Cigarette Butts are Irelands Biggest Litter Problem

Cigarette Butts are Irelands Biggest Litter Problem

In a recent survey of litter in Ireland, it was found that Irelands cities and towns are now cleaner than they have been for many years – thanks to better awareness from the public, more bins and a huge effort from city and town councils. However, some pedestrians and motorists ignore bins and drop cigarette butts and food on the streets.

Cigarette Butts mentioned in Litter Reports

The 2008 National Litter Pollution Monitoring System report found that cigarette butts and cigarette-related litter formed 46% of street litter and food packaging & Sweet wrappers making up 17% of all litter.

The 2015 National Litter Pollution Monitoring System report found Cigarette related litter was at 59.8% – up over 13% on 2008, while packaging litter & sweet related litter combined was around 19% up a small amount on 2008.

For some reason, cigarette smokers have some sort of ignorance when it comes to litter. Cigarette Butts also contain over 4,000 toxins which can kill birds and fish – so why, when finished a cigarette do smokers flick their butt into the streets – in a “F**k it, someone else will clean  that up!” attitude.

Smokers should be fined for doing this – after all it is litter. If they are not fined then there should be an extra tax on each cigarette in a packet to pay for cigarette butt clean up.

Naming and Shaming

I think Ireland may have to Name and Shame pubs, restaurants or outlets which don’t encourage smokers to bin their butts when finished smoking. Perhaps there may also be a law which allows fining smokers who flick their butts into the street after they are finished smoking. This seems to be a habit amongst many smokers rather than finding a bin.

My Cigarette Butt 10 Step Challenge

I have observed a huge number of cigarette butts on the streets of Ireland. I have come up with a cigarette butt challenge. Basically, try walking 10 steps in any town or city in Ireland, observing the ground. See if you can walk those 10 steps without seeing a cigarette butt on the ground – it is almost impossible. If you do find a street or town let me know in the comments below.

I do have to reiterate that there are conscientious smokers out there who do place their finished cigarettes in bins provided. However, there has been an increase in this sort of litter, so it seems these smokers are in the minority.

Demand for luxury shows no signs of stopping in Australia

Demand for luxury shows no signs of stopping in Australia

In the face of economic doom and gloom, it seems luxury accommodation options in Australia are on the up. With several newly-opened hotels doing booming business and more luxury lodges and hotels planned for this year, I’ve taken a look at what visitors down under can look forward to in 2011.

A major part of the success of the Australian hotel trade is the lengths that it will go to in order to provide truly experiential luxury holidays to upmarket clientele. Secluded luxury lodges and private island accommodation is on the increase as hoteliers realise that what their clients want is a unique vacation experience, away from the crowds and large hotel resorts.

If you’re looking for an unforgettable Australian holiday off the beaten track, then private lodges are the way to go. They’re popping up all over the country, with the most sought after in 2010 being Sal Salis at Ningaloo Reef on the Western Australian coast, the Hayman Island private island resort in Whitsundays and Saffire, the new lodge on the Freycinet Peninsula of Tasmania.

Those looking for something more traditional will find no shortage of uber-luxury accommodation options either. Major openings in 2010 included the Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast, the Pinctada Cable Beach resort on Broome, the Chateau Elan at The Vintage in Hunter Valley and the six boutique Art Hotels in Melbourne. Each Art Hotel is themed around the work of a different Australian artist, and they’ve been creating quite a stir.

Looking ahead to 2011, visitors to Sydney can look forward to the much-anticipated opening of the Park8 on Castlereagh Street. Part of the 8Hotels boutique mini-chain that includes the Kirketon and Diamant, Park8 is located in the old Central Park Hotel, just a block away from the beautiful Hyde Park. Expect loft-style living, minimalist décor, the latest technology and the last word in luxury city accommodation. With just 36 rooms in Park8, each and every one of them has been lovingly designed to appeal to luxury holidaymakers.

