Hopeful Wednesdays – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Category: Hopeful Wednesdays

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.

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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.

 

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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.

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“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.

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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

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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.

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Brought my own reusable container for the Chinese place across from work. Dr. Dear Friend and I had wonton soup and salt-and-pepper chicken wings (small lunch serving). The waitresses got a big kick out of it, and two workers from the kitchen came out to look at my container. We caused a bit of a sensation but it makes a lot of sense. We usually scoop the left overs ourselves into the styrofoam cup anyway. These little victories count! Reducing food waste as well by eating our left-overs.

January 8, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I am writing this post actually Janaury 7, 2020. Even though it is Tuesday, and this blogpost is a Wednesday series – I will publish today because it will be wonderful to have our blog’s 100th blogpost be a Hopeful Post. Again, this continues to be a joyful blog-post series and such an uplifting part of my week. This marks the 100th blogpost and that is something to be super hopeful about. Usually I get 200-300 pageviews a day, so that is 200-300 plastic picking posts people are reading a day. Who is reading? I am not really sure but folks are reading. And that might encourage someone to remember their reusable water bottle, refuse a plastic fork, donate to the Rainforest Trust or pick up a few pieces of plastic when they go to the beach. So this week, we have Eight Reasons to be Hopeful.

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Rice porridge we had during the holiday.

January 1, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Today is the first day of a new decade. The last decade that I actually knew what to call was the 1990s. The decade of my youth, when we were all into techno, dancing that Roger Rabbit and “raising the roof.” My children cringe when I show them the dances we used to do in college! The 2000s and 2010s, what were they called? I don’t think any of us really knew. But now it is the twenties, and it has a definite name and a definite goal. Our goal is to save ourselves from mass extinction and to rewild our earth. So on that note, I am truly hopeful because as famed anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, indeed, it is the only thing that every has. ”

Five Reasons to be Hopeful on the First Day of The Year 2020.

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Aspen trees in Utah. Photo credit by drplasticpicker.

December 25, 2019

by drplasticpicker

I am sitting at 610 AM and our two children are safely asleep in their rooms, and Mr. Plastic Picker is probably in stage 3 REM as well. I have always been an early riser and enjoy these quiet mornings to blog. It is time for Hopeful Wednesday and it is also Christmas. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas today, and also Happy Holidays to those who celebrate other traditions. I think we can all agree to love the Earth. I included a picture of Aspen Trees we snow-shoed through yesterday. Aspen are living connected trees, one large organism that are clonal and share a root system. Walking among them yesterday, I saw them dance and sway together. It was beautiful and I am renewed to continue this journey of plastic picking and environmentalism for as long as I have left on this beautiful planet.

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December 18, 2019

by drplasticpicker

It’s that time of week again! Wednesday is a day that is midweek, and to get over the hump day and to get closer to the glorious weekend – I need some hope and something to be grateful for. We all need hope! I recently went to a large regional middle management celebration and there was a talk about the power of gratitude. Gratitude is really the same as the power of prayer. The world is more secular and less people pray, and prayer is where we used to express our gratitude. Perhaps we all need to go back to church/temple/synagogue? Or just join civic groups like Rotary/Optimist/Lions/Kiwanas where gratitude is hard-wired in their DNA?

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