see more butts

September 6, 2008 at 10:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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The world is your ashtray.

The world is your ashtray.

I’m not in a sunny mood so this will be a good day to put up a few posts about items that have been bugging me!  Venting into cyberspace might be a lot better than telling family and friends about it [people who have problems of their own].

15 years or so ago tossing butts out car windows suddenly became not the same as littering.  Before that people used to actually use the ash trays in their cars.  I remember riding around with people when I was a kid who had overflowing ash trays.  For 15 years they’ve only been used to store change for parking meters, and they don’t even put them in new cars at all. 

I see butts flying out the windows of everything from police cars to electricians’ and painters’ trucks to minivans.  The butts hop around on the road in front of you on the highway, and at night they hit the pavement with a shower of sparks.  The smell of the smoke comes in the air vents of my car even if I’m 75 feet behind.  Riding around town on a bike, you can’t find a three foot long section of road or sidewalk in the nicest, most well-kept neighborhoods that’s butt-free.  There isn’t anyplace, from the tops of the mountains outisde town to the beaches and deep in the woods where you can get away from them!  At bus stops, intersections and all along busy arterials they collect by the thousands.  There must be 15,000 butts laying on the pavement for every man, woman and child in Anchorage.  Considering each one is a toxic trove of deadly chemicals and materials that can take a decade to biodegrade, it’s an environmental catastrope. 

Street sweeps periodically pass by and scoop them up, but a lot of them wash down storm drains and into local creeks.  Boat captains and passengers throw their butts into the ocean, rivers and lakes directly.

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