SEATTLE SURFRIDER CHAPTERDedicated to improving the health of Puget Sound and Washington Coast More Details
The Surfrider Foundation is on the prowl! Sunday, April 19, volunteers from the Seattle Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation scoured up and down the blocks of Capitol Hill in search of cigarette litter. Unfortunately, the butts were not very difficult to find and after visiting less than 10 establishments in 3 blocks, the total was over 2,000 butts in one hour.
The main “hot spots” were the local bars. Performing the cleanup on a bright and sunny Sunday morning, volunteers were able to clearly see the dismal effects of a weekend full of customers stepping out for a smoke. Sadly, the disposal strategies were not quite environmentally friendly. Possibly from the lack of cigarette disposal cans around these bars, members of the Surfrider Foundation found cigarette butts in bushes, planters and even around trash receptacles. Of course there were some exceptional businesses. For example, Unicorn had a spotless street. The Unicorn’s no cigarette litter policy really made a difference. While the number of cigarette butts found around most bars averaged 300, Unicorn had a butt count of just 2.
Obviously, if people are encouraged to keep their butts off the streets, they do just that! Installing cigarette canisters in the “hot spots” of Capitol Hill will drastically reduce this number and keep our streets cleaner and healthier!
The differences between litter free streets and littered streets were drastic. Most obviously, the appearance of the sidewalks after being cleaned of cigarette butts looked much more vibrant and attractive. This makes the community look safer and increases appeal for recreational activities.
After picking up the cigarette butts volunteers also spoke to some members of the community. While some passerby’s happily cheered our efforts to clean the sidewalks, employees of the local bars gave some encouraging comments. Since businesses usually don’t prefer to have heaps of cigarette butts lying outside their establishments, many employees are charged with the task of sweeping the sidewalks. When Surfrider volunteers approached these workers, many were passionate about the Hold On To Your Butts program. They expressed how wasteful it was to spend time picking up litter when there was such a simply solution – putting up cigarette canisters. If we Seattleites don’t like sweeping cigarette butts, and we don’t want to see them polluting our community, supporting programs like Hold On To Your Butts is crucial. Check out the photo album of evidence and see if your favorite bar could use a can for their patrons.
If you know of any hot spots that could use some cigarette canisters, please let us know! Or, if you’re a local business that is tired of sweeping up cigarette butts, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to buy a canister, and start enjoying the true beauty of Seattle! #HoldOnToYourButts
By Chaewoo Ahn
It’s time for our April chapter meeting! Spring is in the air and were ready to get outside and get our hands dirty for our oceans, waves, and beaches. Learn what activities are coming up like beach cleanups, summer events, and various campaigns and programs at our chapter meeting starting at 6:45 at Zeeks Pizza in Greenlake on April 21st! We’ll see ya there!
The Seattle Parks Commission will be considering a policy to make our parks smoke free tomorrow, April 16th, at 6:30. As a chapter who finds endless, in fact more than anything else, cigarette butts in our parks and on our beaches we support this policy and will be attending the hearing to voice our support! If you have any questions please contact Barbie and join us for our next Chapter meeting on the 21st, 6:45, at Zeeks Pizza in Greenlake to learn how you can make your voice heard on the issue.
This Earth Day, April 22nd, from 2:30-4 the chapter is going to host a cleanup at Alki Beach! We already have several groups joining us for the day where we expect to remove the always large quantities of cigarette butts off the beach so they don’t make it into our waters. Last year’s Earth Day cleanup had over 80 attendees and we’re hoping for much of the same this year so sneak out of work a bit early and help us keep this great stretch of sand in Seattle clean! For any questions please contact the Chapter.
Before you indulge in the St. Patrick’s Day festivities join us for our monthly chapter meeting at Zeeks Pizza in Greenlake starting at 6:45! We will be discussing several items like the upcoming coastal beach cleanup. More details in the link below and we will see ya there!
Stoup Brewing was jam packed for the Seattle Chapter’s first annual Winter Swell Bash. People came to enjoy a night of great beer, PNW surf culture, a raffle, and some local surf art. Thanks to all who attended, donated, and supported the chapter and their effort to grow their urban runoff campaign.
Enjoy a good microbrew and some surf themed fun at Stoup Brewery for the Seattle Chapter’s Winter Swell event! Admission is free and a dollar of every pint sold goes to our urban runoff program. The festivities kick off February 26th at 6pm including a stacked raffle and some live tunes. Good friend and supporter Todd Fisher will be on hand with his art, our very own Tamara will be playing the tunes, we will have a sick new board to raffle from local chapter Nick Rosen, and good eats from El Camion. You can’t beat a Thursday night like this in Seattle.
