Plastic Picking Totals – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Category: Plastic Picking Totals

The Facebook post that went relatively viral for a COVID-19 MD group. The other post that had this many likes was an obituary for someone. So weird the collective emotions we are going through.

May 8, 2020

by drplasticpicker

To say that this month has been a bit off is an understatement. We finished two months of COVID-19 quarantine. We are undergoing this collective experience. It has been documented on social media, including this blog. I made a comment on one of the COVID-19 MD Facebook Groups for Pediatricians under my real name. It was just a simple uplifting post about a patient encounter, and I kid you not – it generated already 373 likes and 32 comments of others sharing their stories. I was initially very excited but my wise high school son warned me that putting value in the number of likes one gets on social media is harmful. He is right. But I am still happy that the post resonated with my fellow pediatricians. It made them feel good. I think the story was straight forward, simply written and described a heartfelt encounter that many of us have as pediatricians. I was my gift to my colleagues as we are going through this collective angst.

What made me happiest about that post is that it was quickly written, well written and I think the by-product of now having written over 180 blog posts! I have now had 3 blog posts also accepted onto KevinMD. That my writing generates emotions is the greatest compliment I could receive. I’m still not quite comfortable with this new role I have taken (blogger/instagrammer/writer) but I love it. My old mentor in clinic years ago several times would send me grammatical corrections to my work emails, and I remember being unreasonably angry at him. I was so mad! Some of it was that I felt overworked as a younger mother and middle manager, but now I realize perhaps criticism of my writing hurt more than other criticisms because I valued writing as an artform.

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My bag from this morning. Picking up plastic litter motivates me to make other environmentally friendly changes in our lives!

April 30, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It’s the last day of April 2020. Blogging has become an important part of my day. Sometimes I will write a heartfelt piece that really stirs me emotionally that can be submitted to be published somewhere else. Sometimes I will write nonsense. In the beginning of the blogging I wrote a piece on “It is poop or is it plastic?” https://drplasticpicker.com/is-it-poop-or-is-it-plastic/ I don’t think anyone read that one. I wanted to recount the time a seagull pooped on my head in seventh grade. It was a powerful memory. All the blog pieces serve a purpose. I like rereading all of them and going back and editing minor grammatical errors. I am definitely of the school “Don’t let perfect get in the way of good.”

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Our kids repurposed old socks and did a puppet show for us. They are taller than us and teenagers, which makes this even more remarkable. Their grandmother’s old bandanas were such an elegant backdrop.

April 6, 2020

by drplasticpicker

This blog series is monthly. This month I am 5 days late. Forgive me as there is this thing called a pandemic going on. But in all seriousness, I am so happy to be forced to write a non-COVID19 post. When I started this blog called Dr. Plastic Picker, I really wanted it to be more about Plastic Picker – but it’s become more about Dr these days. I try to deny it, but I am one and am doing my due dilligence these days to be a competent one. In fact, I held the On-Call COVID Pediatric walkie-talkie for our large outpatient building today. I decided my code name is Dr. Spock and I asked the nursing manager to call me that when she needed me. This is why this series is so important, because it keeps my tangential brain on earth and not in outerspace. This series keeps me accountable for making real changes in our lives that are good for the environment. I am responsible for reporting out monthly 15 changes that I have made in our daily lives that help the environment.

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Beautiful Tree. Art by our daughter.

April 4, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It is good to have a rhythm to the month, and blogging has given me this structure in life. There is a world-wide pandemic going on, but let’s leave that somewhere else for a bit. I did pick up ocean bound plastic at the beginning of the month so at least I have something to report out for March. Now that I am reviewing my notes, I was really doing a lot of litter picking at the beginning of March – and I’m glad I did because for various reasons that everyone knows, there was not much litter picking or beach cleaning from mid month. I expect April to be really nothing since the beaches are closed. I think I could do it safely, but I don’t want to set a bad example and someone copies me and doesn’t wear the right protection and then gets sick. Dr. Dear Friend https://drplasticpicker.com/drplasticpicker-goes-to-the-aap-national-conference-in-new-orleans-and-tries-to-use-less-plastic/ is cleaning her office, which is a great idea for April. I’m thankful for this blog series, because I’m accountable to report out to our readers even if the total is 0. This is the entire purpose of this blog! I have to be accountable to you and the environment.

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Seeing the world from a different perspective.

March 1, 2020

by drplasticpicker

This blog series is monthly, and again I think the least popular. I have mentioned this every month. But for me, it is the most important because it keeps me accountable for making real changes in our lives that are important for the environment. I am responsible for reporting out monthly 15 changes that I have made in my family’s daily life that help the environment.

Above is a picture I posted on Instagram #drplasticpicker. The Instagram, Facebook and blogsphere worlds don’t really intersect. Instagram is super fun but more for my own amusement. I think I have a decent number of patients following my Instagram account as I accumulate more and more ocean plastic bags . Otherwise it is other #litterpickers that are following each other. I’m almost at 550 followers. I think I’m pretty good at Instagram. For the series of pictures above the caption was “I tell everyone at work #litterpicking#trashart #plogging has helped me be a more creative problem solver. I literally look at this beautiful world differently. Picture from my seated perch done with my bag.” And what I posted in Instagram is true and certainly the most powerful Secondary Environmental Net Positive for me. My worldview has changed and it is at times a very dire and ominous one, but also hopeful and challenging. Dr. Plastic Picker has always been up for the challenge.

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Beautiful Butterfly my patient Trish painted for our blog. The greens are gorgeous.

