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Voting Cigarette Ballot Bins Go Global by Popular Demand



The innovative voting ashtray designed to address the issue of cigarette butt litter in the UK, by leading UK behavior change charity Hubbub, has gone global as councils, governments, and brands around the world, are making orders for Ballot Bin.

Littering cost the tax-payer as much as £850 million in clean up costs each year. A report from the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee found that chewing gum and cigarettes were found to be the most littered items, while fast-food litter increased by 20% in the last year.

First featured in the Neat Streets campaign run by environmental charity Hubbub, it aims to jolt people out of their normal littering routine by asking fun questions that smokers have an opinion on.  The voting ballot bins went viral last year and took social media by storm with the burning question ‘Who’s the best footballer in the world? Ronaldo or Messi’.

By popular demand, Hubbub is launching a website where ballot bins are now for sale – councils, brands and leisure facilities have made orders and ballot bins will be shipped to France, Spain, US, Japan. Leading brand BMW have also ordered the voting ballot bins.

The Ballot Bin is a bespoke ashtray that aims to tackle the issue of cigarette butt litter.  A voting system encourages use of the ashtray, allowing the user to vote by choosing one of two slots to dispose of their cigarette butt. Each slot has a window to display the used butts, allowing a public opinion poll to be generated.

The bins and questions asked are customisable; they can take any colour and the questions can be tailored to the interests of local people in the area.  Cities around the world are asking topical questions to engage local smokers – from ‘Who will win the premier league – Leicester City or Tottenham?’, to ‘Who will be the next US President – Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump?’ to ‘Brexit – In or Out?’.

Other countries that have shown interest in replicating the Ballot Bin campaign and installing the ballot bins are South Korea, Canada, Belgium, USA, France, Tokyo, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, Netherlands, Indonesia, Germany and Italy.

Trewin Restorick, CEO/Founder of Hubbub comments: “The voting bin is a simple solution that has provoked an incredibly positive response. We’ve had requests from around the world for the bin with many countries wondering how they can change the questions to reflect their country’s culture and interests.  So we have taken the plunge and are now scaling up production so that we can sell the bins to tackle the issue of litter in a fun and engaging way.”

The idea of the Ballot Bins is based on the best methods and research findings on how to stop cigarette littering. Hubbub found that litter was mainly generated at night by young men and that cigarette butts are the biggest litter issue in the UK. 35,2% of smokers litter, followed by 26% of people eating chewing gum[1]. The voting bin was a response to these research findings and the sport focused questions reflect the interests of the audience they are trying to reach.

Observational research showed that 29% of correct disposals corresponded to people using the voting bin whilst it was in on the street.

None of the collected cigarette butts will go to landfill. As part of the campaign, Hubbub is developing an innovative partnership with TerraCycle who recycle cigarette butts into a variety of useful plastic products, such as plastic lumber and boards that can be used for items like construction holding, signage and table tops.

First council in London to pioneer Ballot Bins

Sutton will be the first council to introduce the ballot bins. Hubbub is working with Sutton Council to deliver Clean Streets Sutton – a litter reduction campaign that aims to build civic pride and change behaviour towards littering.

Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environments and Neighbourhood Committee at Sutton Council, said: “We are delighted to be using the ballot bins as part of a range of measures for our Clean Streets Sutton campaign.

“Changing the behaviour of those who litter is crucial to having a clean, safe environment in our town centers, and also in saving money for the taxpayer. We spend millions each year clearing up waste, and, at a time when our budgets are being severely cut, any savings can make a big difference.”

Sutton will install the ballot bins on the walls of three pubs on their High Street n their High Street featuring the question: “Who’s your favorite Superhero – Batman or Superman?

As part of the campaign, Hubbub will deliver a striking community photo gallery down the high-street, ballot Bins, gum litter activities, and a campaign at the local school.   The activities and installations go live this week with the school campaign day planned on 22nd March 2016.

The Ballot Bins were first introduced as part of Hubbub’s Neat Streets campaign, a social experiment in Villiers Street in London in November last year. Any profits made from the Ballot Bin will go back into the charity and Hubbub’s ongoing work to explore fresh and creative approaches to tackling environmental issues.

The Bins have been available for pre-order on the new website this month.

INCPEN, Litter Composition Survey of England 2014


Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage



water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism



When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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