COVID-19: Five Things You Can Do for the Environment While You are Social Distancing/ Staying Home
March 12, 2020
Wow. The world is in a panic. The White House gave an address that just caused more confusion. Yes a pandemic is something to take seriously but there is nothing to panic about. There is nothing to panic about because doctors just want you to stay at home as much as you can, wash your hands especially when you are out in public and in contact with other people, don’t gather in large crowds and certainly don’t go on flights or cruise ships if you can help it. If we all did this, called social distancing and understanding why we need to all pitch in to #flattenthecurve, then we’ll do okay.
Actually panic is an okay thing, because Dr. Plastic Picker understands human nature and that the masses don’t make much sense. An example is someone asked me about COVID-19 and I told them to avoid especially places like Disneyland. That lovely family follows me on Instagram and I saw them post pictures at Disneyland the next day. Wow people. I’ve had families refuse the influenzae vaccine even after a family member of theirs died of influenzae. Process that. Sometimes there needs to be a panic, especially in America, before everyone can fall in line. So as the healthcare industry braces and Mr. Plastic Picker and I settle in with the rest of our organization to do our job in the upcoming months – I wanted the write this post to blow off some steam and to give you some suggestions of what you can do to help the environment if you are quarantined at home or elect to stay at home instead of going somewhere that was probably unnecessary.
If doctors in our organization get quarantined, we will work remotely. But if you are in an industry or profession where you will be at home – there is a lot of things you can do to help the environment! Think of it as multitasking. You’ll be saving lives by just staying at home, and you can then also help use save the earth by making these small changes.
Five Small Things You Can Do to Save the Earth While Quarantined
- Change your Search Engine to Ecosia: Ecosia’s blog. I wrote a blog post about this a few months ago https://drplasticpicker.com/ecosians-drplasticpicker-has-always-liked-alien-like-names-change-your-search-engine-to-ecosia-they-plant- . Ecosia is a carbon-negative company, powering their search engine with solar power. They also use all their profits to plant trees and partner with vetted organizations that employ local people to plant trees. They plant native species in an ecologically harmonious manner, and avoid all monocultures. One of their partners is Eden Reforestration Project, and it takes about $0.10 to plant one tree. Compare that to some organizations that tell you they will plant a tree for $1 and send a hipster looking outsider into someone’s Rainforest to “save them” which smacks of imperialism to me. But honestly any tree at this point is better than no trees. Anyway, I think their organization is great and have been following their blog https://blog.ecosia.org/why-carbon-neutral-is-not-enough-ecosia-has-built-its-own-solar-plants/ trees-you-become-an-ecosian/
- Help Dr. Plastic Picker Save the Western Monarch Butterflies: Please help by signing a simple petition. A month ago I was trying to help circulate a National Wildlife Foundation petition for the Monarch and Pollinator Highwat Act of 2019 that would require “the Secretary of Transportation to establish a program to provide grants to carry out activities to benefit pollinators on roadsides and highway rights-of-way, including the planting and seeding of native, locally-appropriate grasses and wildflowers, including milkweed, and for other purposes.” https://support.nwfactionfund.org/page/15908/donate/1?en_chan=fb&locale=en-US&ea.tracking.id=FBK_NWFAF&en_ref=31542314&fbclid=IwAR1439hxtZeN97rxY62IdIb5mtL1qPW3XwKSUdwtrs6SRC0VbnwqNANgDz8 This makes a lot of sense, and that petition is at 9116/10000 signatures as of today. Our goal is to help NWF get another 100 signatures.
- Go Through Your Closet: Sounds crazy but Dr. Plastic Picker needs to do this more often too. I have lived most of my life in Southern California and through multiple droughts. I remember in seventh grade geography class during that horrible prolonged drought learning in class “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.” The fifteen years I lived in the Northeast was shocking to me as no one conserved water. Everytime I see my sister-in-laws do dishes in Long Island New York and how much water they run, I have a panic attack. Thank goodness it’s raining right now as we needed the rain. But I’ve stopped thinking of water as a local issue and rather as a global shortgage issue. We need the water for our rivers and wildlife. I almost seriously injured myself caring a bucket of saved bathwater downstairs about a year ago, and I realized that was plain silly. Wearing used clothing on the other hand is crucial is saving the world’s water supply. On average it takes 1800 gallons of water to produce a new pair of jeans. https://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/how-many-gallons-of-water-does-it-take-to-make.html So go through your closet and realize the richness of the clothes you already have and the water we do not need to spend making more stuff. When you buy a new pair of jeans, you are taking almost 2000 gallons of water likely from the animals, plants and people of Pakistan. Check out the World Wildlife Fund website and the picture of the Indus River. It looks like that because of cotton production https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/cottonT Shirts are about 400 gallons of water. Mr. Plastic Picker yesterday said he was tempted to buy two more Tshirts at Costco but walked away. He has enough Tshirts to last him the rest of his life. I am proud of him.
