Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Winter Break

Most of my recent walks have been inside the skyway system where the temperatures are quite reasonable.   The windchill outside this morning was -22.  There is probably no one littering up the parks this week, but there is stuff to contemplate in terms of trash.  While I'm grateful for the skyway option, I am going to have to avoid walking through Macy's for awhile until they change their soundtrack.  Second floor is Billy Idol singing Dancing With Myself and 3rd floor is Gwen Stefani singing It's My Life.  EVERYTIME I'M in the STORE. Help.  I've had those songs in my head for the last three days straight.

I saw an article in the paper recently about prices going up for those small size cigars or cigarillos.
Prices are not just going up a little but a lot.  Since I pick up gobs of discarded cigar packaging, I'm kind of happy about that. In terms of brands, the litter I pick up is split 50/50 between Swisher Sweets and Show brand. Show brand is the one with the silhouette of the shapely girl working the pole.  Some folks will be priced out of their habit and I guess that is the intention of the new law.  There will be some restrictions on single cigarillo packaging and flavored cigarillos.  Hey, we know you guys are marketing to kids!  I know because I think I tried one of those cherry flavored cigarillos when I was about 16.  It will be interesting to see if I find a decrease in this kind of trash come spring.

 It's been 9 months now since Minneapolis put the kibosh on restaurants using styrofoam containers.  I did a once around downtown looking at skyway fast food joints last week.  I am happy to say that according to my rough and sloppy survey, downtown seems to be about 99% compliant.  There had been a couple of hold outs. One was at an Italian joint and I saw that they have just switched over to the compostable products.  I'm sure the styrofoam did a better job at keeping their product hot and less messy for the customer but what are you going to do.  Grazie!

Before the holidays when the weather was still relatively mild, I went down to check on the homeless encampment.

I had been wondering what was going to happen to the guy living there once the deep freeze comes (like now).  The camp looked like it had been torn apart.  I took out a couple bags of trash.  I am hoping that some organization like St. Stephens came in to do some outreach or maybe this guy just got out before it got too cold.  Anyway, possibly this can be a cleanup site for an Earth Day group this spring.