RT @dtkachuk: @earthhour Earth Hour 2011 @ Moscow State University: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBMKrdUgMt0
I’ve stopped smoking (it’s been 6 days)
I have been smoking on and off since I was 15. When I stop I can stop for months on end and then something stressful will happen and I will start again.
I know, as everyone else does, that smoking is bad for my lungs, heart, blood vessels, skin, and just about every organ in my body. I know, as everyone else does, that smoking around other people is bad for them too. So far this knowledge has not been enough to completely stop me from smoking. I always end up back in the same situation - stressed and smoking.
So given that I evidently don’t hold myself or my loved ones in high enough regard to stop smoking all together, I wondered what other effects on the world it has when people smoke. So I did a bit of digging, and here’s what I found…
The chemicals used to produce cigarettes seem to fall in to 2 categories, the ones used inside the cigarettes (to control how fast they burn, preserve them, alter the taste, and so on) and the ones used in the production of the raw materials, (pesticides and fertilisers used in tobacco production, chemicals used to produce the paper and filters that make up the cigarette, plastics produced for the packaging and so on).
People drop cigarette butts all over the place. I often see, and am disgusted by, fag butts on the ground, just feet away from a bin and people dropping fag butts out of car windows as they drive. As a smoker myself I at least try to find a suitable place to dispose of my finished cigarettes, but many people who would not ordinarily drop cans, receipts or sandwich wrappers, think nothing of dropping fag butts. And fag butts are much more poisonous.
Lets say you are very conscientious about putting all your fags and cigarette packages in the bin. What happens to it then? Even if you send the paper parts of the packaging to be recycled, the plastic wrapping and filters end up in land fill. And from there all the crap can just leach back out into water courses and the ground when it rains. Great.
Most of our tobacco is grown in developing countries, with few if any rules and regs to protect those who work in tobacco production. Lack of education or protective clothing means that workers are exposed to dangerous chemicals throughout the production process. Not to mention the deforrestation engaged in in order to produce tobacco as a cash crop, or the poor working conditions and lack of workers rights and exploitation of child labour.
Cigarettes are produced by huge global companies who exploit their workforces, overcharge for their products, influence government for financial gain and pay no regard to the environment. I’ve just finished reading No Logo by Naomi Klein, and am now thinking hard about the places I spend my money. I do not want to give my money to cigarette companies anymore.
It’s time to stop smoking, I stopped last Monday and have been doing fine so far. I’m hoping this wont just be good for me but will go some way to my attempts at changing my life to help the planet as well.
Don’t believe me?
See what these guys say:
RT @mashable: WikiLeaks Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize - http://on.mash.to/fd5GwO
http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/protect - save British woodland
Act now and help us save England’s ancient forests http://t.co/Udn6BXT via @AddThis
Inside the dioxin scandal: the criminal machinations of the feed industry #green http://bit.ly/hbK0Z8 (buy local!)
Trying to get better at recycling - without too much effort!
We discovered recently (by going through our rubbish) that we were actually throwing away quite a bit of stuff that we should have been recycling. This was in spite of having a recycling wheelie bin from the council that takes glass, paper, some plastics and tins all in one bin.
It was because we were just putting everything in to the bins inside the house, so recyclables, for example toilet roll middles, were just going in the bathroom bin and then in to the waste. The only stuff we were really recycling was stuff that came from the kitchen, because we collect recyclables in the little laundry room next door to it, so they were making it straight into the right box.
I was a bit shocked by how much we were throwing out that should have been recycled. So I have bought a second bin for each room so we can separate recyclables right from the beginning without having to even think about it.
RT @treeyear: indeed RT @sofaflyer: @treeyear I’ve just read this not good news - http://ow.ly/3AoQD #tree