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2017 Letters to the editor stock

April 22 is Earth Day, and much of the world will use that day to focus on global climate change. In Porter County, let’s expand that focus. While others are looking up, let’s also look down at our feet.

Cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded piece of waste worldwide, and they’re not biodegradable. It is estimated that 1.69 billion pounds of cigarette butts become toxic trash every year. This hazardous material can persist in the environment for five to 10 years and is often ingested by aquatic creatures, wildlife and pets, not to mention small children, who can suffer serious health problems as a result.

If you smoke, you can make the decision to do the right thing for yourself, your family and the environment. Free help is available through 800-QUIT-NOW or QuitNowIndiana.com.

Ryan Singh, Valparaiso

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Local News Editor

Marc Chase is a veteran investigative reporter, columnist and editor of more than two decades. He currently leads The Times news staff as local news editor. He can be reached at 219-933-3327.