Hopeful Wednesdays – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Category: Hopeful Wednesdays

Peach Tree with beautiful blossoms. Hopefully after COVID-19 there will be delicious fruits to enjoy.

March 18, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Wow. I just finally sat down at about 340pm and starting this Hopeful Wednesday post late. I usually have this series ready to go by Tuesday night but it has been busy, to say the least. I only worked this morning and saw mostly virtual patients (which means telephone appointments). Then I got home, ate lunch and took a nap. Mr. Plastic Picker is still toiling away at the hospital.

(more…)

French Press coffee. We can change. No more single-use Keurig coffee pods.

March 11, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I start these Hopeful Wednesday posts usually a few days earlier, and add bits and pieces of good environmental news that I see over the week. I never know what the actual Wednesday will bring. This Wednesday morning I had thought we were going to be hiking in the Grand Canyon and having coffee at a local lodge there. Instead, COVID-19 happened and I was able to get an almost full refund on Hotels.com and I’m pretty sure Razelle who was behind hotels.com chat box is now an Instagram friend https://drplasticpicker.com/covid-19-and-curtailing-travel-razelle-m-from-hotels-com-helped-us-save-over-345/. Instead this morning, I am sitting at home and Mr. Plastic Picker is making his first coffee with a new small French Press that is plastic-free and sharing a cup with his mother. We will go on a hike this morning when the kids wake up.

(more…)

Our Squeezy Gear Model is still using the Squeezy Gears! She is so cute and her mother is one of our young pediatricians.

March 4, 2020

by drplasticpicker

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.

(more…)

5 pieces picked up by one of our drplsticpickers! She was on vacation and picked up 5 pieces. Beach cleaning can be quick and easy and part of your routine.

February 26, 2020

by drplasticpicker

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.

(more…)

Dr. Plastic Picker and Dr. Dear Friend strike again! We brought our own mugs to the clinic coffee cart.

February 19, 2020

by drplasticpicker

We are getting there. I am at 153 bags of ocean bound plastic collected, 590 items salvaged. I have written 133 blog posts and 134 Instagram posts, and have passed 450 Instagram “followers.” The Instagram is more for fun and motivation and I am not seeking more Instagram friends, but somehow everyday there are more. About 200-300 people click onto the blog every day, so some folks are seeing the less-plastic-please help ocean plastic-pick message.

But what gives me hope are the tangibles, the changes that I know are happening in the real world. I know I picked up a lot of plastic, and I know that we are close to getting our organization to agree to bring in Eco-America training to our HMO. I see more and more reusable coffee mugs and water bottles at work. We actually cancelled all the single-use water bottles for all the MD meetings, and will just send a reminder out for everyone to bring their own water. We also changed our lunch order to half vegetarian, and for everything to be in large trays and not individual plastic clam-shell containers anymore. That way there is less food waste and less plastic waste in general. And a father in clinic told me his daughter’s school has asked all parents to avoid single use plastic items and moving toward zero-waste lunches.

(more…)

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.

 

(more…)

Lucas. One of our young drplasticpickers. He has been to each of our beach cleanings, wielding his grabber with relish.

Feburary 5, 2020

by drplasticpicker

The thought that any one individual knows what humanity can and cannot do in the next decade is the utmost arrogance. I know about arrogance, because I am an MD and we are all a little bit arrogant. But 6 months ago I checked my arrogance and narcissism at the beach and began relearning the true lessons of humility, nature and the power of collective action. I have seen doctors look briefly at a single “chief complaint” and by just glancing through the chart, they have already diagnosed the patient before even talking to the family or examining the patient. At those moments I have called colleagues out. So now I also call out those naysayers regarding environmental action, I call them premature. Finish collecting your data. Finish your work. Talk to the patient and family. Examine their lungs, listen and palpate. Use your stethoscope. Don’t just jump to xray. As I was taught the first day of medical school by a beloved pediatrician-professor Dr. Robert Masland from the Children’s Hospital of Boston, 99% of everything is history and physical. And our most important patient, our earth, I see small clinical signs of hope. This is not false optimist, but earned hope.

(more…)

“Plastic Buzz Found on Tourmaline” – third piece in my trash art collection. My goal is 10 pieces for my entry to the Del Mar Fair.

January 29, 2020

by drplasticpicker

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.

(more…)

Sunsetting on the evening of January 21, 2022.

January 22, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Saving the world from catastrophic climate change is a monumental task. It will take billions of us mobilizing and changing our way of life. No matter what, the climate has changed and we will have to adjust to the new world. But we still have time to mitigate some of the effects of climate change. I have so much hope every day, because I now listen and notice things. I notice my fellow humans changing. People are waking up. I see others picking up litter. People ask me, what is plogging? Children are encouraging their parents to stop buying straws and single-use plastics. Colleauges have agreed to join me in activism on the AAP Climate Change and Health Committee and Climate Action Now San Diego Chapter https://drplasticpicker.com/you-have-given-me-courage-drplasticpicker-joins-in-with-the-aap-environmental-health-section-and-climate-health-now/. I think I am one of billions mobilizing and in the end this story will have a happy ending. But we have to earn that ending, by acting now and making changes and putting our time and money where it is most useful. But in the meantime, let me share with you some hope so that you do not despair. Despair never helped anyone. Remember I am not peddling false optimism, but hope that is earned if you also are taking concrete actions.

Five Reasons To Be Hopeful This Wednesday, 1-22-2022

(more…)

January 15, 2020

by drplasticpicker

12th bag for January, 127th bag in total.

Thank you for joining me with this weekly blog post, which has come to mean so much to me. There has a recent article on BBC.COM regarding the power of hope and the fallacy of optimism. Indeed I am not optimistic but I am hopeful. The BBC article really captured this difference. “Scrolling through social media showing other people’s efforts on climate breakdown can give a false sense of optimism . . . [but] Real, good, useful hope has nothing to do with positive news. Instead, it is profoundly linked with action: both ours and that of others alongside us . . . There’s only one way to earn hope, and that’s rolling up our sleeves.” https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200109-is-it-wrong-to-be-hopeful-about-climate-change

The picture above was my 12th bag for January, and the new decade, and the 127th since I started. I had not realized that I had captured a fellow beach-goer doing a wheely on his bicycle until I finished my picture. I’ve been reinstated onto Instagram as @drplasticpicker without much fanfare and have figured out how to let that platform be part of this mission without letting it take over my life. I am at my 236th follower, and those numbers are every day growing. But I’ve come to realize the quantity is not important rather than the quality of interactions. Despite the almost 20 million acres of Australian acres burning and the poor poor almost one billion animals that have died, I have hope because every day I can look back on this blog and know I have done something. And @drplasticpicker and my friends we have wonderful plans that are percolating now. And I know many of you will join us.

(more…)