Discombobulated Dr. Plastic Picker: Staying On Task Picking Up Trash
April 1, 2021
I usually write monthly plastic picking totals and detail how many bags of plastic pollution I’ve collected mostly from the beach, and how many items I’ve salvaged from the landfill. I detail the number and what kinds of items. It’s April Fools though, so I’ll leave that post for maybe tomorrow or Friday. It’s an easier post for me to write because it’s really just some profound thoughts and a chart and a link to my plastic picking lifetime totals page – and then we donate money. But this morning, I’m not really feeling it.
Indeed, the last two days I’m not feeling it much. I think again it was watching the movie Damnation about the impact that damning rivers has had on the planet and then also watching the six modules of Project Drawdown. Some of it was Project Drawdown’s speaker at two points seemed dismissive of regenerative agriculture and also of the focus on plastics. But as with many people I’ve admired in the environmental movement initially (and do still admire what they’ve done) like Bea Johnson from Zero Waste Living, the youth climate activists who mobilized two summers ago and Boyan Slat from Ocean Clean Up – I realize that no one knows everything. Bea Johnson monetized her work. Youth Climate Activists are busy applying to college now, and are self-caring. And Boyan Slay from the Ocean Clean Up is selling sunglasses for $200. But they are all moving climate work forward but in different ways. In Project Drawdown, that person standing in a boardroom with a button-down shirt giving us a blueprint or roadmap on how to save the world is doing a fantastic thing. But that person also does not understand people. As a pediatrician who cares for thousands of families and who understands human nature and who tries to lead a department, I understand people. And people need to be inspired. And people need to be able to feel they are part of a movement. And people need to be able to DO SOMETHING, and DO SOMETHING NOW and feel PART OF SOMETHING. And that is how you save the planet from climate change. You have to convince the other 48% who is not there yet, and everyone pitches in and we fix this darn thing. That is what the Instagram litterpicking community is doing.
I was reminded that being Dr. Plastic Picker is a wonderful thing, because I’m approaching bag 500! Almost at item 1550 salvaged from the landfills. This was the biggest two items I’ve collected.
But I’m trying to stay on track with the litter-picking and the climate work. I saw so many patients yesterday and my hands are dry from all the handwashing and alcohol based hand sanitizer. But I remember that I did inspire some people to watch a move, to eat more plant-based or just by giving them a few pieces of my trash art. I think I even inspired the HMO coffee shop worker, as I was able to snag the coffee grounds before they closed yesterday at 4pm! Now I’m going to inspire myself by composting said coffee grounds. And then I’ll review the July schedules which we are reviewing and approving today. Middle management never ends! Climate work never ends!