Cigarette Butts


It’s all coming back to me now.  Cigarette butts are the bane of my existence. Ok, ok, so that’s a little bit of an exaggeration. When we last camp hosted I distinctly remember spending a good deal of time picking up cigarette butts. And we are doing it again this year.  Funny how smokers may clean up all the paper and trash from their campsite but often they leave all their butts scattered about as if they weren’t litter.

Cigarette butts on the street
Please take a moment to click on the image to see a paper about the hazards of cigarette butts in nature.

It’s a personal bugaboo of mine.  I hate them:  cigarette butts.  It’s variously claimed that those filters take between 18 months and 10 years to disappear in nature. But they haven’t really gone anywhere because the toxins they contain can poison critters. Only 1 cigarette butt in a pail of water makes the water poisonous to many of the teeny tiny lifeforms eaten by fish.  And the tar and other poisons can pollute the ground from which other animals feed.  Those fibers in the filters aren’t cotton, they are little strands of plastic — some 12,000 of them in every filter — and they don’t degrade like natural fibers do at all — they are around for decades and decades.  Do click on the image above to go to a paper about the plague of cigarette butts!

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to cigarette butt pickup we go!
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to cigarette butt pickup we go!

The CORPS have nicely fitted us out with a litter picker tool.  And we have one of our own.  It’s not something anyone LIKES doing — chasing after the butts of some inconsiderate smoker who has strewn butts all over their campsite.  But, you know there’s something almost Zen about the process.  We’re outside — usually after the crowd of campers has left or are leaving,  so the sounds of the forest come back to the fore after having been drowned out by the happy sounds of people enjoying themselves.  We have no particular schedule to meet, so we can wander off into the forest edge when we see something glistening and it becomes a way of really communing with nature.  You don’t see people sitting around patting Momma Nature on the head (as if she had one)  but I guess wandering around picking up butts is like a momma monkey looking for fleas on her baby or running a tick comb through your dog’s fur — to me it’s a way for me to “care for” my planet.  It’s not a posh job, but it’ a job that needs doing.


Today should be laundry day and I think while Peg’s at the laundromat I’ll try to take my air filter cover over to the truck shop to see if I can get one of those turnbuckles, or a new cover.

Technically, it’s our day off but because there’s not that much that we really have to do here we’re still here and take questions and such even on our days off.  There won’t be much activity today anyway.

So, there you have it.  Another morning ramble with Peter.  Thanks for stopping by and I’ll be here tomorrow to chat.  Why not stop by!

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7 Comments

  1. I like you litter picker. Is that the style you own? Is the length adjustable?

    I tend to pick up micro-trash. If it catches my eye as not fitting into nature, I try to pick it up.

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    1. Jim — we have one of our own — it’s outside in the cold right now and I don’t know who made it. We also have one of the CORPS pickers. they aren’t all that different. Pretty basic actually. The only real difference is the orientation of the jaws. I like the one that has jaws that are at right angles to the handle.

      Length is not adjustable. Have never seen one with adjustable length. They fold in half for storage. Meaning, if you are using them a lot I always electrical tape mine so as to strengthen the joint.

      We have always stopped to pick up litter when we see it. Anything that doesn’t belong. Specially the little things. And we have learned to despise S’Mores because campers throw the Hersheys Kiss wrappers on the ground, into the fire, all around…. GRRRRRRRRRRR

      >

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  2. Maybe you need to go start picking up butts while the campers are still packing up. Maybe, just maybe, if they see you cleaning up after them they will be embarrassed by that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m afraid the rangers wouldn’t be overly happy with that. But — it’s a fact of life that people smoke — and that’s one of the reasons they need us. So, I’m not going to look a gift site in the mouth. 🙂

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