After Successful Cigarette Butt Cleanup, Volunteers Add New Receptacles On Balboa

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Last month, a group of Outer Richmond volunteers, led by neighbor Pawel Dlugosz, undertook a cleanup sweep of outer Balboa Street, with the goal of ridding the street of litter—especially cigarette butts.


The group ultimately netted an estimated 6,000 cigarette butts, in what Dlugosz dubbed “a crowning achievement for the Balboa Village-Outer Balboa commercial corridor.” Now, they’re looking to keep the cleanup permanent by installing dedicated cigarette butt waste receptacles on Balboa. 

The groups involved—the Balboa Village Merchants Association (led by Cassava‘s Yuka Ioroi), the Surfrider Foundation, and the Richmond District Neighborhood Center (RDNC)—have settled on four locations for the receptacles: La Promenade (3643 Balboa St.), Hockey Haven (3625 Balboa St.), the Balboa Theatre (3630 Balboa St.), and Eat Americana (3532 Balboa St.).

The receptacles will be maintained, funded and emptied by RDNC, with the butts sent for recycling to TerraCycle, in New Jersey. 

The organizers are open to feedback about the locations of the receptacles; interested parties can email Shelly Ericksen, manager of Surfrider’s “Hold Onto Your Butt” campaign, at hotyb [at] sf [dot] surfrider [dot] org.

Once the group receives feedback on the cans, Dlugosz said, two more are expected to go up in the next couple of weeks.

http://hoodline.com/2017/04/after-successful-cigarette-butt-cleanup-volunteers-add-new-receptacles-on-balboa

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Butt Blitzin’ Across Canada with A Greener Future

[vc_row][vc_column][md_imagebox_full customize_messenger_channel=”preview-0″ customize_changeset_uuid=”0d22e971-b160-4eef-b8af-380baf2de839″ imagebox_title=”Join volunteers across Canada on May 6th to help reduce the number of cigarette butts polluting our environment. Last year we picked up 122,800 butts in one day and sent them to TerraCycle Canada for recycling, this year we have a goal of picking up over 200,000 but we need your help! ” imagebox_heading_size=”h6″ imagebox_description=”” imagebox_general_color=”rgb(0, 0, 0)” imagebox_text_height=”450″ imagebox_alignment=”left” imagebox_use_background=”yes” imagebox_background=”949″ imagebox_overlay=”yes” imagebox_overlay_color=”rgba(90, 31, 136, 0)” imagebox_button=”yes” imagebox_button_style=”fade-oval” imagebox_button_text=”Learn more” imagebox_button_icon=”icon-arrow-right4″ imagebox_button_color=”rgb(11, 85, 28)” imagebox_button_text_color=”#fff” imagebox_button_bg_hover_color=”#9b9b9b” imagebox_button_hover_color=”rgb(255, 255, 255)” imagebox_button_size=”standard” imagebox_left_right_padding=”0″ imagebox_button_url=”https://www.agreenerfuture.ca/the-butt-blitz/ ” imagebox_button_target=”_blank” md_imagebox_full_animation_speed=”200″ md_imagebox_full_animation_delay=”0.0″ md_imagebox_full_animation_position=”center” md_imagebox_full_animation_show=”once” md_imagebox_full_animation_easing=”Quart.easeInOut”][/md_imagebox_full][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The City of London’s 5 point initative to elliminate cigarette butt litter. ” No Ifs, No Butts.”

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1. Provision – Why are people littering? Not enough bins / Cannot find a bin.
Micro litter bins were designed that fit on street signs an lamp posts around the city. If people have the option of a bin they will use it. “The average pedestrian is willing to walk 9.5meters for a trash bin” – Keep america beautiful

2. Engagement – Bylaw officers hit the streets to talk to smokers about the impact of littering cigarette butts and to hand out reusable Pocket Ashtrays.

3. Education – Supplying education (through informative presentations & promotional materials) to local bussinesses helps information to cascade down to the workforce. Lines of communication are opened so local bussinesses can give feedback and make recommendations on how to improve the initative – they become partners.

4. Enforcement – Bylaw officers can fine smokers for tossing butts however (through a partnership the city has formed with the local health authority) smokers who are fined for tossing butts can have the fine waivered if they attend a smoking cessation program.

5. Partnership & Recognition – bussinesses sign on to a community charter and an award ceremony is held every year to recognize bussinses which play an active role in keeping the city cleaner.
City of London No Ifs, No Butts video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=izbbnaL4b0I

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Did you know?

