Like most consumable products, our beloved cigars come with packaging and transporting materials that inevitably end up as trash. Though minimal compared to some other commodities, there’s still a substantial amount of waste matter inherent to premium cigars. The good news is there are some simple methods for reducing the impact of your cigar garbage that result in a tremendously positive effect on the environment.
For example, just one ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper (from cigar bands, package inserts, etc.) can save up to 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This equates to an awesome 64% energy savings, 58% water savings, and 60 lbs less air pollution. Read on to learn how you can reduce your footprint on the Earth by being mindful of your disposal habits.
As any regular cigar burner knows, most premium cigars today are packaged in individual protective cellophane sleeves. These cellophanes provide an added layer of protection and are waterproof but semi-permeable, allowing humidity to pass through for optimal preservation. The material used to make cigar cellophanes, cellulose hydrate, is produced using renewable resources like wood or hemp, and while it’s not recyclable, it is fully biodegradable and compostable. It may seem strange, but cigar cellophanes are an appropriate addition to the “brown waste” portion of your compost pile. Instead of chucking them in the garbage after you disrobe your smokes, cut them into small pieces, dampen with water, put them in the compost bin, and let them break down naturally while they release beneficial nutrients into the environment.
Another classic cigar packaging component, boxes have added an element of eye-catching appeal to cigars for centuries, and the re-purposing of emptied cigar boxes has long been a common practice. A quick peek at my grandfather’s old garage shelving can confirm this. In addition to being a traditional option for storing nuts, bolts, buttons, screws, and other easy-to-lose items, cigar boxes can also enjoy more creative “second lives” in the form of cigar box guitars, clocks, and other resourceful conversions. If you’re not the crafty type and don’t have any alternative uses for them, make sure to put your empty cigar boxes in the recycle bin rather than the standard garbage can where they’ll likely end up in the landfill. Any decorative paper materials used as lining within the box can also be recycled, barring ones that use metal foil or wax embellishments.
An unavoidable by-product of cigar smoking, cigar butts tend to pile up in ashtrays and are routinely dumped in garbage cans. While this is rather harmless, you could put those butts to work in your yard or garden as a gesture of functional sustainability and resourcefulness. The nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium released from discarded tobacco scraps are essential plant nutrients that are found in many commercial fertilizers, meaning that your stubbed-out stogies are good for the yard. Tobacco dust also has a long history of use as a natural form of pest control, as it deters aphids, garden centipedes, moles, and other common outdoor intruders. Instead of throwing them away, grind up your butts and sprinkle them around as a nutritious treat for the lawn.
This is an easy one. Corrugated cardboard is the most recycled material in the world, and it’s what all of the boxes that we ship products in are made of. After you receive your shipment from us, simply break the box down, put it in the recycling pile along with any packing paper that’s in there, and away we go. The same goes for the air pillows we use to cushion your prized premiums. After you have a bit of fun popping those suckers, drop them right into recycling, where they can be reclaimed for further use.
Have any other suggestions for green cigar garbage options? Shoot me an email @ firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!