Mom wanted me to leave the butts scattered to have her son pick them up. Litter abatement rule #1: Don’t let litter linger. Deal with it.
Sonny Boy and his friend take their smoking out to the curb. I have a different idea of the word ‘curb.’ That is to curb the practice of littering. Last night’s deposits, scattered at the foot of one driveway, were prolific and unprecedented for our tiny suburban street. Twenty-four Belmont cigarette butts displayed their plastic filters like shameless exhibitionists. I couldn’t wait to whisk them away, a task that took less than a minute.
One thing I know about litterers, they hate the thought of being seen. That’s why so much of littering in adults occurs mostly when they are alone, where the act can occur seemingly out of view and by stealth. (Youth, on the other hand, tend to litter in a group, according to data from Victoria, AU.)
I told mom to let her son know I can see his curbside retreat from my window. Okay, I dropped the words “YouTube”, “viral” and “$365 fine” into our conversation. Everything I said was delivered in a most pleasant and friendly tone. I shook dad’s hand. Mom said she hates litter.
I am confident that this particular cigarette litter eradication problem is now solved. Son now knows someone is watching and he will undoubtedly tell his friend. One of my favourite sports is cajoling smokers into not littering anymore. This day's outing was 100% successful.