3-4-2020: Five Reasons to Be Hopeful This Wednesday
March 4, 2020
What a night! Last night was Super Tuesday and the Democratic primaries were super exciting. This is a nonpartisan blog, and trust me I have close family and friends all over the political spectrum and I heart them all. But I posted a picture of Mr. Plastic Picker and myself on Facebook from a recent wedding last night with the “I Voted” Facebook Frame. We looked like the well groomed law-abiding fiscally conservative but socially liberal couple with the caption, “We voted! Mailed in our ballot. Voted for the earth and against sprawl and for a Democratic party that has a big heart and a big tent (insert emoji picture of tent) that will embrace a common sense/common values and a return to decency.” Lots of likes. Mr. Plastic Picker eschews social media, but when I showed him the post he said, “I look really good.” And indeed Mr. Plastic Picker you do look really good and so does the world. Despite the panic regarding COVID-19, which had even me taking category of my pantry https://drplasticpicker.com/covid-19-do-we-have-enough-food-random-thoughts-on-food-supply-and-food-waste-as-the-world-panics/, there is a lot to be hopeful for.
The news is being overwhelmed with COVID-19 and the election, so I wanted to write a different kind of Hopeful Wednesday post. The purpose of this weekly post to to give myself and you hope to get through Wednesday and to get to the glorious weekend. Mr. Plastic Picker and I often bemoan the media, and how mainstream media seems wholy inaccurate. Since Trump’s election and even last night’s coverage on CNN of Biden’s comeback, I realize the media makes money by selling everything as doom and gloom or shocking changes. The expected, the routine, and the real truth – doesn’t make the “news.” I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I feel like I can witness reality around me. So let me tell you Five Reasons to Be Hopeful This Wednesday.
- Squeasy Gears still Reducing Single-Use Plastics: When I started blogging as drplasticpicker, I had this idea that I would get free eco-products and samples and just blog about things for fun. It was mostly just for bragging rights and fun to go around clinic declaring to my co-workers, “I got free toilet paper!” I know it sounds ridiculous for someone with my hourly earning potential, but hey – who doesn’t like free stuff??!!! But then I realized that nothing is really free. Case in point the Vitamin D samples I had been receiving and giving to patients for the last five years https://drplasticpicker.com/free-baby-vitamin-d-samples-i-should-have-known-there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-free-buy-carlsons-instead/. The irony is that Who Gives A Cr@p toilet paper, I actually paid for and only got 3 rolls of toilet paper, 1 tissue box sample and 1 roll of paper towels for free in their sample box https://drplasticpicker.com/who-gives-a-crp-toilet-paper-and-drplasticpicker-is-not-sure-if-i-got-the-toilet-paper-for-free/. Those I gave to our pediatric schedulers. But I did get Squeasy Gears http://squeasygear.com/ for free, and I gave them out to some young friends who are pediatricians https://drplasticpicker.com/the-odyssey-of-the-squeasy-gears-plastic-fiber-and-mentorship/. And writing the post helped me process information regarding the Pediatric Fiber Deficit https://drplasticpicker.com/squeasy-gear-1-tackling-the-pediatric-fiber-deficit-with-real-fruit-and-not-plastic/. And the Squeasy Gears are still giving the gift of reducing single-use plastics, as one of my young pediatrician friends sent me a super cute picture of her daughter. Look at those cheeks! I want to squeeze them she is so cute!
- AAP Climate Change and Health National Committee is now FULL: I am still learning and growing in my role as co-chair of the AAP Local Chapter Committee Chair of the Climate Change and Health Committee. But I have been trying to help the executive committee fill vacancies, and sent one last email yesterday to someone who graduated from Louisiana State University for undergraduate and medical school. It’s funny how the climate world and my professional world have intersected very beautifully. Anyway, I heard back from one of the lead pediatricians and she said all 57 AAP Local Chapters had a Climate Advocate now. All 50 states have representation and some of the larger states have multiple chapters like California. I can honestly tell you I helped fill 2 of those states. Not bad Dr. Plastic Picker.
