2-26-2020: Five Reasons to be Hopeful this Last Wednesday in February
February 26, 2020
It has almost been 6 months now since I started this journey when I wandered onto the beach, and saw all the plastic. I just started picking up the little pieces and getting some exercise, and I began to see more clearly myself and the earth. Almost 160 bags of ocean bound plastic and over 600 salvaged items later, what makes me hopeful are those around me. Six months ago I wanted to retreat from the world after having splitting tension headaches from work and my back pain and foot pain that kept me from running as much as I used to. As nature healed me, I then saw how damaged our natural environment has become.
But as I grew in awareness and began to really see the plastic and the earth, I have also now seen the beauty of our human community.
The little children who submitted pictures to our drawing contest. Daniela, aged 11, who drew the stunning turtle that adorns our Dr. Plastic Picker Reusable Grocery Totes. A high school friend who donated his graphic art skills to help with the Vector files I needed for the bag. My sister who designed our logo. Dr. Dear Friend who has been here since the beginning and encouraged us to pick the next big clean-up date, which will be April 25. RN Plastic Picker who is as dedicated to reducing ocean plastic pollution as I am, and cancelled the single-use plastic water bottles for our clinic meeting. Done! The growing community of >500 Instagram litterpickers, ploggers, plalkers, zero/low wasters, and cigarette butt-pickers who encourage each other to clean our environment. A vegan anesthesiologist, a pediatrician who is a lover of bunnies and whose daughter studies wetlands, another pediatrician who loves butterfly bushes, a pediatrican/photographer who will lend us his studio for a big project, mommy friends who lend recipes, and on and on.
This community that I had already lived in, I am seeing in a different natural light. And that natural light has shown me how beautiful everyone is. So it is each of you, who give me hope. So this is for you. The weekly blog post to get you past the hump day of Wednesday, so that we can make it to the weekend and slow down. Slow down and stop spewing carbon into the air, and just wander the world together seeing eachother and maybe picking up some plastic.
Five Reasons to Be Hopeful This Wednesday.
- The United Nations has Banned Single-Use Plastics: This ban is in their headquarters in New York City. I saw this on someone’s feed but was unable to find a link on Ecosia to verify.
- Philippines Bans Single-Use Plastics in Government Offices: “The National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) has approved a resolution imposing a ban on single-use plastics in all government offices nationwide . . . The NSWMC issued Resolution No. 1363, Series of 2020, recently signed by the commission’s chairman Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, which imposed the ban on plastic cups less than 0.2 millimeter in thickness, drinking straws, coffee stirrers, spoons, forks, knives, thin and translucent plastic bags and thin-filmed sando bags lower than 15 microns . . . The resolution also directed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to prepare and implement the ban on the use of unnecessary single-use plastic products by national government agencies, local government units (LGUs) and all other government-controlled offices.” https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2020/02/25/1995840/waste-agency-bans-single-use-plastics-government-offices This is an entire government and a HUGE WIN.
- Bali has a “One Island One Voice” Epic Beach Clean Up Feb 15, 2020: They removed 20 tons of waste at 115 locations with 12,500 people mostly Indonesians participating. Their site leaders ranged in age from 12 to 64. https://www.oneislandonevoice.org/
- Crystal Geyser Pleads Guilty to Dumping Arsenic into California’s Ecosystem for 15 Years: There is a phrase that is common on the Story of Stuff’s feed, that plastic water bottle companies make plastic bottles not water. It is so true. They also have polluted our environment. “According to court records, Crystal Geyser created an ‘arsenic pond’ in a remote part of eastern California between Death Valley and the Sequoia National Forest and then didn’t disclose that water pumped out of the pond and delivered to water treatment plants contained the poisonous heavy metal.” This month “bottled water producer Crystal Geyser pleaded guilty Thursday in Los Angeles to federal charges of illegally storing and transporting hazardous waste containing arsenic.” https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/crystal-geyser-pleads-guilty-to-illegally-storing-arsenic-wastewater/2288098/
- Dr. Plastic Picker Successfully Cancels All Single-Use Water Bottles for MD meetings in the Department of Pediatrics. That is 92 pediatricians! Done! Enough said. This made me so happy.