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picking up litter - where to start?
January 6, 2013 - 8:55 pm

Hi Beth,

I’ve been enjoying your book and psyching myself up to take the challenge. 

I made a news year’s resolution to pick up litter every day – even if it’s just one item.

I know it won’t change the world but it’s at least a little something.

My question is – are there some types of trash that are worse than others? I consider plastic trash the worst since I know that it won’t ever break down and we live on the coast and I figuring that if it’s left on the ground it will eventually end up in the ocean.

Today for example we had a few minutes while my seven year old was waiting for his turn at indoor soccer. The boys and I went down to the football field and picked up plastic and styrofoam bottles and cups from under the stadium bleachers but it occurred to me that maybe my time would be better spent picking up smaller items such as cigarette butts or plastic wrappers. 

What’s your opinion?

Many thanks,


January 7, 2013 - 4:40 pm

I think, it is great that you start to pick up litter, I am picking up the litter on a regular basis, I even did that on a Christmas, here is my blog with pictures  http://ecopeaceful.com/blog/en…..-christmas.

I do pick up all plastics including wrappers, but I do not pick up cigarette butts, because according to various sources cigarette butts take 18 months to 10 years to degrade, it seems not so bad, compare to plastics wrappers, that will probably never biodegrade. 

Beth Terry
409 Posts
January 9, 2013 - 11:34 am

I think it depends on your priorities.  There is a woman, Danielle Richardet, who picks up trash on the beach with her kids and found that cigarette butts were the most prevalent form of trash, so she made a film about it and got smoking banned on her beach!  http://itstartswithme-danielle…..gspot.com/  To me, the most important things are whatever is likely to be washed down storm drains and make its way to the ocean.  I pick up a lot of bottle caps, straws, stir sticks, plastic bags, and wrappers.

January 10, 2013 - 9:21 am

hello all, have you heard about Terracyle? My friends collects some items and is very happy with the company. They certainly have many great ideas.


Recycling cigarette butts that’s genious in my opinion. 




Good luck and thank you all for all you do :O). Hana 

January 11, 2013 - 7:23 am

Hi All,

Thanks for everyone’s advice. I guess it’s up to me to decide how much time I’ve got to spare and how much good I can do with the time I have available.

I have heard of Terracycle because they accept those juice pouches (Capri Suns). I didn’t know about cigarette butts. I find that to be both genius and slightly gross.


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