Dirty Butts

That’s it!!

I can’t take it anymore!!!

Today while we were at the park Evelyn literally slid into a dirty, disgusting, stinky cigarette butt. Ewwwwwe. Its bad enough that people are still smoking, leaving a plume of filthy smoke for me to inhale while I’m out for a walk, but to throw the icky butt on the ground just adds insult to injury.

Contrary to popular belief, cigarette butts are not made of cotton and they are not fast to biodegrade. They are made from the synthetic fiber cellulose acetate and can take up to 15 years to fully decompose. While they are unsightly to look at, they also contain all the chemicals filtered from the cigarette, which means as the butt sits in water or on land these chemicals are leaching into our water supply and into our earth.

When I see smokers casually flick dirty butts to the ground I want to not-so-politely remind them that butts are litter. It is estimated that 4.5 trillion cigarette butts worldwide become litter every year, and cigarette butts constitute 24.7% of garbage along international coasts. I’ll never understand why people treat beaches like large personal ash trays. Cigarette butts need to go into proper ash trays or waste bins once they are extinguished.

I beg you to forward this post on to every smoker you know. Ask them nicely to quit smoking. If they won’t give up their dirty habit, ask them nicely to quit dropping their dirty butts on the ground!

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8 Comments for this entry

  1. Emily says:

    Lovely family blog! Thanks for visiting mine!

  2. HomemadeMother says:

    Welcome to Homemade Mothering, Emily! So glad you stopped by!

  3. Just another blog says:

    I am quickly becoming your biggest fan! I am active duty military stationed in Germany. I am trying my best to go as green and Eco-friendly as possible. I notice a lot of your suggestions come from Trader Joes. We don't have one. I purchased some borax online because I can't get any here, but my husband, in his infinite wisdom, pointed out that I spent 5 bucks on something to make us more green and now a giant plane will emit toxic gases to bring me stuff. Now I feel guilty, so my question is, is it worth it to have items shipped to me?


  4. HomemadeMother says:

    Hi Jacinta! Welcome to Homemade Mothering – so glad you are here 🙂

    Your husband brings up a very good and valid point. There's no sense in shipping something halfway around the world in an effort to be extra green. I gave his point some consideration and here is my take:

    Liquid laundry detergents are mostly water, so when they are shipped from the factory to the store and then to your home, you are basically transporting water. One box of Borax and one box of Washing Soda will make a LOT of laundry detergent – I would estimate that you can probably get at least 15-20 batches of laundry detergent from these simple ingredients because so much water is added to the recipe. Also, the boxes are made of lightweight cardboard, rather than super thick plastic jugs. And, anyone who reads my blog knows how much I HATE plastic!!

    So, in the long run I'd guess it is better to order the ingredients and make the detergent yourself. Even if the detergent you currently use is made in Germany, the fact that you can get so many more loads out of one box of Borax seems to cancel out the damage done when its transported across the Atlantic.

    Let me know what you think – I'd love some feedback!

  5. Cigarette Sally says:

    It sounds just as bad as finding a dirty old cig butt in my toddlers mouth the other day while we were at the park! I nearly scared her half to death with the scream I let out!

  6. HomemadeMother says:

    Oh Sally that is terrible!! Who are the jerks leaving cigarette butts in a children's park?!?!?!?!

  7. concernedinottawa says:

    please teach your children not to put things they find on the ground in their mouths. maybe instead of coming down on smokers you could place a little onus on your self

    • Maureen says:

      Actually, my kids didn’t put the butt in their mouths (not sure where you got that idea as I didn’t say that in the post). The butt was sitting on the slide in a children’s park. In my opinion, cigarettes should be no where near a park!

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