Tossing your butts is mean, not green

A beautiful sight on a Sunday stroll.

By Mary Rose Roberts
I live next door to a commercial building that consists of a tattoo parlor, a laundry mat and residential rentals upstairs. For months, I’ve grumbled about the debris on the sidewalk outside the building—specifically the cigarette butts. As an ex-smoker, discarded butts are the last thing I want to see when I’m walking around the neighborhood.

Two weeks ago I started to hear about a new campaign, The 9/11 Tribute Movement. The movement organized a 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance where it asked citizens to honor the heroes and victims of 9/11 by performing good deeds, supporting charitable causes, volunteering and engaging in other acts of compassion.  In simple ways, people should use the day to better their community.

After a few piles. Looks great, right Bells?
So instead of grumbling, I spent Sunday sweeping sidewalks in front of the commercial building with a joyful spirit and the company of my black-lab mutt.  Cigarette butts and cellophane wrappers made up most of the trash, next to Subway cup lids and paper Hardy’s cups.

It made me think of all those times I had thrown a butt when I was young. It was disrespectable to my community and an eyesore. And it definitely wasn’t green.

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