Virtual museum whose mission is litter-prevention by ARTiculating litter with humor, art and kindness. Kind of like Greenpeace meets the Dalai Lama. Museum's Goal is to go out of business because there's no more litter to showcase. Litter-art sales fund awareness, education & events.
HOW ABOUT A NPS CIGARETTE BUTT LITTER PREVENTION PROGRAM?
It's shocking someone would litter in a National Park.
It's not acceptable anywhere, but, come on, in a National Park? Who makes the effort to visit one of these iconic National Parks then toss their cigarette butt or candy wrapper on the ground? Lots of people, obviously. This is litter collected near the rim of Grand Canyon National Park:
The National Park System does have "no llittering" reminders but it would be great if they could promote a collaborative pro-active litter prevention program. They are in a unique position to educate as they have a captive audience who actually cares about nature and widlife.
Cigarette butt litter is the most prevalent form of litter in the parks (as it is worldwide). Here's some from Yellowstone National Park:
These butts were collected at scenic overview parking lots in about a hour and a half.
And these above from The Badlands National Park. Butts were BAD at Badlands! Sorry, I couldn't resist. Think it was 100 degrees out but I persevered and picked these up at most of the scenic overlooks in a couple of hours.
I have to believe the smokers who pitched these butts don't think they're littering. They can't possibly know these butts will pollute the lakes and rivers in Yellowstone and downstream, ending up in the ocean killing birds, fish and turtles.
The Museum of Litter believes we can eliminate all litter faster by focusing on cigarette butt litter first. Cigarette butts are mostly invisible in the environment. Most people don't think cigarette butts are litter. Smokers need to know cigarette butts are litter. TOXIC Litter. In a previous post we've sent an invitation to smokers: Smokers: Let's be friends.
Considering the vast number of people who visit our parks each year, it would be an excellent way to educate the most smokers in the shortest time. They are in an environment condusive to caring. In most any other venue a smoker would feel preached to yet they come to the parks with open minds, eager to learn.
This could be accomplished by a reminder at the entrance, a ranger or volunteer talk and signage at the scenic overlooks, stores and visitor areas where most of the littering occurs.
At these places, it would be interesting to see acrylic bins that hold cigarette butts collected the previous day. When you see them all in one place it really puts it in perspective. It's not invisible anymore.
Better yet, the cigarette butts can be upcycled at Terracycle.
The collection receptacles could be clearly marked with an upcycling logo and information about the useful products that can be made from upcycled cigarette butts. NPS could become a leader in educating people about the perils and potential of cigarette butts.
Once smokers realize a) this is toxic litter that's harmful to the environment, and b) the butts have value and can be upcycled, it would be interesting to see if there is a reduction in cigarette butt litter. Smokers could do their part for the environment by depositing their butts in the butt bin and hopefully continue to be responsible smokers after they leave the park.
What do you think about having this important education in yOUR National Parks?