Plastic Picking Totals – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Category: Plastic Picking Totals

One of my Instagram friends. She really is my friend. After COVID-19 is over, I’m going to the Palos Verde farmers market and going to visit her shop’s booth. Maybe we’ll pick up plastic together.

August 1, 2020

by drplasticpicker

About a year ago today I gave a speech in front of a local ethnic civic organization. My dad is a big funder of the organization, and asked me to give it. We had just had a measles case in our clinic, and RN Plastic Picker and I helped lead the effort to stop it. It was a complicated logistical dance with public health, our own infection control, patients and the media – but essentially I know that we helped stop a possible epidemic. I will always remember that as one of my greatest professional accomplishments. When I gave this speech in front of this civic organization, I related authoritarian governments with the measles virus. I spoke of needing to innoculate the population with knowledge of past evils, just like we innoculate children with measles vaccine. I had sent it over to my sister for comment, and as a gifted attorney and speaker herself she really liked it. I gave the speech and had dressed in a suit. My parents and my brothers were there. It is rare for all of us to gather just our original nuclear family (my sister could not make it since she lived out of state), and it was a big night for me. I had cancelled plans to fly to New York to visit Mr. Plastic Picker’s family to stay back to give this speech. It was important for my family and especially to my father.

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My bags are getting bigger! Working on my grip strength!

I am working on a more substantial blog on CME/MOCs which has been very helpful. It’s mostly helping me organize my thoughts of CME/MOCs and how much they cost. Like with most things, I now realize that we all have plenty of CME/MOC opportunities for free at our HMO and there is no reason to pay for outside ones. But that will be a more comprehensive blogpost as I need to look up some more information before I publish it.

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Our vegetarian and vegan journey has been a family-affair.

June 30, 2020

by drplastipicker

It’s June 30, 2020. Things were a bit off yesterday. The great benefit about blogging is that it enables me to sort out my emotions. I mentioned to Mr. Plastic Picker that I was off yesterday because the world is off right now as the COVID-19 pandemic is rising. I think we forget, even Dr. Plastic Picker, the historic nature and god awfulness of this entire thing. Many of us, especially anti-maskers, are in a state of denial. Then my mother-in-law went to the ED, thankfully for a minor illness. My mother was upset at my father for an upcoming business trip to Arizona, where they are becoming another hot spot. But he’s cancelled it now. I had a slight headache and I could not figure out why. But it’s during these early morning blogging sessions that I find forgiveness and understanding and know that I am stressed like everyone else.

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A new plastic item we accepted into our lives. But we will hopefully keep it forever. Because plastic is forever!

June 7, 2020

by drplasticpicker

We are living through a historic moment. Mass peaceful demonstrations for #blacklivesmatter dovetailing with the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our nephew, niece and brother-in-law in New York City participated in the demonstrations. They wore masks. I have already written my thoughts about the stain of racism on the health field as well https://drplasticpicker.com/blacklivesmatter-the-stain-of-slavery-colonialism-apartheid-extends-to-science/. The world has a lot of work to do. As America moves toward addressing the concerns of the #blacklivesmatter movement, #environmentaljustice should also be addressed because communities of color bear the greatest burden of climate change. Yet these same communities also bear the greatest burden of this pandemic. What a complex situation.

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Beyond Meat. It was really really delicious.

May 31, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I just posted on my personal facebook page what I thought was a moving post about #blacklivesmatter. For the record Dr. Plastic Picker supports racial equality and equal representation for underrepresented minorities. I won’t post it here because I try to focus this blog on plastic and the environment. But when I reorganized the categories yesterday and tried to give them snazier names like changing “Interviews” to “Pediatrician & Eco-Warrior (Interviews),” I realized I have written a lot blogposts. One of the Secondary Net Career Positives from picking up now 198 bags of plastic and writing almost 200 blogposts is I am able to communicate my thoughts more effectively at work. I had to write a few longer pieces for work recently, and it was easy to write and those pieces flowed nicely. This is a very important skill.

Another Secondary Net Health Positive (I love being able to coin my own random phrases here), is that we have been eating more plant based, vegan, vegetarian meals and the entire family is healthier. The blog started off after I became frustrated paying weight watchers $29.99 a month. I had lost weight but I felt horrible. I would rush to Vons to buy a rotissiere chicken and put so much salt on it because it was 0 points on weight watchers. I do not even like meat that much, but following that program made me obsess over food like I’ve never done before. I realized something was wrong and I had to rethink wellness. Now I concentrate on picking up bags of plastic either #litterpicking or #beachcleanups and reducing the plastic packaging in our food. Trying to eat more sustainable has led us to a more #vegan #vegetarian diet. Above is yesterday’s simple dinner, which was Beyond Meat, store-brand pasta, and fresh tomatoes from our garden. It doesn’t look that special but it was delicious, easy to make and filling. We ate at about 3pm yesterday, and in the evening I snacked on some left overs and chia seed pudding https://drplasticpicker.com/five-high-fiber-plastic-free-breakfast-ideas-for-toddlers/. I feel so much better and Mr. Plastic Picker has noticed. LOL.

But let us get back to this series’ category and away from my random tangents. Here are the Secondary Environmental Net Positives for May 2020. I have really come to love this series because it prompts me to make small changes for the environment. I knew I wanted to get to fifteen changes for the post, so I finished lining the kitchen shelves yesterday with reused plastic coated science poster on asthma that had been sitting in my office for five years! Now my office is cleaner and I’ve protected our nice custom built shelves from the spices and sauces.

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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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