“The girls were shocked at how many cigarette butts were lying around and the conversation was had about fires and how dry it was getting at the time of our clean up. Some suggestions were to have sand pits for butts so that it wasn’t left to chance that they would go out without starting a fire,” says Annette Bright regarding her Cheers 4 Lethbridge post.
Annette is a co- leader for the 7th Pathfinders (ages 13-15), Girl Guides of Canada and their recent community work included the shore clean up at Henderson Lake.
Annette says, “Henderson Lake was the ‘shoreline’ theme and the girls love to play at the park so it was a good fit. We get bags and lists to track what types of items we pick up.” The abundance of cigarette butts validates the claim by Zero Waste Canada that cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded waste product in the world. The David Suzuki Foundation also notes that the environmental impact of cigarette butts are nothing to sneeze at and they advocate “Let’s Get Serious About Cigarette Litter -no ifs, ands or butts.” Both sources suggest more publication education informing consumers of the risks (besides fire if butts are still lit; toxic butts can be ingested by children and animals, especially birds and marine animals). Increased availability of butt receptacles may be a solution.
She says besides cigarette butts there was also “construction garbage, plastic and Styrofoam packaging etc. The girls thought the winds would have contributed to the amount of litter found within the rocks. Eight girls and two leaders participated in the cleanup -The Girl Guides in Lethbridge are also very involved in Coulee Cleanup and the Yellow Fish Road project which raises awareness of pesticides and garbage working their way into our water system.”
Annette moved to Lethbridge in 1981 and says “I love the size of Lethbridge and the educational opportunities, with both a University and College. As I am involved in Girl Guides we are always thinking of ways to volunteer and make a difference. Cheers 4 Lethbridge is a very community minded initiative and I was excited to be part of a larger movement!”
Share your 4 things on the Cheers 4 Lethbridge website: www.cheers4lethbridge.ca and don’t forget to pick up your gold ‘4’ pin at the Lethbridge Public Library or at City Hall. You can also keep up to date about the campaign online at www.facebook.com/cheers4lethbridge/ or drop by the Library, ask for a post it note and share your actions on the Press Wall.