The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Ohio Province has responded to Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ Action Platform by creating the Dorothy Stang Initiative for Laudato Si’ Action. While in the process of gathering data from sisters, associates, staff, donors and others in our circle, we were reminded that all steps we take are important - both big and small. We therefore introduce Your Little Bit of Good, a short weekly one-pager that focuses on some aspect of the environment. It is an attempt to bring forward small things we can do.

Teresa Phillips
Director of Justice, Peace and Care for Creation


Dear Mother earth, Who day by day unfolds rich blessing on our way, O Praise God! Alleluia! The fruits and flowers that verdant grow, Let them her praise abundant show. O praise God, O praise God, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

- St. Francis

Next Thursday starts the Season of Creation! I hope you will explore the offerings at their website. The launch event will occur 9AM local time.


The other day I was asked, what should I do with my batteries? Good question!

What complicates the question more is the various types of batteries in our world, from common household batteries to giant batteries used for storing clean energy. Depending on the type, batteries contain various hazardous and even toxic chemicals, including cadmium, lead, mercury, and lithium. When not disposed of properly, batteries will degrade and leach these hazardous chemicals into the air, water, and soil.

There are levels to the battery question. It is considered safe by some to dispose of household alkaline batteries in the trash. However, they do contain manganese dioxide, which is a cumulative neurotoxin in higher concentrations. So, it is still better to recycle them. Rechargeable batteries (both household and cell phone/device) contain many heavy metals and should always be recycled. In most places, it is illegal to throw car batteries away. They can be taken to auto shops to be recycled.

What about those batteries we will come to rely on as we increase green technology? Some people call this green technology’s “dirty secret.” It’s not really a secret, but it’s certainly not talked about much. Overall, even with the problems of the batteries, renewable energy is better for the planet. Currently, the problems with the mining of the raw materials needed to build these batteries as well as the disposal of them need to be addressed. Mining companies rarely concern themselves with the effects of their practices on the environment or the people. Many of these mines are on indigenous lands or are in countries where poverty abounds and the people doing the digging are exploited.

Rechargeable battery recycling is coming along, but still needs global regulation to ensure the safety of the planet and the people doing the work.


Read up on battery facts here.

Knowledge is power. You can find the closest battery recycler to you at Call2Recycle. Just enter your zip code in the zip code search. Many big home improvement stores have battery drop off.

If you are still unsure, you can contact your local solid waste district to find a local drop-off. Locally in Cincinnati, you can drop off many types of household hazardous materials at Cleanlites Recycling.