Cheyenne County, NE— February 6, 2020 — Keep Sidney Beautiful was invited to the St. Patrick’s Church Book club to discuss environment and recycling after the group read ‘Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home,’ an encyclical written by Pope Francis. In his writing, Pope Francis calls for “a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet,” and urges the whole human family to work together, knowing that change is possible. As stated in the subtitle, the theme of our planet being a common home is reiterated to stress the importance of looking at how one’s actions effect those around them. “Our climate is a common good belonging to and meant for all.”
During this meeting, KSB and the Book Club brainstormed ways to reduce impact and talked about being more aware of our actions. Everyone was asked to take a hard look at the price of convenience: is a grab and go single use water bottle, that will last in landfills for 500 years, worth the convenience of not having to fill up a bottle yourself? Is buying a multiple water bottles a day more cost effective than buying a water filter and reusable bottle? Is taking an extra moment to remember your reusable grocery bags, worth more or less than single use bags in the landfill? These two items are the most common forms of litter found in our streets, fields, and waterways, so by eliminating them from your routine, you are making a huge impact with little effort.
Different options for recycling in our area were discussed, from improving the services offered in Sidney and Cheyenne County, to utilizing services provided by our neighbors and Keep America Beautiful Affiliates in Kimball and Ogallala. In sticking with the “Common Home” theme of the encyclical, the group talked about how we can work with our neighbors to simplify our recycling, be more efficient, and help to keep our communities clean and beautiful. While Keep Sidney Beautiful works to address some of the limitations in Cheyenne County, community members can work together to make sure recycling gets to it proper place, by sharing transport and fuel costs, and educating each other about the benefits of recycling, reducing our dependence on plastics, and being more conscientious about our actions.