I’d like to share a story about John, the manager at The Grove, West Seattle Inn. John contacted us after seeing this article on the West Seattle Blog about the Hold On To Your Butts (HOTYB) initiative to reduce cigarette litter. Here’s how he described the small tweak he made to accommodate smokers at The Grove that has really changed littering behavior.
“I was dealing with the same problem (of cigarette litter) on the streets and sidewalks around our property…I purchased 2 receptacles and mounted them to a couple of the parking sign posts along the sidewalk then posted some signs regarding the danger and pollution caused by throwing the butts on the ground…The response was amazing. I went from cleaning up a couple of hundred butts every couple of weeks to about five butts on the ground. Even though it is not my responsibility to keep the sidewalks clean, I just had to do something to help out.”
This story challenges the misconception that “smokers don’t care about the environment”. We liked his initiative, so we brought him HOTYB stickers whose bright colors which will help increase awareness of the ash cans. He liked the design of our ash cans, and how easy they are to lock and empty, so he purchased an official Surfrider HOTYB ash can from us.
Thanks, John, for sponsoring cigarette disposal can #1 in Seattle. We are so glad to be partnered with you as we move towards increased impact in the community. We’d like to put up 19 more cans by March, so if you are interested in buying a cigarette litter can to prevent water pollution, please contact us at email@example.com.
The Surfrider Foundation’s Seattle Chapter seeks an intern to support stakeholder engagement in reducing cigarette litter on our beaches and streets. The position’s main responsibility is to identify, communicate with, and engage interested parties throughout Seattle to foster and grow our cigarette litter program (Hold On To Your Butts) as part of a larger effort to reduce urban stormwater runoff. The intern will work under the direction of the HOTYB committee leader and have excellent access to professional connections in environmental advocacy in the Puget Sound.
Details: 10-15 hours/week, January-June 2015, start/end dates negotiable, unpaid
Expenses budget: $250 for gas/travel/city parking, and $250 for outreach materials
Live in or near Seattle for the duration of the internship
Willing to travel around Seattle independently to perform outreach
Strong communication and interpersonal skills to work with the public
- Interest in social media
Background in environmental advocacy, water quality, or environmental science
Work with the Seattle Chapter Executive Committee and Washington Field Manager on content for statewide and chapter-based social media and newsletter content.
Follow direction of HOTYB committee on prioritizing outreach.
Document and track all outreach efforts and work through weekly reporting on a google document.
Attend chapter meetings the second Tuesday of every month
Perform in person outreach to the public at Seattle Surfrider events and strategic outreach to business owners, business associations, and community groups in Seattle. Minimum 1 event/month.
Meet with HOTYB committee and draft a work plan within one week of signing contract
Create HOTYB website content for seattle.surfrider.org and develop social media content and connections for HOTYB Twitter (https://twitter.com/SeattleHOTYB) and Instagram (http://instagram.com/seattlesurfriderhotyb)
Apply to 3 grant funding mechanisms for the purchase and installation of ashcans- ex: Keep America Beautiful, Clean and Green Seattle Initiative, Neighborhood Association Improvement Funds
Submit monthly expenses by the last day of each month to Chapter Treasurer via a spreadsheet with detailed expenses submitted by email.
Establish increased support from key groups: Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, business and neighborhood associations in West Seattle, downtown Seattle, Ballard and Fremont
Identify community sponsors for ash cans for long term stability of the program
Increased local recognition of the HOTYB logo and initiative
Increased local public awareness of the impacts of cigarette butts
500 followers on HOTYB Twitter and Instagram combined
20 ash cans in place, showing established community partnerships
Secured funding for HOTYB programs
If interested, please submit an email or letter describing your interests and qualifications and a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 15.
After taking a breather for the holidays we are back in action next Tuesday for our monthly chapter meeting. We will be at the familiar spot of Zeeks Pizza in Greenlake and starting at 6:45. Lots of things to discuss including: Climate Campaign sign-on letter with guest speaker Alex Epstein from Climate Solutions, our Hold On To Your Butts program that just got a new canister up, to our February 26th chapter party happening at Stoup Brewery. Come hang, have a slice of pizza, and find out whats going on in Seattle and on beaches throughout the state!