[vc_row][vc_column][md_info_box customize_messenger_channel=”preview-0″ customize_changeset_uuid=”bda080b1-edfd-4246-9939-e11f27b9d0df” info_box_title=”Facts about cigarettes & the environment” info_box_checkbox=”no” info_box_description=”Health Canada performed a four year study of the correlation of fires & cigarettes and found the following…’In that time, 14,030 fires were started in Canada by smokers. These fires killed 356 people, injured 1,615 and cost more than $200 million in property damage.’ They also found that: ‘Cigarettes are the number one known cause of fire-related fatalities in Canada; cigarettes are the leading cause of residential fires in Canada; and fires started by cigarettes tend to result in more deaths and more property damage than fires started by other sources.’

Just one cigarette butt can contaminate over 40 liters of water with such delights as arsenic, acetone, ammonia, benzene, cadmium, formaldehyde, lead, toluene nicotine, heavy metals, benzene and other carcinogens.

Cigarette filters are the most littered item in the world.

An estimated 4.95 trillion butts are littered annually worldwide. Over 1.69 billion pounds.

Animals and children often ingest cigarette butts, causing serious health issues and even death.

Cigarette filters highly toxic and composed of cellulose acetate, a form of non-biodegradable plastic.

Studies have found that where Pocket Ashtrays were distributed, smoking related litter decreased by over 70%.

Filters traveling through storm drains and water systems end up streams, rivers, and waterways.

The cost of forest fires due to careless smoking in Canada was $26 million in 2002

According to The Canadian Community Health Survey the average percentage of the population of BC who identifies as a smoker is 14.3% . In the Okanagan the percentage is slightly higher at 16.5% . ” info_box_icon_class=”icon-earth2″ info_box_title_color=”rgb(16, 162, 3)” info_box_description_color=”#7e7e7e” info_box_border_color=”rgba(31,213,190, .1)” info_box_button=”no” info_box_button_style=”fill-rectangle” info_box_button_text=”View more” info_box_button_icon_class=”icon-empty” info_box_button_color=”#017eff” info_box_button_text_color=”#fff” info_box_button_bg_hover_color=”#017eff” info_box_button_hover_color=”#fff” info_box_button_size=”standard” info_box_button_padding=”0″ info_box_button_url=”#” info_box_button_target=”_self” md_info_box_animation_speed=”200″ md_info_box_animation_delay=”0.0″ md_info_box_animation_position=”center” md_info_box_animation_show=”once” md_info_box_animation_easing=”Quart.easeInOut”][/md_info_box][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Recycling Butts – How & Into What?

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Stick That Butt In Your Pocket!

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An interview with The Pocket Ashtray’s Jack Elliman & Sarah Clark.

Interview by Betty & Kora www.bettyandkora.com

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On Facebook you had posted the stat that ONE cigarette butt can contaminate 40L of water. What a terrifying fact! How much water do you think your amazing invention has saved?

A BUTT LOAD ! The numbers are all over the place as there hasn’t been enough clear studies. Butt … Our original stat of 1 butt can contaminate 40 litres of water came from a study where multiple fish died after being in water contaminated by only 1 cigarette filter. Throughout the years we’ve come across a few different stats regarding the amount of water that can be contaminated by 1 cigarette butt, it all depends on what the source defines as “contaminated” but we look at it this way: to fill a standard bath tub requires about 260 litres of water so if there were 1 butt per 40 litres then there would be 6 and a half cigarette butts floating around in your bath tub. Would you have a bath in there? Would you bathe your child or your pet in that water? Would you drink that water? So if we use that stat the number of liters of water we’ve saved from contamination could be calculated like this: 1 Pocket Ashtray can hold about 1 pack of cigarette butts, so 20 butts. Our Pocket Ashtrays are reusable and last a long time, we’ve come across people who still have their original one from 4 years ago. According to a Tobacco Report done by the University of Waterloo Ontario in 2015 the average Canadian smoker smokes 13.9 cigarettes per day which is 5073.5 per year. For the sake of having a fathomable number to answer your question – lets say 2/3 of Pocket Ashtray users are ‘average’ Canadian smokers. If we calculate this number using 2/3 of the Pocket Ashtrays we’ve distributed since the beginning of our initiative that would be approximately 46667 Pocket Ashtrays times 5073.5 cigarette butts per year times 4 years = 947060098 cigarette butts times 40 litres of water = 37882403920 litres of water saved. That is 10007472391 gallons. Ten billion, seven million, four hundred seventy two thousand, three hundred ninety one gallons. WOO! I dare say that is a modest estimation. In reality we have distributed over 70,000 Pocket Ashtrays over the past few years so that number could be much larger. However! This number is only valid if our Pocket Ashtray homies are sending their cigarette butts (for free) to our friends at Terracycle to be recycled. It is so important to set up recycling programs at all the festivals we attend. If cigarette butts are ending up in the landfill then they are still contaminating the environment. Although it’s better that they all be in one place our goal is to eliminate the impact that cigarette butts have on our environment so recycling the butts is mandatory in our minds.