- Dig Out Your Reusable Water Bottles and Mugs and Bling Them! Dr. Plastic Picker is up to 632 Instagram Followers. Most are litter picking and low-waste/zero-waste friends. But after I reached a certain threshold there seems to be more commercial accounts following and a lot of artists selling their services. I just went through my account and unfollowed a bunch of commercial accounts so now I’m down to 616. That is better. Some of their posts were trying to just push more consumption. Anyway, a lot of those commercial accounts were selling eco-ware like reusble water bottles and mugs. But the truth is most of us have an entire shelf of reusable water bottles and mugs already. We just don’t use them. So my suggestion is be like Dr. JP our highschool AP Physics teacher and Bling Your Bottle! Here are two fun posts about Blinging Your Bottle and then you’ll love it and then bring it! Part 1 https://drplasticpicker.com/blinging-your-reusable-water-bottle-if-you-love-it-youll-use-it/and Part 2: Deux https://drplasticpicker.com/blinging-your-reusable-water-bottle-part-deux/ Remember, each plastic water requires almost 2 gallons of water to just to produce the water. https://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/how-many-gallons-of-water-does-it-take-to-make.html And then the actual water itself is taken from communities that cannot afford to give them up including my own state in Northern California.
- Think of An Easy Eco-Friendly Food Swap: I never fully realized how important changing our food habits are for the environment. Mr. Plastic Picker and I were pretty eco-aware folks but previously before going on this blogging adventure, I was more concerned about my “carbon footprint” and on getting solar panels installed and switching to hybrid/electric cars. Meeting a Vegan Anesthesiologist has made me think about food more. We are definitely eating less meat and I don’t really buy pork or beef. We try to buy sustainable seafood https://drplasticpicker.com/trying-to-eat-sustainable-seafood-is-hard/ and I had to explain to our daughter yesterday why I wasn’t buying the whole shrimp at Target. Usually Aldi’s has more sustainable seafood options so I try to go there. In general just eating whole fruits with peel and fresh vegetables in lieu of processed foods and animal proteins is the best swap. Another easy switch that has become hard-wired for us is swapping bulk oatmeal for cereals and breads. I usually list this is my monthly blogpost Secondary Net Environmental Positives https://drplasticpicker.com/secondary-environmental-net-positives-february-2020/ My reasoning is that it’s hard to find palm-oil free bread products and cereals. We buy about a third of our bread as Dave’s Killer Bread which I think mostly is Palm-Oil free but the Costco ones we grab I’m sure are not. But bulk oatmeal definitely is! It has tons of fiber too and I can put fresh fruit in it for the kids. I can also feel good about myself by buying it from the bulk bins in my own rigid container. Makes me feel super eco-cool!
So that was a super fun and easy post! I cut and pasted a lot of previous things I have written, which I’m sure you have not read! I have almost 150 blog posts. Wow! No wonder my headaches are gone. All that content was in my brain and just needed to be vomited up onto the pages of this blog. Plus I got to link many of my less visited blogposts for your viewing and clicking pleasure. Please continue to read and enjoy. G-rated and free! I believe my writing is encouraging good behaviors so that less people will go out and do bad stuff like have affairs and litter the streets.
I wish everyone the best of luck during this panic-time. Please put it all in perspective. You are most likely young and will be fine. You are social distancing to help save the old people so we #flattenthecurve. I may need to start #saveouroldpeople LOL. Below is a tiniest crab I have ever seen. Our family saw it yesterday when we went for a beach walk/cleaning at Torrey Pines States Beach. I am sure this little crab is in a perpetual state of panic as these large humans might possible crush it and the plastic is washing up on the beaches almost smothering them. But we large humans stopped to admire it and take pictures, and picked up plastic bags to help clean it’s world. I believe there is a God that is doing the same for us. Please protect the crabs and the turtles and the old people, and then a higher force than man will protect us all.
My most well-written post and I think funny one on COVID-19! Thanks for reading! Free and G-rated entertainment! https://drplasticpicker.com/covid-19-social-distancing-is-like-bedrest-dr-plastic-picker-understands-but-this-time-you-stay-home-and-i-get-to-do-something/