Butt Touchers

A bunch of funky citizens who decided to make a difference in their neighborhood by collecting littered cigarettes butts as part of our street cleaning initiative.

Our cigarette butt supply is mainly collected by our street cleaning initiative The Butt Touchers: a bunch of funky citizens that decided to make a difference by cleaning up their neighbourhood. re:FILTER was formed by members of this Vancouver initiative: run by Andee Wiedeman (an avid festival volunteer) who brought home the dancefloor clean-ups she participated in at festivals. The events boast a park clean-up; complete with music, snacks and cleaning supplies.

This cigarette specific clean-up was inspired in August 2015 when we noticed an alarming amount of cigarette butts blocking the storm drain of a Commercial Drive corner. After participating in many events, we had a large network of environmentally conscious community members. We launched the event the same month and it was a smashing success; beginning as a street clean with dinner provided for the volunteers, followed by a live music after party to celebrate the event's success. As it grew, we turned to ?after-parties? once a year; only cleaning for 2-3 hours at each event to maintain the original celebratory and productive intentions of the event. The Butt Touchers have hosted three years of clean ups, distributing 500+ Pocket Ashtrays - and rehabilitating over 75,000 cigarette butts. While the Butt Touchin' events have evolved, the core values stay the same: radical responsibility and inspirational inclusiveness! Through providing snacks; gloves; buckets; bags; Pocket Ashtrays; music and a healthy social outlet for doing something accessible for your community, we have been able to nurture and grow a culture that offers a solution instead of shaming smokers, our fellow citizens, for their actions.