Dr. Plastic Picker – A Personal Plastic-Picking Blog: Fighting Ocean Plastic Pollution One Piece At a Time
 
This photo was a big hit on @drplasticpicker Instagram account! Grab your ocean plastic pollution bag and become insta-FAMOUS! Remember to tag us at #drplasticpicker

January 27, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Hello drplasticpicker friends and my office friends in real life! We are having our 2nd Office Beach Cleaning at Imperial Beach Pier this Sunday, February 2 from 730-9AM. There will be simple but filling breakfast afterwards. Children welcome and I can sign off on community service hours as well. 

Let me know at the office or email me at drplasticpicker@gmail.com if you are planning on coming. We can accommodate last minute folks but I need a rough head count for food and also if we have more than 25, I Love A Clean San Diego will need to let the San Diego Police know.  Just bring yourselves. My goal is about 20 people so that we can chat and just be together as well. Our cleanings are really low stress, quick and early in the morning so the beach is peaceful and perfect. We meet at the picnic tables under the permanent awnings just south of the IB PIER. There will be someone to watch your stuff.

I’ll have supplies from ILCSD and waiver forms on site. Sunscreen, hat and reusable water bottle please! Children must have an adult with them.

If the @drplasticpicker reusable bags get done in time, I’ll bring one for each volunteer. If they are not delivered by Sunday, I’ll definitely reserve a bag for you. Thank you on behalf of our plastic picker/plastic reducing community!

Click here to read about our last cleaning, and why it’s great to bring your kids https://drplasticpicker.com/part-3-office-beach-clean-up-final-results/

Our real life kitchen with snacks ready for our family of six. 2 adults, 2 grandparent adults, and 2 growing children.

January 18, 2020

by drplasticpicker

The great thing about this blog, is that @drplasticpicker can write whatever I want. And what I want to do is save the earth and the oceans, save my patients and their families, and for everyone to be healthy and equal. Is that too much to ask? One way I can get what I want, is to expound upon the objective truths I know as someone who has been a pediatrician for over 15 years. The cause of a lot of the worlds’ problems is that kids have learned to snack on foods that are too processed, too high in salt and too high in sugar. Processed foods with too much salt and too much sugar lead to Taste-Bud Dysfunction. I have coined a new condition. You, the many toddlers in my practice who are picky eaters . . . Yes You, the teenagers who are prediabetic. Many of YOU have Taste-Bud Dysfunction. Something is wrong with your Taste-Buds that you can’t taste the natural sweetness of an apple or the natural flavor of unsalted food. This is not your fault, it is the fault of big corporations that have fooled at least two generations to think that packaged food is food. Indeed most packaged food is not food, it is junk, and for drplasticpicker – it is also trash that litters the beach.

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The affordable brand our pharmacy carries that I should have been recommending from the beginning. Live and learn.

January 26, 2020

by drplasticpicker

About 5 years ago, I had attended the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) meeting when it was in our region. If you have ever been to a professional medical conference, you know that the Exhibit Halls are a frenzy of free giveaways and well dressed and good-looking pharmaceutical salespeople waving you over to their booths with enticements of free samples and free bags. They are always smiling and talking to us with perfectly white and straight teeth. I often worry during those sales pitches and think, “Gosh did I floss today? I should whiten my teeth more.”

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January 25, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I have been practicing pediatrics for 15 years, and have been a general pediatrician at my current HMO for over 10 years. I have been in the same office at the end of the hallway this entire time. Right outside my office is an old radiology light-box reading light, that I have asked them to leave it there eventhough we’ve moved onto digital images a decade ago because I like how old-school it looks. Sometimes I walk by and push the on and off light button just for fun. I also fished out an old-fashion stadiometer scale out of the supply closet two summers ago and put it at the end of the hallway next to my office (where the hallway ends without an egress) because sometimes the old-fashioned things that have been tried and true work best. I use that stadiometer with its level and weights and tap tap tap until I get the right measurement sometimes, and pull out the metal stadiometer bars to see how tall the kids are. It’s always accurate unlike the digital ones.

