Letters for Tuesday — October 11, 2005

• Make a difference on Oct. 22

Make a difference on Oct. 22

Every year, hundreds of people from local communities across the state on all islands get together to clean up beaches and parks to protect and beautify the environment. If this year is like previous years, cigarette butts will again be the predominant source of litter found on Hawai’i’s beaches.

Cigarette filters take years to decompose and often end up in the ocean, where they pose a threat to fish, turtles and other marine life. Meanwhile, toddlers, who like to put things in their mouths, can get really sick when they eat cigarette butts. According to the Kapiolani Poison Prevention Program, nicotine in cigarettes is extremely poisonous, especially if a child ingests a whole cigarette or three cigarette butts.

In Hawai’i, as elsewhere, the next highest number of items found consisted of packaging waste from consumable goods such as bottle caps, glass and plastic bottles, cans, bags, food wrappers and containers, cups, plates and forks. A lot of those items are brought to the beach by people who use the beach for recreation, and who then leave their trash behind.

We need to acknowledge and applaud all individuals and groups for their volunteer efforts — some are year-round to clean up litter at beaches and parks statewide. Our islands and beaches are a valuable resource for our resident population and for visitors and should not be treated as an ashtray. We all need to contribute to keeping Hawai’i beautiful. After all, every piece of debris has human fingerprints on it.

This year, the Friends of Kamalani & Lydgate Park and Tobacco-Free Kauai is teaming up organizing a Lydgate Park Workday and Beach Cleanup on Oct. 22 Make A Difference Day from 8 a.m. until lunch at the Kamalani Pavilion.

Please join us for a Lydgate Park Workday and Beach Cleanup. Call 241-3564 or 245-5959 to sign up or for more info! Mahalo for your support!

  • Rhonda Liu
    Wailua Homesteads

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