October 23, 2023
Bin Your Butts goes mobile
By: Jeremy Kranowitz
Allow me to the set the scene: a friend of mine was standing in her kitchen, carefully removing a staple from her tea bag, so that she could compost it. She considered herself an A+ composter and was happy to be doing her part to live more sustainably. The television was on, and as she looked up at the screen, the news broke of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. My friend was devastated and started to question why she even bothered with the tea bag staple in the first place.
Instead of giving up, she doubled down with her efforts. She encouraged more people in her neighborhood to do more to be more sustainable like:
- Walking and biking more for short distance errands
- Not idling their car engines to save fuel
- Wasting less food and composting the scraps
- Planting trees in their neighborhoods
There is a Jewish tradition that I love that states, “you are not obligated to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it.” Individually, we can’t solve the environmental problems of the world, of our country, or even of our own neighborhood. But that does not free us to throw up our hands and do nothing. Quite the contrary; we all should do something every day.
That brings us to some advertisements that folks in Indy might start seeing on the backs of IndyGo buses. We’ve developed signs with a skull and crossbones, the warning sign for toxic elements, and the design is made up from hundreds of cigarette butts. Learn more here.
Cigarette butts are individually small but are an enormous problem globally. Over 9.7 billion cigarette butts are discarded in the U.S. every year. That’s enough to circle the globe 7 times! Cigarette butts contain plastic and other toxins that are dangerous, especially if consumed by pets. They also don’t degrade for years. I know that many folks think it’s just paper, but that’s not true. The filters pollute our waterways, which then have to be filtered before being back into our drinking water.
Everyone can play a role in helping to remove cigarette butts from our streets and sidewalks. Here’s a few ways to get started:
- If you smoke, make sure you extinguish cigarettes fully, and put the butts in an appropriate receptacle. Many bars and restaurants even have designated bins for cigarettes.
- Join Keep Indianapolis Beautiful on one of our many neighborhood Great Indy Cleanups or at a “plogging” event where we meet at a brewery, clean up a neighborhood and then enjoy a beer together.
- Become an Adopt-A-Block Captain. We have 1,000 residents in Indy who are all doing their part to pick up litter along the way. Join the group, and make your neighborhood cleaner and greener for everyone on your street.
- Make a donation to help us purchase litter removal supplies and spread the word to stop littering. KIB uses its resources responsibly – we have top ratings from the two major charity watchdog groups Guidestar and Charity Navigator.
Let’s chip in and do our part today and every day. Thanks for joining us on finding a solution!