Anita and Guido Rivero, multitasking for the environment

DOWNEY - We spoke last week of Sharon Phillips, who has found a meaningful avenue through her personal life to contribute to a cleaner Downey.But Sharon is not alone. Anita and Guido Rivero have lived in Downey for twenty-eight years. They raised their two sons here, and one still lives a few doors away from his folks. They too have discovered a motivation in their own personal lives for an ongoing and meaningful effort to help keep their Downey community a little cleaner and more litter free. Here's Anita in her own words: "My husband Guido retired from thirty-two years of teaching several years ago, and we started going for daily walks together in our northwest Downey neighborhood. We noticed a lot of discarded trash, such as fast food cups, wrappers, paper bags, as well as discarded plastic and glass bottles and cans. "I would bring a used plastic market bag and a rubber glove, and Guido would bring a gripper stick to pick up any recycling, such as cans, bottles, or anything we saw that should be recycled. We started with the bottles and cans to recycle, and then we got motivated to take it a step further, cleaning up the streets by picking up things that bothered us. It is easy, and we get more exercise than if we just walked. We don't pick up every piece of trash we see, because then we wouldn't get our walk done; we just pick up trash that bothers us or that would be a big improvement if it was off the street. "I like being able to do two things at once, getting exercise and cleaning up our part of Downey. I like seeing the streets very clean without trash littering them. If everyone would pitch in and help pick up a few things, we would have a very clean and beautiful city. We cannot force others to pick up trash, but we can motivate ourselves to help keep Downey clean." Anita's broader views on the environment are consistent with her quiet activism on the streets of her neighborhood. She is concerned about global warming and the health of the world's oceans, and she and her husband have chosen for years in favor of reusable shopping bags at the grocery store. As surely as Sharon Phillips and Anita and Guido Rivero have found a niche in the northwest corner of Downey, there are other Downey citizens quietly making a positive contribution to the state of the environment in our local community--whether it be litter cleanup, bicycling to work, or an environmentally friendly family activity. If you know of one of those people with a special story to tell, please contact please contact Lars Clutterham at

********** Published: October 06, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 25