Roll Your Own, Save Your Home [cigarette singalong]


Roll Your Own, Save Your Home

I have recorded an improv version but not written this song down yet. Rolling your own cigarettes instead of buying boxed and filtered cigarettes is the message. Contact me if you would like to help me finish this song, or sponsor it!

Via Sierra Club:

What's that? You just saw a cigarette butt sail from a car window? Lodged in a sidewalk crack? Chances are you're not alone; cigarette butts are far and away the most littered item in the world, with roughly 4.5 trillion being tossed each year. The lobbying group American for Nonsmokers' Rights (ANR) reported that 1.69 billion pounds of butts ended up as toxic waste last year. That's like the weight of 177,895 endangered African elephants, or 555,555 Toyota Prius automobiles, or. . . well, you get the idea. That's a lot of junk in our collective trunk.

But cigarette butts aren't just a punch line for bad puns — they present a serious hazard to our natural world.

The butt itself is comprised of two parts: A plastic filter and the remnants of the used tobacco. While the leftover tobacco is by definition biodegradable, the filters are made from a plastic called cellulose acetate, a compound that eventually breaks down but never disappears. Ever. Combine that with the roughly 4,000 chemicals found in cigarettes, and you've got the recipe for a pretty awful eco-aftertaste.

This doesn't stop our wildlife from sampling the local cuisine. Birds and dogs often pick at the bite-sized waste, and marine animals like fish can ingest cigarette butts that wash into nearby lakes, rivers, and oceans. If the poisons don't claim their lives first, a predator or a commercial fishery might, setting into motion a complexly destructive cycle in our food chain.

Musicians :: Record this song and we'll add it here, and maybe on our home page or environmental songs page.
Artists :: Do a video, art, dance or media for this song and we'll add it here, and maybe on our home page or environmental songs page.
Fans :: Donate $1 or more to sponsor a better version or recording of this song. Donate $44 or more to get a shared copyright certificate for this song or your choice of one of our other environmental songs.

Via The Sierra Club
Via The Sierra Club:
The Most Littered Object in the World?

About Stele

Earth Lovers, Write enviro songs, make art and media with me to inspire peeps to join us in taking eco actions that help save our imperiled Earth and slow down the climate change monsters. For love and life, Stele

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One thought on “Roll Your Own, Save Your Home [cigarette singalong]

  • SteleEly Post author
    Grows in a bath of toxic chemicals. Tobacco is a rather finicky crop, so its cultivation involves lots and lots of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers. Each year, 27 million pounds of pesticides are sprayed on tobacco in the United States alone. Commonly used ’cides pollute groundwater, deplete the ozone layer, kill pollinating bees, and cause cancer and other serious health risks to anyone who comes in contact with them. Farm workers in developing countries that lack stringent protections face the highest risk, some of them children. Speaking of labor issues, tobacco is problematic even without all the pesticides: workers are also at risk for green tobacco sickness, or nicotine poisoning that comes from handling wet plants. All in all, tobacco agriculture is bad news for pretty much everything in close proximity — water, air, soil, and human beings.

    Destroys trees. Producing carton after carton of cigs slashes through the world’s forests in two ways: by clearing land for tobacco fields and through the leaf-drying process, which uses wood fires to “cure” the leaves. According to the World Health Organization, 20 to 50 million trees meet the chainsaw every year to provide firewood for curing alone. And let’s not forget that right after someone sticks a cigarette between her lips, she needs a light; in many parts of the world that comes from a match, which contributes to the felling of up to 9 million trees per year. All this matters because when we lose trees, we lose — among other things — one of our best tools for improving air quality and combating climate change.

    Leaves behind mountains of production and packaging waste. Turning tobacco into cigarettes produces tons of garbage, literally — somewhere in the ballpark of 45 million metric tons of solid waste and 4 million metric tons of chemical wastes are involved in this process, including ammonia, hydrochloric acid, and toluene. According to the World Health Organization, the industry also produces 300 billion cellophane-wrapped cartons each year, leaving behind 1.8 million metric tons of probably-not-recyclable garbage.

    Pollutes the air. All the smoke wafting from those trillions of cigarettes contains thousands of chemicals — some of them radioactive, many of them carcinogenic, and all of them enough to make cigarette smoke a bona fide air pollutant. And you’re right, Ru, that the emissions associated with shipping cigarettes all over the globe should be added to tobacco’s rap sheet, too.

    Litters our beaches, sidewalks, and parks. If you’ve ever gone for a barefoot stroll in the sand only to wind up with a lipstick-stained cigarette butt between your toes, you’ll feel me on this one. They look small, but cigarettes are the number-one piece of litter across the globe. They account for about a third of all litter in the U.S., and over there in the U.K. people toss more than 1,200 metric tons of them each year. Besides being gross to look at, cigarette butts leach heavy metals and other toxins into the surrounding environment and can poison curious animals and kids. If you must smoke, please dispose of your trash properly, people.