Sierra Club: Break your routine this summer

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By The Staff

Have a great summer, Los Alamos! The Sierra Club would like to remind everyone to make time this summer to get outside and enjoy our community. Whether you take lunch at Ashley Pond, walk with family or friends on the fabulous trails in town or hike in Bandelier National Monument, be creative and break your routine.

Being outside helps us all take a deep breath and reconnect with the real world outside our offices and homes. Breaking the routine, helps to remind us that there are a million different ways to spend a summer evening outside our living rooms. These are lessons that most of us already know but it does not hurt to pay them lip-service.

As you might know or have guessed, I am a firm believer in the Sierra Club motto, “Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.” While it is true that all the continents have been discovered, there is still a wealth of people, places and things to explore.

As northern New Mexicans, we are lucky to have an abundance of diversity just beyond our doorstep. Hot springs, alpine forests, sandy lake shores and rocky overlooks are all in our proverbial backyard. All of these places offer more than just a pretty view, great mountain biking or climbing; they offer us a chance to stop and reflect.

While you are outside, say “hi” to your neighbors, pick up a piece of trash and enjoy the sunshine!

Personally, I find time out-of-doors helps me put issues into perspective and it reminds me how interconnected our lives are with our community. This is especially true in a small town like Los Alamos.

It is our responsibility to make Los Alamos the kind of town where we want to live. An upbeat, positive community is composed of small gestures of friendliness from neighbor to neighbor.

Give a bicyclist some extra room, maybe even a smile and wave. They are doing their best to help keep your gas prices down this summer. Stop and point out a neat mushroom to a fellow hiker, they will probably surprise you with their willingness to chat. Simply be kind and you will probably find you receive more than you give.

Chances are high that you already are friendly, and make a point to enjoy and protect our environment. Good job! I challenge you to take it one step further and devote some time to helping someone else share your perspective.

Take someone, with limited experience outdoors, for a hike. If you can not think of anyone, volunteer to be a Big Brother or Big Sister (www.bbbsnorthernnm.org or 1-866-983-8360). It is a great organization and focused on improving our community though positive, joyous interactions.

From the environmental perspective, I believe that one of the most effective methods of conservation is to open people’s eyes to the beauty and fragility of our natural world. The best part is that the process can be as fun and simple as going on a hike. Once we learn to value something, protecting it comes instinctively for most of us.

All-in-all, after watching everyone enjoy the great summer evening at Gordons’ Concert last Friday, I think Los Alamos is doing a great job. We have a great community and enjoy celebrating that with one another. On the other hand, like everyone, we have challenges, too. But, if we all give a little extra for the community, I think we will find that as individuals, we are the ones who, ultimately, benefit the most.

Again, from everyone at the Sierra Club, have a great summer. If you want to explore somewhere off the beaten path and make some new friends, join the Sierra Club for one of our regular outings (http://riogrande.sierraclub.org/pajarito/calendar.asp). If gas prices have you thinking about biking to work, but your bike needs a tune-up, e-mail me and I will be happy to help you get rolling.

James Thrasher recently became an active member of the Sierra Club and has lots of time on his hands due to a broken leg. E-mail him at james_thrasher@hotmail.com.