If you could deliver one message to all the smokers out there what would it be?


Hey exile… You should probably stop smoking cause you’re good people, we need more people like you, not less of you. You need to live a long time and help make this world a better place for future generations, but if you’re going to smoke please be a responsible smoker. Respect. Next time you smoke, do it slowly, do it consciously, ask yourself how you feel while you are doing it physically and mentally, pay attention to how it really tastes and smells, and then ask yourself why you do it. If smoking has become a habit for you, try to slow down and pay attention to the reasons why you reach for your pack and your lighter – investigating our impulsive habits will uncover much truth within us and help us to lead lives which are happier and healthier. We encourage all smokers and non-smokers alike to take time to think about how their actions affect their environment, not just our natural environment but our social environment as well. Whether or not we realize it, our actions influence the choices of the people around us. People will see someone throw a butt or a piece of garbage on the ground and think to themselves, “well if they are doing it I might as well too, someone has to clean it all up anyway.” But if people see their peers making the effort to be respectful and pull out a Pocket Ashtray or find a garbage / recycling can, it spreads like wildfire, it helps spread a certain mind frame that is positive and action based, and in most cases other peeps will step it up too. It feels good to do good… Ghandi said it best “Be the change you want to see in the world.”


Kind of a loaded question, but what are your thoughts on the effects cigarettes have on climate change?


The coolest part about this whole initiative is how people start to think about their footprint. They start thinking about how even a small piece of garbage can be harmful to our water, soil, wildlife, and save tons of time and money. Quitting smoking and littering butts will not halt the trajectory of climate change; but it will help shift people’s perspective to a way of thinking that accompanies more responsible, respectful and conscious behavior, which is exactly what we need. The reason we are so passionate about distributing Pocket Ashtrays is not merely to curb smoking-related litter, recycle butts, and make money for charity, but to empower people to act more consciously, to connect with the impact their habits have on the world and to have that awareness transfer over into other areas of their lives. We’ve seen a domino effect happen with people who use our product, they start being more aware of litter and pollution in general. The Pocket Ashtray plants a seed and reminds you that your actions have repercussions and because it’s used several times a day, that seed gets watered and begins to take root in people’s minds, influencing the way they live their lives. Which also makes it a perfect tool for marketing and a great way to engage the public.


According to the American Burn Association, about 900 people in the United States die each year in fires started by cigarettes and about 2,500 are injured. About 100 of the fire deaths each year are children and nonsmokers. Nationally, annual human and property costs of fires caused by careless smoking total about $6 billion. In 1997 there were more than 130,000 cigarette related fires. These are some INSANE stats! Something that could be easily mitigated with the help of The Pocket Ashtray. How can people help spread the word about The Pocket Ashtray? Where can this wonderful item be purchased?


Yea the numbers are mind blowing when you really start looking at it. People can dig into our website www.braingarden.ca. There they can purchase boxes of 10 Pocket Ashtrays or they can view a map of the world which will show them where the closest distributor is so they can buy them locally (which is also more affordable because shipping is a bitch). On our site they can also order their own custom version, register to volunteer with our educational outreach teams around the world (we’ll train them and hook them up with free tickets to attend different events and handout Pocket Ashtrays), check out our photo galleries and more. From there they can hit up our social media pages and show their support by giving us some “likes” and “shares” etc. People can contact me directly via email, FB, Twitter, or Instagram too … or hell, if people want to really get involved and become part of our team they can call or text me at 250 938 4202. Many people don’t want to put their numbers out there and don’t want to really interact with people, but as you can tell I’m not scared of all that antisocial shit, I love talking to people on the phone! Anyone can call me.

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