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Cigarette butts represent a large part of the waste found on the ground in the City of Geneva. They pollute our natural environment and are expensive to collect from the community. That is why the City wants to change the behavior of smokers by encouraging them to throw their cigarette butts in designated areas.

Municipal police officers sanction this offence and can fine it. Other actions are also in place to combat this pollution to our environment.

The impact of discarded butts into the streets is not yet fully known, but it is not negligible, as these bits of cigarettes are loaded with toxic substances and made of plastics. And it takes them at least 25 years to degrade.

Caught red-handed, an offender can be fined up to 100 francs!

Many people caught throwing their cigarette butts onto the public domain, admitted having a bad habit. "It's an offense, so we have to punish it in a preventive and repressive way," explains Alexandre, an officer with the Geneva municipal police.

Caught red-handed, the offender faces a fine of 100 francs, or a simple reminder to order with sometimes a distribution of pocket ashtrays. Last year, the municipal police issued nearly 300 fines.


We featured an article about HiremyHusband back in 2013 at this link. Now we have decided it's time to talk to Mike again!

The name is great. What is the story behind Hire My Husband?

As every great idea starts from my wife, this one started when I was job-hunting for a finance job (I have few academic degrees), and after some temporary work done here and there, the idea of using my knowledge as a handyman since my teenager years became apparent as a valid option for work. As I was unemployed at that time, my wife suggested DIY and posted a small ad without telling me. When I received my first order I realized the name had to stick! This is how it began and from the first job, I fell in love with it, opened my company, and didn't look back.

What area do you cover and what is special about this area?

Up to 50km radius around Geneva and neighboring France. The wonderful mixture of expats, working in the UN, international organizations, in banking or finance appreciate an English-speaking service that not only speaks their language but has a similar client-oriented service that they are accustomed to.

What are HMH specialties?

  • Settling into a new apartment - Furniture assembly, connection of washing machines and dishwashers, mounting of flat-screen TVs, childproofing the home (including consultation), lighting design and connection, painting, decoration, and more.

  • Interior design and planning - What I call functional design and living quality improvement: planing practical flexible solutions. As we master a wide range of fields, we can provide a full solution that not only looks good but also functional and make life easier and more comfortable. We pride ourselves in "thinking out of the box"; we find original solutions and solve unusual problems,

  • End-of-lease consulting and work - As we master a very wide area of skills we can help with consultation and the end-of-lease process, and among others: uninstalling appliances (washing machines, dishwashers, TV fixing) plastering walls and painting, moving of small items, and much more.


Photo: www.unsplash.com

As spring is in full swing, thunderstorms and rapidly changing weather patterns are to be expected. One of the trademarks of spring weather includes hail; and hail is not easy to measure. However, diameter and measuring are essential for verifying and improving forecasts. Now you can help MétéoSuisse measure hail through an App.


The labels "coffee beans" and the "tennis balls" are two of the six size categories that users of the Météosuisse App can report as observed hail sizes. Thanks to the collaboration with the Laboratoire Mobilière de recherche sur les risques naturels of the University of Bern, a hail report option was introduced in the App in May 2015 and facilitates one of the greatest challenges of modern research: observing and measuring hail.

hester Schilliger

Hester has kindly offered one lucky reader a copy of the book! Read below for competition.

Most everyone knows of Hester Macdonald. She not only voices her way into your life via the radio, but also runs her own garden design company HM Garden Design, as well as the Swiss Gardening School, and provides guided tours for the garden at the Château de Prangins. Mother of two, she is an empty-nester and is always on the lookout for a challenge. Is this her next baby? Gardens Schweiz/Suisse/Switzerland, a 52-page delight for the eyes, the senses, and the emotions is a must-have for anyone with a passion for the neat, the natural, and the unusual. The only thing missing would be the wonderful scents these gardens release... in the early morning, baking in the afternoon sun, or at rest at dusk. Switzerland has many of the world’s finest gardens. British garden expert Hester Macdonald features 52 of them in her new book. Gardens Schweiz/Suisse/Switzerland is the first multilingual guide to Swiss gardens to date.

We asked Hester to give us some background on this new venture and here is what she said:

What prompted you to do this book?
I'd visited lots of amazing gardens in Switzerland, I thought they were easily as good as many famous gardens I'd visited elsewhere in Europe, and thought it was time that Swiss gardens were recognised in their own right as a reason to visit Switzerland. I also wanted to to help them become better known for people living in and around Switzerland, who may not know that there was a gem of a garden, waiting to be discovered, right on their doorstep! I was introduced to Richard Harvell of Bergli Books, by Ian Smith at WRS, and Richard loved the idea of doing a book about Swiss gardens from the start.

Did you comb through every garden or were you invited?
I had already visited dozens of gardens, for my radio show Dig It, over the years, so I already had a significant number of great gardens I wanted to include. I then asked advice from colleagues, friends, other gardeners, in person, and via various FaceBook pages, as to which gardens they thought warranted a visit. I made a huge list, grouped by area, and tried to visit them all. Some were amazing, some were disappointing, and I also revisited gardens that I had liked previously. For some of the gardens, I went "officially", because I was going to interview the head gardener or the curator or creator, and for some of the gardens, I was just a member of the public, who asked some pretty specific questions!

VideoGeneva group

Following up on an article knowitall.ch published last August at this link, we were contacted by Jaumesse about the result of the project!

A song and video, Geneva, was released in January and after months of hard work, the team are happy to announce the project, in a long line of future hopeful projects!

The song "Geneva" is a collaboration between several musical artists: Stefano Pollastri, Geni Deli and Jaumesse. Jaumesse explains, "Half of the money we raise will be donated to an important cause which is very close to our hearts, the association "On va parler ensemble" that helps migrants and promotes their integration in Swiss society. The association teaches French to immigrants free-of-charge through conversation groups giving them the confidence to integrate."

VideoGeneva night