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10 000 Butts Finland: Epilogue

September 20, 2018

So it has been nearly three weeks since I ended my 10 000 Butts challenge. It seems like such a long time ago already.

In the end I collected 11 290 butts (give or take a few) and plenty of garbage too. I saved them all in a big bucket (except some that I pitched in the garbage once I hit 10 000) and some guys from the City of Espoo came to pick them up a few days later. (*Thanks to the City of Espoo for being so supportive!)


I really did think it would be possible to find 10 000 butts in my own neighbourhood, but that proved to be impossible. So in the end, I ventured further afield than I normally would to look for butts to pick up. Save for a few times when the Mr. or my mini-me was along with me walking the dog, I only did this when I walked my dog. Any bigger ventures and clean-ups would have to be done without him in tow.

I also want to add here that I really left out some big elephants in the room during my challenge. Where can we find large concentrations of discarded butts? Among them: parking lots, bus stops, traffic lights and in front of buildings where people congregate to smoke.

I never walked to the front side of the Omnia campus in Muurala, where thousands of cigarette butts can be found on the grounds. At the Omnia campus near Espoon Keskus, there were also plenty of butts to be found. I intend to address this and ask why they do not provide receptacles for staff and students to dump their butts into. There are also some very busy bus stops with cigarette butts littered all over the place. It would be nice to see more receptacles put in place for collecting them, but this is something that people have to ask for. I pitched one idea to an environmental designer who works for the City of Espoo, but I have to follow-up on that.

I kept people up to date on the 10 000 Butts Finland page that I set up on Facebook. I was really happy for the support people provided and was heartened to see that there are lots of other people around Finland trying to make a difference. Thanks so much for your support!

The day I found butt number 10 000.

I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to engage any smokers while this challenge was on the go. A call out to friends on my social media networks garnered nothing. Are they afraid to admit they might be one of these butt tossers? Well, as I mentioned before – this challenge was not about vilifying smokers, but the litter they leave behind. It’s very easy for all of us to just put garbage where it belongs, in the garbage – not in the environment.

Like I said before, the work doesn’t end here. I will keep on picking up butts, hoping that I can organize something a little bigger when it fits my calendar.

Oh ya, I even found a perfectly good tie… :O

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