No Buts About Butts: NO Smoking!

It’s official: Rosebrook Gardens is a no smoking zone! After years of accommodating guests and tradesmen, lately, the habit is driving me crazy. Littering, in general, makes me nuts, however, I never quite understand the mentality of anyone who flicks a cigarette butt and does not feel accountable, remorseful or disgusted by it.

This week, while working in the garden, I found some stubs and I was upset. “How dare they”, “How could they”, “Why?” All these things went through my mind. Truth be told, no matter how many times I say, “Please do not throw your cigarette butts on the driveway or in the garden beds” I somehow continue to find those yucky filters discarded on the property. Years ago I learned that cigarette butts are NOT biodegradable! It was then that I stepped up my vigilance, and demanded of anyone who smoked on the property to be responsible for trashing their own bad habit leftovers. I provide the ashtray, they provide the clean-up. Help me understand how tossing a cigarette butt is even an option. How did this become acceptable?

Being an avid gardener, I know that cigarette butts are also a big environmental issue globally. Butts contain hazardous chemicals that are trapped in the filters when the cigarettes are smoked. When a butt is tossed in the open, wind and eventually rain carry them into the water supply. The chemicals – including lead and arsenic – can then be drawn out, where they find their way into the ecosystems of rivers, lakes, and oceans, threatening not only the quality of the water but marine life, too. So it’s not just about my garden.

I have never been a smoker, and although I have had a cigar in my hand once or twice at a wedding or celebration, it was more for the show. When I’m done, I properly discard what’s left of it. Although I continue to be a true non-smoker, I have always had a high tolerance for others to smoke either in front of me or on my property but never, ever in my home.

This September 13, 2013, marks the day that Rosebrook Gardens both inside and out embraces the “Clean Air Act of Mar Jennings’, with no if’s, ands, or “butts.” Sure, smokers can come over! But should you need to smoke, you must leave the property. And you’d better watch your ‘ash’ should I catch you littering on the road, too.