I want to introduce you to my first in a series of interviews with Pediatricians who are either “drplasticpickers” or more importantly defenders of our environment. Pediatricians are natural allies to the children fighting for the environment, as the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated children will bear the brunt of the effects of climate change.
It is 5am, and my body is awake and time for a bit of coffee and blogging. When the earth awakens and the sun begins to rise, I will head off on my morning walk. But before then I wanted to share with you how drplasticpicker gained attention from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography!
It is day 72 of this ocean plastic picking journey, and I continue to find great joy and meaning in this new endeavor. As of today, I have picked up 65 bags of trash and salvaged 338 items. Yesteday, I was not able to reach the ocean because I had a full Friday clinic and things always run late, and with daylight savings by the time I got home at 615pm it was already pitch dark.
Somethings are too big for me to pick up. Broken surfboards, shopping carts, broken tents that have their polyester fabric doors agape. I am sure there is a story to each one of those items. These I leave because I simply can’t carry them with only the photos I have snapped. I concentrate on the smaller pieces that fit in my grocery bags.
I have not yet seen an electric scooter in the ocean, but I have seen them littered at the end of the steps and downsloping walkways that lead to the beach. Technically writing to the electric scooter companies is not plastic picking. In general, I support any form of electric transportation – but I think these electric scooters are such an eyesore and create a milleau of carelessness that effects how people take care of the rest of the beach.
One of my patients who is now about 10 years old always amazed me. He had a set of loving parents who both worked quite a bit, and was cared for from birth to about 4 by both sets of grandparents. His grandmothers fed this child the way their family has been eating for generations, and I watched them mold an amazing human-being and also an amazing vegetable-eating. I would argue that the two are correlated! This young boy ate bittermelon as a toddler, and still eats it to this day! It has taken me 40 years to be able to eat this very healthy, yet very bitter gourd vegetable (bitter melon 1/2 cup, 1.3 g of fiber).
This update post is 2 weeks late. Usually I’m able to churn out posts pretty quick (Mr. Plastic Picker thinks too quick). I think it is because I have 40+ years of writing pent up that needs to get out. This blog post took longer because it involved many people who mean a lot to me and I wanted to do this right. If you are reading this and you are part of our community, thank you for spending your precious weekend morning with drplasticpicker and Mr. Plastic Picker for our first Office Beach Clean Up. As I was planning the beach clean up https://drplasticpicker.com/how-to-plan-an-office-beach-clean-up-together/, I was not sure what would happen and how many would come. I figured worse case scenario, it would be just Mr. Plastic Picker and myself and we would at least collect two bags of ocean plastic.
Drplasticpicker, the blog and the persona, has helped me tremendously. If the blog stopped here with my 40 odd posts, 70 bags of ocean bound plastic picked up, almost 400 items salvaged, and $500 donated to environmental causes – than it will have been an endeavor well worth my efforts https://drplasticpicker.com/donation-round-up/ .
Today there was another school shooting in Santa Clarita, California. From the stretch of beach I take care of, one would have to walk 150 miles to reach that high school. There are children who have fired guns at children today, because we adults have not gotten our act together to pass comprehensive common sense gun control.