If you’re planning a luxury getaway down under and you’re looking for low cost flights to offset the high cost hotel bill, the internet’s the best place to search for travel bargains. Try flight specialist sites like DialAFlight for up-to-the-minute deals on flights to Sydney, Melbourne and other major Australian cities.Advertismen-Feature

Sydney, Australia. What to Do, Where to Go, Where to Eat, What to See

Sydney, Australia. What to Do, Where to Go, Where to Eat, What to See

Going to Sydney, Australia? This rough and brief Sydney travel guide will show you What to Do in Sydney, Where to Go in Sydney, Where to Eat in Sydney and What to See in Sydney Australia. Sydney is a place to be savoured – enjoy Sydney when you are there as you will miss it when you leave!

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Sydney is a place which is like a second home to me. I spent a year working here in 2003, working in both Sydney and Melbourne … but Sydney is by far a nicer city (no offense to Melbourne but there is much more to do in Sydney and winter in Melbourne is fffreezzzing). In Sydney, there is plenty to do, weather is always decent enough that you can get out and about.

Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport at Sunrise

Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport at Sunrise

Arriving in Sydney, you will be about 30 minutes drive from Sydney at Kingsford Smith Airport. Cabs and Airport transfers are easily accessible. A Taxi will cost between $30-$50 depending on where in the city you are going and what time of day it is. Transfers would be a bit less at between $13 and $20 depending on the company. We stayed in Sydney for 2 whole days, arriving late on a Monday evening in the middle of a monsoon and leaving on the first flight Thursday morning as sun was just coming up.

Sydney Harbour as seen from the AMP / Sydney Tower

Sydney Harbour as seen from the AMP / Sydney Tower

One of the key things about Sydney is the sheer number of areas you can enjoy a walk, from Circular Quays, the Rocks and Botanical Gardens to Darling Harbour and Hyde Park. The Rocks is a really quaint area full of olde world charm and some olde worlde cafes. You can continue through to Circular Quays, perhaps catch one of the many ferries which service Balmain, Darling Harbour, North Shore, and as far a field as Manly. If you are looking for food, check out City Extra – their fish and chips is really good as is the chicken pie which is served with a hot baked roll. From Circular Quays, you can walk into the Botanical Gardens which hugs the waterline looking out over the bay, with excellent views of Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The walkway extends around to Woolloomooloo Wharf … if you still haven’t eaten go straight to Harrys Pies (Harrys Cafe de Wheels), a small cart based pie shop with the best pies and best mashed potato in Sydney. If you haven’t taken the route to Woolloomooloo you can continue through the Botanical Gardens to the Domain and on to Hyde Park. This walk is easily followed but worth taking 3-4 hours over as the views are spectacular.

People Walking over Sydney Harbour Bridge

People Walking over Sydney Harbour Bridge

In the city you can enjoy the views from the Sydney Tower, formerly called the AMP Tower. The AMP logo is still displayed on the tower but it seems to have been rebranded. When we were there we almost missed the entrance as the whole area is being renovated. From the tower you can get views as far as the airport and beyond … some days you can see as far as the Blue Mountains. If you are really adventurous you can climb Sydney Harbour Bridge (not on your own please, don’t start scaling the bridge and telling them it was my idea – it is a paid guided excursion with safety equipment). The only disadvantages are that you can’t bring a camera, you can’t decide to take a bathroom break and once you start out its about a 2 hour round trip – also not great for those with vertigo. We didn’t do this, instead took a helicopter trip with Cloud9 Helicopters from Bankstown Airport (phone 02 9771-3654) – well worth the money.

The main shopping areas extend from Pitt Street down around Town Hall also don’t miss Paddys Market in Chinatown which has excellent deals and is great for getting some fresh fruit, great deals on t-shirts and holiday clothes. While you are in Chinatown, you could get a really nice Chinese meal. If you are looking for a nice restaurant, go all the way as far as the Chinese arch in Chinatown and look for the Golden Harbour – Maria and the staff at the Golden Harbour will look after you and the food is always really nice. Yum Cha is also served early in the day.