February 29, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I am sitting here beginning this blog post, and I have closed my eyes and am typing at the same time. I am a very good typist because I used to work at my father’s accounting office when I was a child. Therefore I can type with my eyes closed and I can still be pretty accurate. I am typing with my eyes closed because I am trying to listen to the birds in my backyard. They are singing this morning and the sky is only just lighting up. It is a beautiful song.

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We did well this morning. This would never have been picked up otherwise and we prevented it from entering the Pacific Ocean.

February 2, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Today is a day of happiness and saddness. It is a happy day because the second drplasticpicker Office Beach Clean Up was a big success. I honestly did not know how many would show up, and we had 15 volunteers. It was a lovely morning for many interconnected reasons. It is a sad day also because two butterfly conservationists in Mexico were murdered likely by local drug cartels or illegal loggers. These two conservationists were integral to the efforts to preserve the Western Monarch Butterfly. I posted on my personal facebook page and likely no one will notice, but there are forces of good and evil in the world. I have never been an alarmist, but I see it now. Being on the beach most days has opened my eyes to the forces of evil that are trying to steal our children’s future. What can one person do? What can one pediatrician that has created this drplasticpicker avatar realistically do? I ask myself that every morning as I drive to work looking at a still beautiful blue sky, and when I go to bed thinking about the insects dying en masse around us. I think about the light pollution humans have caused that is keeping us humans up, and also partially disrupting the invertebrate ecosystem.

What can I do? I can keep on blogging, keep on plastic picking, keep on community organizing, and hope that I am part of billions that are mobilizing and waking up. And this post series is a source of happiness. Sometimes when I feel helpless, that we are confronting an insurmountable task, I look at my totals and I am reminded about how much one very normal very ordinary person can do.

On reviewing last month’s December 2019 Plastic Picking Round Up blog post https://drplasticpicker.com/december-2019-plastic-picking-round-up/, I had wanted to pick up 20-30 bags a month. I think that is a reasonable number and about 20 blog posts. Last month I wrote 29 blog post. In general, January had the fewest bags and the fewest blog posts but still respectable. Now that I have an archive of >100 blog posts, I think that is a good goal for every month. This month was also busy because I became more involved in local and professional environmental projects. I have also been accepted to attend the Climate Reality Project training this season, which is part of former Vice President Al Gore’s group. I am hopeful regarding this opportunity. So below are the totals for January 2020.

23 Bags of Ocean Bound Plastic Collected (I only count the ones I pick, the group totals I will write about in a separate blogpost).

48 Items Salvaged

Object Total Number Fate
Aluminum Cans 23 Recycled
Plastic Bottles 7 Recycled
Sand Toys 0 Gifted
Flip Flops 6 Donated
Clothing Items 1 Donated
Toys 4 Donated
Glass Containers 0 Recycled
Tennis Balls 2 Donated
Office Supply Items 1 Donated

It was a good month overall, so this makes me more hopeful regarding the future.

Here are the plastic picking totals from last month, December 2019 https://drplasticpicker.com/december-2019-plastic-picking-round-up/

And here are the totals for the following month, Feburary 2020. Click here to see if I was able to keep it up! http://February 2020 https://drplasticpicker.com/february-2020-plastic-picking-round-up/

Beautiful clay turtle by one of our kid plastic pickers! Chloe has been to each of our cleanings!
They arrived!

January 31, 2020

by drplasticpicker

This journey has been thus far an incredible one for me personally and professionally. I feel mentally and physically so much healthier, and I hope this will have a good ending for our world. This monthly blog post (this is the fifth blog post in this series), is again the least popular but the most important. Being mindful and going to the beach to do cleanings has had a cascading effect on my life and the environment. And the first cascade is that being out in nature and with nature has naturally led me to make changes that are both good for my health and good for the earth. Both are intertwined.

So this is my summary for January 2020 and changes I made for our family and the Secondary Net Environmental Positives. As certain habits become hardwired, I don’t notice them as much (like eating more fruit instead of snack bars) and I stop noting them. But since I have to be accountable for 15 things every month, it motivates me to find other ways to make positive environmental changes in my life. I try to list from greatest environmental impact to least, but it is kind of subjective.

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Beautiful tree near our house. The little birds were singing today. It was beautiful music. Photo credit by drplasticpicker.

January 1, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I included my haul from today for December 2019. Keeps my accounting easier. It’s 835AM and New Years Day. My mother-in-law is making special Korean soup that is delicious and we eat every New Years. It’s a tradition and the children look forward to it. The two tall Plastic Picker family children are sleeping, as they actually stayed up until midnight drinking bubbly apple cider which is a first. Life has given me so many new joys and opportunities for growth since I started ocean plastic picking and blogging 4 months ago, but I need to keep true to the mission – which is to get to the beach and pick up plastic and do my part.

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December 30, 2019

by drplasticpicker

This is the fourth post in this series. Since ocean plastic picking, I now spend a few minutes every day to dissect out what other easy actions our family can make to help the environment. I am still not sure who is reading this blog but the pageviews are steadily trending up. Discovering this joy of writing has been a Secondary Net Personal Positive for me. This series is not that popular per the Google analytics but probably the most important for the environment. The physical act of collecting ocean plastic has motivated me to make other changes in my life. And then with this monthly blogpost, I have to be accountable for 15 changes. I never take double credit, so the environmental moves for the Christmas holiday I posted on “How Did Our Greener Christmas Go? 10 Ways We Changed” https://drplasticpicker.com/how-did-our-greener-christmas-go-10-ways-we-changed/ – I did not account for again. So this is my summary for December 2019 and changes I made for our family and the Net Environmental Positives. I try to list from greatest environmental impact to least, but it is kind of subjective.

List of 15 Secondary Environmental Net Positives (December 2019)

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