your foam has the “6” on it and that it is clean and dry.  If you are a business or have more than a truck load, contact Agilyx  at 503-217-3160 to schedule a drop off time. Click here for map and more info. Not in the PDX area? Visit Home for Foam to find recycling near you. Until manufacturers are mandated to use earth friendly packaging, let’s do our best to dispose of stuff mindfully. Here’s to creative solutions and making Earth a clearer home for everyone.

Photo courtesy of NRWS, Paradise, CA.

The Energy of Passion

light-brain_132796_4Find out why passion matters and view examples of two gals on opposite corners of the country who prove it’s never too late to explore your own. Also, get a neat repurposing packing tip and learn about a nonprofit whose mission combines education, recycling and art around the globe. View A Clear News November and Happy Thanksgiving!

Clear News from La Conner!

cable boxCelebrating my first issue from my new apartment above (as in 19 steps up) and right in the heart of La Conner, WA. Get some fun tips on dealing with small space challenges (including a lead pipe in the floor) and be inspired to find thrifty ways to arrive at your own clear place. Enjoy latest issue now.

 

Clear News March 2016

matt damonMatt Damon, Socks for Water, IKEA, and Earth Hour are all part of this month’s Clear News. Find out how you can help support Water.org in their global game changing programs. It’s tax time so I’ve included a reminder on what you do or don’t need to hang on to and tips on how to finally get on top of that paper clutter mountain. Plus, get some help with keeping your brain clear … something we can all use! View now.

Clear News Feb 2016

IMG_20160207_150114Learn about the queen of spices and how you can support efforts by Heifer Intl to raise its farmers out of poverty; peek inside a $20k home designed by Rural Studio; get an online tool that helps you determine the dollar value of your stuff; listen to my top picks for music guaranteed to put a wiggle in your clearing out tasks … and more. View Clear Ways to A Better World – February 2016. Enjoy!