2-12-2020: Five Reasons to Be Hopeful This Wednesday – Dr. Plastic Picker

2-12-2020: Five Reasons to Be Hopeful This Wednesday

| Posted in Hopeful Wednesdays

Land south of our clinic from the top of the parking structure. I think our HMO owns it. I am dreaminig of filling with pollinator species and milkweed and butterflies.

February 11, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It is 311AM on Wednesday morning, and I am not sure what happened last night. My body is a bit out of wack. It is less often out of wack then before, but anytime we have a middle managment meeting – my circardian rhythm gets shuffled. Only good things happened at the meeting, and I noticed all the nurse managers had mostly reusable coffee mugs. Even the big boss commented on how wasteful all those little plastic creamer containers were, and looked up at me and gave me a kind smile. They know that I am Dr. Plastic Picker and I have not been fired yet. The democratic primaries are underway, and for the first time in years I am watching to see what happens. Again Dr, Plastic Picker is non-partisan.

I am a single issue person, I just want a liveable earth with oxygen and fish and beautiful butterflies. But with those dreams, there is so much to be Hopeful for this Wednesday. Here is our Five Reasons to Be Hopeful, 2-12-2020.


  1. Senator Tom Udall Introduced #BreakFreeFromPlastic: I actually watched 30 minutes of the 45 minutes FaceBook video of the introduction of this new legislation. “This legislation seeks to meaningfully address the plastic pollution crisis by shifting responsibility for waste management and recycling to manufacturers and producers, setting up a national beverage container refund program, establishing minimum recycled content standards, as well as a phasing out certain single-use plastic products that aren’t recyclable. Additionally, this legislation will prohibit plastic waste from being exported to developing countries and place a temporary pause on new plastic facilities until the EPA updates and creates important environmental and health regulations on those facilities.” https://www.hillhappenings.com/list/2020/2/6/break-free-from-plastic-pollution-act-panel-discussion-and-documentary If this passes and then the Ocean Clean Up Crew cleans up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, I am happy to become Dr. Butterfly Saver instead of Dr. Plastic Picker.
  2. Justice Department Drops Investigation of California more Stringent Air Pollution Laws: I know California is often the butt of conservative jokes. Sometimes we can be a caricature and seem out of step with the rest of the country, especially the rural midwest. Having grown up in a more conservative part of our very liberal state, I truly believe we need to mend the fractious politics that has been the case in the last decade. The current administration targets California to continue that narrative of red versus blue, but the the antitrust investigation about California’s more stringent air pollution laws is over. As reported by Politico, “DOJ was investigating whether Ford, Volkswagen, Honda and BMW illegally coordinated last year when they agreed to follow California’s stringent vehicle fuel-economy targets, largely out of concern for climate change . . . California Gov. Gavin Newsom had attacked the DOJ inquiry as politically motivated and part of a pattern in President Donald Trump’s feud with the state over environmental rules and other issues.” Anyways, this is why drplasticpicker is not involved in politics. We all need oxygen. https://www.politico.com/states/california/story/2020/02/07/doj-drops-probe-of-carmakers-that-aligned-with-california-on-pollution-1259689
  3. Biochar can reduce Cattle’s Methane: In the instagram world of litter-pickers and granola-type people getting to zerowaste, veganism is the trending #goals. But in the real world, people still eat beef. In fact, @drplasticpicker ‘s phenomenol nurse left a delicious Filipino Spicy Beef and white rice dish in the communal area of the lunchroom and I ate it. We are definitely eating less meat in our household, but the spicy Filipino beef dish was looking at me and saying “eat me.” So I ate it, and it boosted my iron stores. I did wash the dish. But there is hope because there is growing research that adding biochar to cattle feed can reduce greenhouse gasee. “The University of Lethbridge is the co-ordinating body for all of the project components made possible with $1.75 million from the federal Agricultural Greenhouse Gasses Program. Yaremcio says recent results from the Leng et al. feeding trials in Laos and Australia are very encouraging. The group reports a 20 per cent reduction in methane emissions corresponding with a 20 per cent improvement in average daily gain without an increase in feed consumption when biochar was included in the rations for growing steers.” https://www.canadiancattlemen.ca/news/biochar-research-to-look-at-methane-emission-reductions-in-cattle/ The mechanism is thought to be that biochar “absorbs” the methane molecules or effects the bacterial flora of cattle. Whatever works!
  4. Tunisia Bans All Single-Use Bags by January 2021. This was reported by the Guardian. That is it and that is a big deal.
  5. 5 Star Review on @drplasticpicker Facebook Page! I did not even know that we were able to be reviewed. When creating the page, I picked “Environmental Conservation Organization.” It was a choice for an “organization.” with one click, I declared @drplasticpicker an Environmental Conservation Organization. Now after 6 months, I can say we really are. Anyway, some kind internet passer-byer left a 5 star rating and wrote Gene Wilder once said “So shines a good deed in a weary world.” This group as small as it may be, is doing big things to make the world a better place to live in. Thank you! Thank you!!

And this will be my 128th blog post, and we are at 125 instagram posts, and 410 Instagram Followers. I am on my 145th bag of ocean bound trash collected, and 583rd item salvaged from the ocean’s edge. I think we got tentative action on bringing forward the dream of brining Eco-America training into our organization, and we’ve cancelled all the plastic water bottle orders for our department meetings. And I just talked to our awesome department secretary, and we are going to move back to ordering lunch during our CME meetings in large sandwhich trays to reduce both food waste and single-use plastics. And tomorrow, I am going to introduce our new regular guest blogger! So many reasons to be hopeful. I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday and only two more days to the weekend and Valentine’s Day!

Next week’s exercise in hope and gratitude https://drplasticpicker.com/2-19-2020-five-reasons-to-be-hopeful-this-wednesday/

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