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No Ifs Ands Or Butts About It

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CLAYTON — Earth Day was a day to remember to protect our resources, and keep our world clean. But with the flick of a finger, millions of us make our streets dirtier every day.

For some smokers, it's second nature. When they get finished smoking, they just toss what's left out of the car window, without realizing they're leaving behind an ugly mess.

The mess isn't only on the roads. Downtown sidewalks are also littered with cigarettes.

"Once there was an emphasis on littering and the danger of it," says former smoker, Janice Basden. "That's when I decided to stop. Years ago, when I was a young person, no one really talked about those things."

Now the state wants to bring back that kind of awareness, with the hopes of convincing people not to litter. It starts with a promotion called "Back by Popular Neglect."

Office of Beautification director Helen Landi says cigarette butts are the kind of litter that can be prevented.

"Most people probably don't do it in their front yard," Landi explains, "so if we could extend that kind of personal responsibility to an entire community, I think we can make a difference."