1-29-2020: Five Reasons to be Hopeful This Wednesday
January 29, 2020
Usually the Hopeful Wednesday posts I have been slowly working on throughout the week, and adding bits and pieces and will publish right when the new blog day arrives. This week, my Facebook and instagram feeds did not have as many positive wins. I think it’s probably that I have more instagram “followers” – up to 328. I’m trying to follow more individuals who are litter picking, plogging, plalking and doing beach clean ups rather than newsfeeds. Also I’ve been living in the real world trying to make more changes and organizing more as a climate leader, so maybe it’s a good thing I haven’t been on facebook/instagram as much. So it’s 240am on a Wednesday morning, and I’m starting this post. But my body feels good and I have many reasons to be hopeful.
Five Reasons to be Hopeful this Wednesday, 1-29-2020
- Toronto Garbage Trucks will be Powered by Biogas: Starting in March 2020 (just one month), Toronto will be the first city in North America to have their garbage trucks powered by biogas. They have a newly constructed Dufferin Solid Waste Management Facility, that is powered by the organic waste and food scraps Toronto residents throw in their Toronto Green Bins. They have a fleet on 170 garbage trucks and the biogas per city officials “is also less expensive and more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels such as diesel. Once injected into the natural gas pipeline, it can be used to fuel vehicles or provide electricity or heat to homes and businesses . . . RNG generated from food waste is actually considered carbon-negative, because the reduction in emissions by not extracting and burning petroleum-based fuel, and the emissions avoided by not sending organics to landfill, exceed the direct emissions associated with the production and use of RNG.” https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/toronto-garbage-trucks-powered-by-biogas-from-food-scraps/
- Super Bowl 54 Seeking to be Plastic-Free: This is great publicity and raises awareness on a different demographic. I follow the Ocean Conservancy Feed and they write that this year’s Super Bowl is at the Hard Rock Stadium – the first time an NFL venue will be nearly plastic free. The Miami Herald Reports, “The home of the Miami Dolphins is ditching most of the plastic stuff that’s ubiquitous at sports arenas: water bottles, beer cups, plastic utensils and food wrappings. They’ve all been replaced by recyclable items as Miami rushes to join the green bandwagon, under pressure from environmentally conscious sports fans and sponsors.” “This is the first time an NFL venue will be almost plastic free — with a total reduction of 2.7 million plastic items — and event organizers are proud of their achievement. They are even trying to convince the NFL to encourage all its venues to get rid of plastics.” And they partnered with the Ocean Conservency to raise awareness. The world is achanging! I will watch it this Sunday. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article239494128.html
- Climate Crisis? Ways to Get Involved and Link Arms: Most of my hope this week is local and what I’ve seen and accomplished. In a way, this is the most hopeful right? Sometimes before the world shifts, the little people like drplasticpicker will see the first initial signs of improvement. I have seen it on the beach, that the insects feeding on the kelp are important. The insects feed the birds. So sometimes rather than gathering large pieces of plastic, I concentrate on the smaller pieces near the kelp and the cliffs where the seabirds feed. So as a pediatrician, I am part of the cascade of change. I have been meaning for a while to send an email out to my colleagues at work and I finally did. It was entitled the above “Climate Crisis? Ways to Get Involved and Link Arms.” I continued on, “I am emailing to update friends about some opportunities to help with the pressing climate crisis. This is just from me, a fellow pediatrician and not part of official admin. Please just reply to me if you might be interested. Thank you for everyone for your amazing support on my weird/off-kilter blog and plastic picking work. It has brought me so much joy and laughter, and brought me to full awareness of what is happening to our oceans. I also know that anything worth doing requires many hands to make light work. I just wanted to share widely with everyone I care about , regarding opportunities that you might not be aware of. I have ordered these opportunities from national to local. I think each level is important and each of us feels comfortable at different levels. Each piece of plastic picked up or avoided is important, and however you want to play a role is important.” Then I listed the opportunities that ranged from a national legislative advocacy conference to the next beach cleaning that I am hosting this Sunday.
- Applied for Climate Reality Training Series: During this journey on trying to organize the health care industry around climate change, I learned of this training series that sprung from Al Gore’s group. Like millions in the world, I had woken up to climate issues after the Inconvenient Truth. I remember including little quotes from their website in our daily emails as chief residents in Boston over a decade ago. So finally I was happy to let my fellow organizers in San Diego know, “I signed up for the Climate Reality Training in Vegas. I think it was meant to be, because it dovetailed with our planned vacation to Grand Canyon anyway with the kids and we’ll go the Vegas route rather than Phoenix then. We were planning on driving anyway.” I am hoping to be accepted. This reminds me to have our high-school son also apply as its open to youth organizers as well.
- Pitched to the AAP National Conference Committee a Plastic Picking/ Environmental Themed Service Project: This was a dream. Even just to be able to be involved in a conversation with the National Conference planning committee. In a round-about way I became involved in the conversation about what service activity would be possible during next October’s conference which happens to be in my beloved home city. So I pitched my idea, and I am hoping it happens. If not, my back-up plan is to have our HMO do it which should be not that hard. But here is my email. I was pretty proud of it. Some fun parts of the email I sent them, “This Dr. Plastic Picker, from Generic HMO and we are so excited that the NCE would consider an environmental clean up/beach clean up as part of the conference!!! This has been a dream of many of us who are working to clean our environment, and promote nature-healing and activism among our colleagues!” I then go on into the nitty gritty details of which organizations we can partner with and the minimal cost it would be. “It’s a very great organization that has been in San Diego for over 70 years or so. I’ve attached their flyer. They said they can definitely coordinate a combined beach cleaning and paddle boards/kayaking excursions, where we all pick up plastic!!! I clean around Pacific Beach. La Jolla shores in close by as well, and they are Marine Protected Areas with many endangered shorebirds and border important kelp forest.” Then I have to sell it. Daughter of a small business man and accountant, “I think it would be such an iconic Southern California thing to do, and I can get folks from other groups to come cheer us on or help if you would like.” I go on to detail about other local groups I could get involved including scouting groups and wildlife groups. “So hopefully this may be a possibility? The cost seems reasonable. If NCE needs help finding corporate sponsors, I am willing to help as well if that would be a roadblock but the cost seem really reasonable. I think in large part because they are a non-profit as well.“
So thank you for coming on this journey with me. It is indeed a Hopeful Wednesday. I really am committed to this weekly exercise in hope and gratitude, so wanted to make sure I got this out to you on time. Its 328AM, and I think I’ll try to get another 3 hours of sleep. I’m sleeping wonderful these days, but my body told me to go to bed earlier which is why I think I’m shifted a bit. But I’ll just listen to it , and go to bed again. I leave you with a close up of my last trash art piece. It brings me so much joy and laughter, and I’m going to bring it to work this morning. The black piece above looks like a Star Trek Insignia and I am going to show my friend at work. He is a bit grumpy sometimes but has a good heart and is a nature lover, and I know he’ll love this piece.
How was Dr. Plastic Picker feeling 2-5-2020? Was I hopeful? Click here to see. https://drplasticpicker.com/2-5-2020-five-reasons-to-be-hopeful-this-wednesday/