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January 23, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I listened to my body yesterday. I came home from a busy day in clinic where I missed doing a telephone appointment because I had to rush off to a pediatric quality meeting. We sat at the meeting and got much more accomplished than any other meeting group that I have been a part of, but still the mollasses that is getting big corporate groups to a goal frustrates me sometimes. It’s important to listen to each other, and to take in consideration people’s opinions. But when people’ opinions are tied to what they are getting paid for, sometimes one does not know the motivation for what their opinons are. Is it some pointless politically manuevering in a different department? Is it some kind of bonus or monetary carrot or threatened budget cut that underlies that statement? Office and corporate politics are complicated when money is involved. But at least I got everyone to agree to stop the plastic water bottles at this 10 person meeting. That is 100 less for 2020. Little wins matter.

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Sunsetting on the evening of January 21, 2022.

January 22, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Saving the world from catastrophic climate change is a monumental task. It will take billions of us mobilizing and changing our way of life. No matter what, the climate has changed and we will have to adjust to the new world. But we still have time to mitigate some of the effects of climate change. I have so much hope every day, because I now listen and notice things. I notice my fellow humans changing. People are waking up. I see others picking up litter. People ask me, what is plogging? Children are encouraging their parents to stop buying straws and single-use plastics. Colleauges have agreed to join me in activism on the AAP Climate Change and Health Committee and Climate Action Now San Diego Chapter https://drplasticpicker.com/you-have-given-me-courage-drplasticpicker-joins-in-with-the-aap-environmental-health-section-and-climate-health-now/. I think I am one of billions mobilizing and in the end this story will have a happy ending. But we have to earn that ending, by acting now and making changes and putting our time and money where it is most useful. But in the meantime, let me share with you some hope so that you do not despair. Despair never helped anyone. Remember I am not peddling false optimism, but hope that is earned if you also are taking concrete actions.

Five Reasons To Be Hopeful This Wednesday, 1-22-2022

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Aspen Forests are all connected at their root system, and each forest is one organism.

January 21, 2020

by drplasticpicker

The hours I have spent transversing the shore and the sandcliffs, mostly by myself, has centered my mind and reconnected me with the rhythms of the earth. I am by nature a more solitary and introverted person, which will surprise many who know me in real life. Social gatherings usually drain me, and I need to be by myself or with loved ones to feel normal again. It was the cacophany of the modern world and the spinning chaos of management that almost broke me. I have written about my bout with tension headaches that are now gone, thanks to the ocean plastic picking and the time outside. And now I am whole again, and every time I feel irritated or petty – I make sure to take a walk and pick up some plastic, and then I am drplasticpicker again and know where my path lies.

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January 19, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It annoys me to no end when physicians (MDs an DOs) try to profit off other physicians that are lower than them on the training totem pole. Usually these physicians are trying to get out of doing real clinical work, and want to sit there and pontificate at meetings or attend conferences. So @drplasticpicker will now branch out of my environmentalism and talk about the state of student debt and financial health of MDs. Because if MDs are Financially Independent, than they can Save the Earth (FISE) – like drplasticpicker.

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Arroz caldo by a parent April. Photo credit by parent April.

January 17, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Happy Friday morning! There is so much to do in the world. I have a full day of clinic today and then it will be the glorious weekend. The Sweetwater Union High School Board is threatening to eliminate @drplasticpicker’s beloved International Baccalureate Program at my alma madre Bonita Vista High School. I try to stay out of politics, but I will take some time away from the environment to help attend a school board meeting and advocate for this program. I was going to write a ranting post about ineffective local officials and why ineffective systems pushed me into management and environmental activism – but I thought, better to channel my energy this morning into the Arroz Caldo post that I have been meaning to write. This evening, I will compose the letter and make calls to the school board members.

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January 16, 2020

by drplasticpicker

This is Chirp Chirp, the second piece in my trash art series. Honestly, the first few times I posted about Chirp Chirp – I was joking. I had been mistakenly kicked off Instagram and the virtual world of looking at other people’s trash hauls was gone. Through Instagram I was able to jet all over the world and see interesting trash finds from Germany to South America and especially my young friend from Nepal who is almost on his 100th bag. But without Instagram, I began doing more Trash Art and actually my writing became more productive. Instagram is fun but I only ever get a trickle of traffic from Instagram, less than the traffic directed by my comments on Retireby40 which is an early retirement blog. I just read Joe’s blog because I like it and I post sometimes. One Facebook commenter on a environmental group I joined really summed it up, Instagram can be an echoing chamber. You feel like you are influencing people more than you are, because you are preaching to the choir.

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