Cyber Monday: drplasticpicker hopes you buy less and less plastic things
December 2, 2019
I’m old enough to have been there when Cyber Monday became a term. I’m old enough to have known “Facebook” was the actual Freshmen picture registry at Harvard that was given out to the incoming class so that they would know some basic information about their classmates, before it was co-opted by Mark Zuckerberg. And I’m old enough now to remember when we never had Cyber Mondays and the world was fine without it. Drplasticpicker is technically the tail-end of Generation X, the generation of latch-key kids when our parents were thought to be somewhat neglectful and we came home afterschool by ourselves. We let ourselves into the houses with our latch-keys and made ourselves TV dinners, and sat in front of the TV watching sitcoms and doing our homework alone. At some points our working parents came home to parent us. And we then threw out those plastic microwave meal trays away.
I honestly have never participating in Cyber Monday. But I’ve seen all generations fall prey to it. We from Generation X, the Boomers, and Millenials as well. Probably being a working parent and being most of my life career focused and very busy on all Mondays, prevented me from falling into the Cyber Monday trap.
Indeed, Cyber Monday is a trap as it pushes us to overconsume, overtravel, overindulge. When I hear about the deals, I get tempted too. Drplasticpicker shops at Food4Less so you know I love deals https://drplasticpicker.com/cooking-a-turkey-saved-money-used-less-plastic-and-finally-felt-at-home/! My saving grace this Monday is that I have an early very large Middle Management meeting, patient care, work project deadline and then I want to take a walk along the beach tonight. It’s hard to fit in the ocean walks on Monday mornings. So because I have these other tasks that I value and I “need” to do, I will not shop.
But it is December 2, and we are entering into the Overconsumption Frenzy. I remember 25 years ago, when the economy was booming and we were like other American families and would fill Christmas season with stuff. I remember running around Christmas evening at Macy’s trying to find a gift for my older brother’s girlfriend’s brother, and I bought him a shoe brush shaped like a duck. Why? It made no sense. I think he only owned tennis shoes. That moment of ridiculous consumption always stuck in my head.
So it is Cyber Monday and drplasticpicker will again opt to forgo this group psychosis, where big companies have convinced everyone to buy buy buy. Read here how one young child writes our ocean is dirty, dirty, dirty https://drplasticpicker.com/help/. Big companies have deluded everyone because it you take the money you would spend and put it in an index fund and watch it grow, you realize that that purchase actually had an opportunity cost. I think that duck brush was about $15. Using bankrate.com (a phenomenal resource) investment calculator at 6% rate of return over 25 years, I now know I lost out on $65 dollars! That $65 dollars today if donated to the Rainforest Trust would have been doubled to $130, and at $2 an acre – I could have saved 260 acres of Rainforest through their current Conservation Action Fund. https://www.rainforesttrust.org/projects/conservation-action-fund-2/ And who knows where that brush is now? I did not see it on ebay. Whereas the Rainforest and it’s canopy keep on giving oxygen. Of course, our blog continues to donate to good environmental causes https://drplasticpicker.com/donation-round-up/.
So it’s Cyber Monday and drplasticpicker hopes you buy yourself time and not plastic. But again, this blog is really about me – realizing that I am part of the Overconsumption Frenzy. I have gifts that I will buy this season. As an upper-middle class dual income physician family, we are part of the problem. We are the ones driving emissions, flying all over the world with huge carbon footprints – no matter how “green” we pretend to be.
Mr. Plastic Picker, our two tall children and I are having fun discussing what meaningful gifts we can buy for our cousins that will lessen our environmental impact. Already I have responded to a high school friend who is making ornaments as part of her son’s ballet group’s fundraiser. I have to buy an ornament for our Middle Management Ornament exchange, and buying one that is handmade in the US in our community and that goes to a children’s activity seems a good use of money. Mr. Plastic Picker and I are excited about shopping at the fancy Central Library Gift Shop for some Christmas gifts and those proceeds will go to the library. The public library is a great resource for the entire community. I think the answer is to shop slower, in person and locally. Give less with more meaning. And don’t click on all those Facebook ad’s Mark Zuckerberg is throwing in your face. They are on instagram as well. No ads on drplasticpicker.com!
The words of Ghandi that I have referred to in previous posts, resonate again. “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” Yes, and this also applies to Cyber Monday and Holiday overconsumption in general!
And so it is 537Am on a Cyber Monday morning, and drplasticpicker will happily just edit out the multiple grammatical mistakes on this blog and make oatmeal for the children. No shopping for this household today!