Keep Omaha Beautiful, Inc. is an environmental organization that does what its name implies. KOB is dedicated to litter reduction, beautification and education on recycling and solid waste issues.
In this interview, Cindy Smilley, the Executive Director of KOB since 1990, encourages everyone to connect with KOB. There are many opportunities for you to volunteer your time and dollars. Here is the link for you to explore ways to get involved with Keeping Omaha Beautiful.
1. What are the 4 easiest things that anyone can do right now to become a better recycler?
- Just decide to start recycling…..today.
- Find a place in your pantry, under the sink, or in the garage to place a recycling container. It doesn’t have to be fancy…just a box or container.
- Talk to your kids about the recycling numbers on the bottom of plastics and educate them about what can be recycled in Omaha (and in your area).
- Talk with your kids about recycling and have them watch you recycle…they can help too.
2. What are the neatest changes you have seen in how Omaha takes better care of our planet?
Strong environmental groups have started that are very inclusive. They work together rather than by themselves.
3. Name two companies that do excellent work in keeping Omaha beautiful.
When I started, in 1990, there were few companies recycling. Now, most companies recycle. For beautification, Valmont and Methodist Hospital do a wonderful job
4. The condescending terms granola and tree-hugger seem to have lost their bite. Why do you think that is?
Because the mainstream person living in the U.S. has been educated about environmental issues. They better understand the problems.
5. What is most interesting to you in the area of sustainability?
That many companies have a sustainability person on the payroll.
6. How is KOB engaging the public? Do you have a Facebook page? Where else can people connect with you?
KOB works with between 5,000 and 7,000 volunteers per year. We are probably the oldest–at 54 years old–and best known environmental organization in Omaha. Yes, we have a Facebook page. We prefer to talk to people via education in schools and day camps, through neighborhood associations, and speaking to organizations. Connect with KOB on Facebook here.
That people know that we have a storage facility located at 28th and Douglas. Any one or any group or organization may check out materials to clean the city. Call us at 402-444-7774 for more information.
8. What excites you the most in thinking about the future of sustainability?
Knowing my little grandchildren will have a clean and environmentally safe world to live in.
9. What do you say to a person who thinks, “I am just one person; how can I have an impact?”
Every day just pick up one piece of litter that is not your own. If everyone did this, we would have a cleaner city. Also, if everyone took a 5 minute shower rather than a 20 minute shower it would save lots of precious water. and you will be just as clean.
10. Cigarette butts on the side of the road are one of my biggest pet peeves. What are some of your environmental pet peeves?
Homeowners and businesses having their lawn sprinklers on when it is raining.
11. What is your favorite raw food.
12. What is your favorite outdoor activity?
Rock and fossil hunting.
13. When you are online, what are your favorite sustainability websites?
http://www.cutethingslaughing.com/ because it sustains me and my wellbeing!