- AAP Climate Change and Health Local Committee is now ACTIVE: At the local level, our commitee is now active. I am Co-Chair of the committee of now 10 with Dr. Sally Kaufman https://drplasticpicker.com/dr-sally-kaufman-pediatrician-and-environmentalist-3/. We went to our first official local chapter committee chair meeting last week. It was about 10 pediatricians eating gyros at night, and quick updates. It was good material for a blogpost https://drplasticpicker.com/meetings-meetings-meetings-if-i-have-to-go-to-a-few-more-for-the-earth-so-be-it-we-need-more-help/. And I got to post a dramatic picture of the local chapter office at night with a self-suffering martyrish Instagram post, “I laugh and joke. @drplasticpicker is silly at times and I hope approachable. But I am serious about this climate work. I already go to countless meetings in my real job. But I’m here tonight at the American Academy of Pediatrics Leadership meeting on a school night for another meeting because networking is important. getting climate change front and center is important. I can smooze, I can smile, I can wheel and deal with the best of them – because we have to get this done.” Followed by many pithy hashtags! LOL. I think my Instagram game is pretty good. But I do believe every word I wrote. My avatar Dr. Plastic Picker and I have merged. But the important part is the Local Committee now exists, and Sally (and I) have a platform. There is a picture of us together at our first meeting, and she is over a foot taller than I am. I love that picture, because it shows you this climate fight will take people of all sizes. When I saw her that night, she looked very graceful and professional and was dressed in a blue blazer. She was the youngest commitee chair there by at least 7 years. I gave her a big big hug. She finished writing our Committee description which will be sent out in the monthly newsletter shortly.
Climate Change and Health Committee
Our mission is to simultaneously promote the health of both San Diego’s children and its ecosystems by empowering children through education and outreach to protect their environmental resources and in turn improve their own physical and mental health. We support measures that combat climate change and promote a healthier environment for our children.
4. Eco-America Training CME Application Submitted: Again I am amazed at how life is coming together very naturally since I’ve incorporated climate change and health work into my life. I am working with two local physicians and now three other physicians (including my new friend the vegan anesthesiologist) to try to get Eco-America training into our HMO. Anyway, I submitted the CME application in yesterday and actually submitted an additional application for an unrelated CME/MOC project on Adverse Childhood Events. The applications were almost exactly the same, and I just subbed in Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs) wherever I had written Climate Change and Health. I love it when work just flows. The ACES CME MOC project I am helping Dr. Dear Friend with. I have a lot of other committee work to do, but she helps me help the enviornment. And I help her help children who have gone through trauma. She’s a remarkable person and uses her reusable straw everywhere she goes! https://drplasticpicker.com/drplasticpicker-goes-to-the-aap-national-conference-in-new-orleans-and-tries-to-use-less-plastic/
5. So Many More Reusable Water Bottles and Coffee Cups Around: And this is what makes me the most hopeful. I see evidence that Dr. Plastic Picker is just part of a larger movement. The world shifting away from single-use plastics and tackling climate change from mutliple avenues. We have eliminated single-use water bottles from clinic meetings and our department MD meetings and everyone survived. I see more and more interesting reusable coffee mugs and reusable water bottles around. I have had staff tell me they switched their search engines to Ecosia https://drplasticpicker.com/ecosians-drplasticpicker-has-always-liked-alien-like-names-change-your-search-engine-to-ecosia-they-plant-trees-you-become-an-ecosian/. I have patients and friends tell me they picked up a few pieces of litter, or went to the beach to get nature. The gardeners are planting and thinking about pollinators.
So these are the Five Reasons this Wednesday that I am Hopeful. Rather than a summary of news items, I wanted to share with you the hyper-local changes that I have seen or been a part of. Because in the end hope is earned, is it not? So much more work to be done but Dr. Plastic Picker is not peddlilng false optimist but real earned hope. Next week I’ll return to my usual summary of hopeful environmental news. Yeah, the weekend is almost here!
Check out one nurse’s super cool reusable water bottle. She is not-kidding about hydration. This is 1.5 liters she drinks every day and there is a pocket for cellphone and card.
Here is the next week’s Hopeful Wednesday https://drplasticpicker.com/3-11-2020-five-reasons-to-be-hopeful-this-wednesday/