Fruit Bats sleeping in the Botanical Gardens

Fruit Bats sleeping in the Botanical Gardens

Later in the evening there is plenty to do in the city. You can enjoy dinner in the AMP / Sydney Tower overlooking the city by night, the food is very nice, usually a buffet – however we found that The Summit Restaurant (http://www.summitrestaurant.com.au/) had nicer views (being that bit closer to the harbour) and also the menus were a bit nicer also. If you are looking for real class, try the Bennellong Restaurant at the Sydney Opera House. Not as expensive as you would think – and the service is 5 star (bordering on 6) with the food being similarly as good. The experience of dining at the Bennellong will live long in my mind – not only for the food and service but for the views and thrill of dining at one of the most iconic landmarks in the world.

Sydney Opera House - the Classic Shot from Sydney

The iconic Sydney Opera House – the Classic Shot from any trip to Sydney

Sydney is a place to be savoured, so if you are coming here for a holiday, spend as long as you can here – its one of the few cities in the world, where I can say I would be happy to live. Looking forward to going back already !

Recommended Links for Sydney

Bennellong Restaurant, Sydney Opera House : http://www.guillaumeatbennelong.com.au/

Sydney Tower : http://sydneytower.myfun.com.au/

Harrys Cafe de Wheels : http://www.harryscafedewheels.com.au/

City Extra, Circular Quays : http://www.cityextra.com.au/

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb : http://www.bridgeclimb.com/

There is much more than this – but I wanted to keep this blog post short … If you have any questions about tips on where to go, eat or stay in Sydney please drop me a comment.

iTimeLapse iPhone App

If you are looking at doing Timelapse I would certainly recommend the iTimeLapse iPhone App. (Note, you need a camera on your device so the old iPod Touch cannot use this app)

The iTimelapse iPhone App allows you to create a timelapse project, specifying the timelapse interval, duration of the project, & size of the video. During rendering you can output at varying framerates, add music and add a filename. The timelapse videos can then be output to your camera roll / library for sharing.

The quality of the videos are very good and I feel I could be getting slowly addicted to timelapseing … But it is enjoyable especially if you have a nice subject, e.g. sunset, cityscape, or something which is slow moving but interesting to watch over time.

I would recommend that you switch to Airplane Mode, turn off sound, turn down the brightness, and if you are running a timelapse which takes mire than 2 hours that you have a full battery or stay on AC power.

Your projects in iTimeLapse are saved so if you render & export your video at 12fps and you find that it is too jumpy then you can re-render later by accessing the project file and changing the fps of the timelapse.

Have a look at a sample which I created this month in Sydney, Australia.

The iTimeLapse iPhone app is available in the app store at €2.99 – well worth it, a nice fun app.

World Cup Score Predictions – Wednesday June 23rd

Slovenia v England is the big match today. England must win and they probably will have enough to get past Slovenia, if they don’t then heads will roll as they should be up for this game, with all the hype and the past performances being highlighted within the camp. If they are ready, then they could do well today – if not, they may just scrape past Slovenia.

USA v Algeria could have an impact on England should England draw with Slovenia. USA look good so far and seem to have a good game plan. This could be another USA draw but if they keep the concentration and get an early goal they could win by a goal or two.

Australia v Serbia is a tough one to call; Australia have to bounce back after the German Hammering, but need to win today, Serbia might be too much for them. One goal will probably decide this game, most probably in Serbias favour.

Ghana v Germany is (or should be) a no brainer. Germany should have no problem in winning this game, unless they do a France and just fall apart which is 100/1 unlikely. Could be 3 or 4 in this one.


Score Predictions for todays games:

–   Slovenia 0 – 2 England

–   USA 1 – 0 Algeria

–   Australia 0 – 1 Serbia

–   Ghana 0 – 3 Germany