For Earth Day, the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network (WAATPN) FACT group picked up cigarette butts while participating in Highland Community School’s Global Youth Service Day. We wanted to raise awareness about the negative impact that littered cigarette butts have on our environment. FACT is Wisconsin’s youth-driven tobacco prevention movement and our goal is to spread awareness about the negative impacts of tobacco-use, including on our environment.
Cigarette butts are made mostly of plastic and don’t break down. They contain toxic chemicals and that leak into our lakes, rivers and streams. In the neighborhood around Highland Community School we found butts around the school, the church, in the cracks of the sidewalk and in the gutters.
Picking them up made me feel great because we were doing something to make our community look better and helping our ecosystem as well. The truth is cigarettes are not just harmful to those who smoke them, but the littered butts hurt the environment too.
To join or learn more about FACT, visit www.FACTmovement.org.