Author, Editor, and Florida Master Naturalist


Lighten Up!

Years ago, I had a friend named Beth Hollenbeck, who ran Eco-Action and the EcoStore, a retail store in College Park that traded in products made of recycled materials, organic cotton, or hemp – things like that. I met her when she was selling toilet paper made of recycled paper out of the back of her car. It was at an event at Mead Gardens in Winter Park before she opened the EcoStore. I bought toilet paper and other things at her store, including a horse head swing made from a rubber tire. She displayed a photo of my grandson swinging on it.

Eco-Action organized groups of people with canoes who pulled all sorts of nasty things out of the lakes around Orlando, often rescuing critters trapped in the nasty things. She and her helpers did thousands of weekly canoe cleanups.

She also wrote a quarterly newsletter, describing how to be a better conservationist and announcing canoe cleanups. I would contribute a short article to it once in a while. Beth wrote a column that appeared in the Fall, 1992, newsletter, but it seems she didn’t add a title. I’ve saved it all these years because I liked it so much. I wish Beth were still here. She was a breath of fresh air for the environment.

Lighten up.

By Beth Hollenbeck

Take in some fresh air and sunlight.

Become close friends with an animal.

Dream of harmony.

Sacrifice for love.

Face challenges eagerly.

Look through the eyes of appreciation.

Relish adventure.

Forgive your parents and cut yourself some slack.

Make someone happy.

Work for peace.

Never be disheartened.

Re-invent. Reach. Risk.

Refuse, resist, and reuse.

Make a wish.

Send little gifts in the mail.

Accept love.

Walk the dog.

Find your service.


Be silly.

Do not wait for a better world.

Show respect to your body and the earth.

Dance with the stars.

Let it go.

Expect the best.

Know all difficulties in your life have purpose.

Follow your bliss.

Practice acts of kindness.

What can you add to this? How about:

Read a book.

Listen to the birds.

Sit outside in the dark.

Hug your children.

Hug your friend.

Send a note to someone you know, just because.

Add some more. Send them to me:

© 2022 Peggy Sias Lantz - All Rights Reserved