11-25-2020 Five Reasons to Be Hopeful This Wednesday
November 25, 2020
My thesis in life now is that we can figure it out. We can figure this climate crisis out, and how to live a rich and meaningful life within the limits of what our climate can withstand. Indeed, we can live a regenerative life. I have been reading more about the circular economy versus a linear economy. I think it’s all the Story of Stuff Videos that keep on popping up on my facebook feed. But it’s true, we can be part of a circular/closed-loop/no waste economy and life. John Kerry has now been named as the special presidential envoy for climate as CNN writes “underscoring Biden’s commitment to tackling the global crisis.” John Kerry is a former presidential candidate and former secretary of state. To name a senior stateman like him means a lot. I rewatch Greta Thunberg’s UN speech periodically to remind myself of the fear that our children have and she said “You have to speak clearly.”
Indeed, I will speak clearly here for myself. I was at our AAP CA3 Climate Change and Health Meeting last night, and we were just talking about logistics and projects. Looking at the sometimes tired faces of our premed interns and the pediatricians who are worried about the dual pandemics of COVID and climate, it is hard. They are the ones that showed up and carrying the burden of trying to save the world and it can be a heavy burden. It hurts my heart to see them tired and wanting to retreat from climate work. I was sad that we had just four MDs present and three interns. I would have been more invigorating to have more bright faces. The next meeting I will make it fun and make sure we have some new bright faces. I will probably sponsor a screening of the film Gather, which I’ve been meaning to do for a while. But let me speak clearly to myself, as I went to bed disheartened after our meeting. This is a climate crisis and even with John Kerry as special climate enjoy – we need all of us. The entire force of all of us are needed to make this a liveable planet. We need the small and large actions that individuals and government need to take. As I explain to everyone, when you are deep into the climate movement – you will realize how much needs to be done. But we can figure it out.
I had skipped the last two Wednesdays Five Reasons to Be Hopeful Posts, because I think for some reason I didn’t need to find that hope. But after yesterday’s meeting, I am resolved to make the next meeting better and to inspire and stop filling the zoom meeting space with my own voice. So I do need to find hope for myself. I can figure out how to continue to inspire and activate more MDs. I can make our next committee meeting better, because it is actually very important.
Five Reasons to Be Hopeful This Wednesday, Five Ways We Have Moved Into the Circular Economy
- Pasta Maker: I’m totally serious about this. I’m lucky to get expensive hand-me-downs from my parents. My sister had bought my mom an expensive Philips Pasta Maker. They used in a handful of times. My mom gave it to my daughter. My daughter tried it for the first time, and even with the first batch of pasta that we made some mistakes on – the pasta was phenomenal. It was 3 cups of flour, an egg and water. I calculated out that it costs $0.45 to make a pound of home-made pasta ($0.30 for the flour and $0.15 for the egg, electricity is free as we have solar-panels). Buying store-packaged dried pasta costs about $1.29 (almost 3x the price). And then eating out at a fancy hand-made pasta Italian place is $40 for two plates (31x the store bought pasta, 88x the cost of the raw ingredients). It only took 15 minutes to make the pasta with the machine, and boiling it is super fast at about 3 minutes. And the pasta was so textured and delicious, that we didn’t need to dress it with lots of meat or bacon. We just had my home-made pesto sauce and some canned tomato sauce. It paired so well with the bagged salad. Wow. Not only did we save money, but we saved the packaging the premade pasta comes in. There are so many variations now that we have started using the pasta maker. I honestly don’t think I can ever go back to store-bought pasta.
- Stashers: These are expensive silicone food storage bags. They replace ziplock bags. They are very expensive, about $80 for an entire set that includes gallon storage bags. They stand up nice in the refrigerator and will save space. I don’t have them yet, because we actually have tons of glass storage containers that we are using and we hardly use ziplock bags. I love my little sister and she finished embroidering almost 50 jackets for our clinic out of the goodness of her heart. I have never been able to buy them anything that they didn’t have already or couldn’t make themselves better. That is until I found the Stashers! I bought my sister a set of Stashers! She got to pick the colors she likes (Tropical). I’m so excited! These can be used forever, and when they are done – you can return them to the company. If she likes them, I’ll buy my mom a set too. I’m spending my FISE (Financially Free Save the Earth) money on the circular economy and to help my extended family be plastic-free and healthier. I really need to get my mom the gallon storage Stashers because she actually marinates meat and tofu for me a lot. They way we can just trade the food back and forth.
- Aerobin 400 Composter: This composter is greater than I thought! Dr. Young-Ho Yoon was on to something. I knew when he recommended a product, that there was something to it. We have averted many plastic garbage bags of bunny litter/droppings from going into the landfill. We just dump everything into the composter. We still have a lot of room there and also the rare vegetable scrap and kitchen scraps go in too. I water the composter sometimes. I stick my hand it there and it is warm. I removed the bottom panel at times, and I see the mold and everything decomposing. It’s really exciting. The best part it when we have paper napkins from the rare take out, or the Beyond Sausage compostable packgaging. I tear it up and throw it in our composter! We need to get more composters out to people. When I start getting soil, I need to talk to my friend the vegan anesthesiologist about working on getting our medical group a discount. I really think we could do it. I just need to get my first batch of usable compost before I can push this forward. Composting and turning all this carbon and nitrogen into usable soil, is part of the circular economy.
- Eggs: One of my very well-to-do and also financially free friends who are a dual specialist specialst couple have backyard chickens. I really wanted backyard chickens but it doesn’t make sense for us. They invited us over and we will go over to hang-out as soon as COVID is over. I was promised some organic backyard chicken eggs. I will use those eggs in item #1 which is got make pasta! I am going to swap her a container of home-made kimchi from the chinese cabbage that my mother-in-law is planting now. Organic chicken eggs usually run $0.50 to $1 an egg. Organic kimchi is $10 to $26 a jar. OMG, my mother-in-law makes a lot of it. I wonder how many eggs are worth a jar of kimchi? I’ll take whatever my friend gives me. They have a gigantic backyard pool. I expect to be invited to swim in the pool. Since those costs are sunk already and paid by them, I think that is environmentally sustainable. Got to do more yoga to make sure I look good in a bathing suit! I haven’t worn a bathing suit in 15 years! LOL.
5. Wildflower Seed Paper: I always wanted to make Dr. Plastic Picker cards on recycled or compostable paper. It’s actually really expensive. But I saw on line that you can just get a paper shredder and shred paper, and put it in the blender and make your own paper. I’m going to buy wildflower seeds and make recycyled Dr. Plastic Picker cards with wildflower seeds on it and give it to my patients. I’m almost done with my Dr. Plastic Picker Reusable Tote bags and I need someone new to give out to the kids. Our Cookbook project is going well, but not quite done. I may still order another 500 bags which will cost be about $1000. That’s okay because I’m FISE.
And that is it. And that was super fun!!! I feel better after yesterday’s less than stellar climate change and health meeting. I hope some of our committee members read this blog post and show up to the next one in January. I’m going to make it a film screening of the movie Gather, I think to really energize people. I’m Dr. Plastic Picker and recounting how we are now part of the growing circular and regenerative economy really gives me hope. WE CAN DO IT!!! Lets go save the earth. It’s 7am and I’m ready to tackle half a day of patient care. Thank goodness I don’t have to staff anymore on Wednesdays. I outsourced that to someone else. I’ll definitely go to the beach tonight and get a bag of trash. Hugs to everyone!
Was the last Hopeful Wednesday post over a month ago! OMG. Here it is, if you need more hope. https://drplasticpicker.com/10-21-2020-hopeful-wednesdays/