A Butt-Free Nation This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


      Mysiblings and I started a litter campaign to try to get rid of cigarette buttlitter called "No Butts About It." We started almost seven years agoafter we got sick of seeing cigarette butts everywhere. "No Butts AboutIt" offers an easy solution to this problem that accounts for the mostcommon litter in coastal and roadside cleanups. Our goal: to make America aButt-Free Nation!

We created a poster proclaiming, "The earth is notyour ashtray, keep our earth clean" to help make people aware of theproblem; the more smokers are alerted to their other habit of dropped butts, themore quickly we will eradicate this problem. The poster portrays the earth beingused as a gigantic ashtray, and is hung where smokers drop their butts most often- beaches, parks and sidewalks. We send a free poster to anyone that they can putup.

We also distribute free disposable ashtrays we get from Smokers for aClean America. The ashtrays are used by individuals, businesses, counties and allsorts of groups. The smokers we have spoken to like being more responsible fortheir butts when there is no trash can nearby. And, it helps make a cleanerearth, as well as a safer environment for animal, marine and plant life. Thecampaign has won awards from Keep Florida Beautiful, the President'sEnvironmental Youth Award, and been featured in many publications.

Westarted a website and nowhave individuals and groups involved in 45 states. Groups in Canada, England,Australia, Guam and India have also started using the poster andashtrays.

We love nature and hate it when we see cigarette buttlitter. It would be great if all smokers could carry these ashtrays, instead ofjust dropping butts.

Do you know it can take up to 10 years for one buttto be fully biodegraded? Most people don't litter something as small as even agum wrapper, yet cigarette butts are still dropped. Smokers don't even think ofthis as littering! We believe that once people become aware of this problem andits easy solution, the idea will catch on just as not littering other thingscaught on in the '70s.

Some have expressed concern that the ashtrays couldpose their own litter problem. So far, however, this hasn't been true, just asthere isn't a litter problem with cigarette packaging. It's the habit of simplyflicking a butt that is the problem. Others say the best solution is to endsmoking. That would be ideal, of course, but the reality is that people can andwill smoke.

Our latest efforts have been trying to get legislation passed,on both the state and federal level, that would require cigarette companies toinclude a disposable ashtray in each pack of cigarettes. That way, themanufacturer would be responsible for providing an easy solution.

Sincewe started our campaign, many have become interested. We know our goal will bereached, but we'd rather it be sooner than later. The generations that followdeserve to inherit a clean earth.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback