Dr. Luis Castellanos: Cardiologist Doing His Part for the Environment #7 – Dr. Plastic Picker

Dr. Luis Castellanos: Cardiologist Doing His Part for the Environment #7

| Posted in MDs Making Eco-Choices (Interviews)

Dr. Luis Castellanos’ kids are active recyclers, and helping their parents at home!

August 10, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Happy Monday everyone! It has been six months since our last MD Interview on this blog. Our last interview was Dr. Naomi Lawrence-Reid https://drplasticpicker.com/dr-naomi-lawrence-reid-eco-conscious-pediatrician6/ who is still out there living an environmentally oriented life and being all sorts of fabulousness. I think she was recently on NPR? If you know me in real life, you know how hard it is to top Dr. Naomi Lawrence-Reid in my subjective ranking of people I adore. So it’s taken me six months to get enough enthusiasm to profile another MD. I think you will see the six months wait was worth it!

With this blog, I go with the flow of nature and life. I allow circumstances to tell me what and who to blog about. Life brought me back to one of our good friends, Luis Castellanos. Dr. Luis Castellanos, Mr. Plastic Picker and I went to medical school together. We are friends with his family (including gorgeous wife and three rambunctious sons) in real life. Dr. Dear Friend is their pediatrician. And my sister is good friends with their family as well, as she worked as a Law School Advisor with his wife. So our lives are intertwined in real authenic ways.

Dr. Luis Castellanos https://providers.ucsd.edu/details/11987/luis-castellanos-cardiology-san_diego did his bachelor studies at the University of California, Davis. I’ve never met a UC Davis graduate who is anything but nice and accomplished by the way! He continued on to Harvard Medical School where we were classmates. After earning his MD in the frigid hinterlands of Cambridge/Boston, he returned to California and did his internal medicine and adult cardiology training at University of California San Diego. He also holds a Masters in Public Health.

Dr. Luis Castellanos’ professional accomplishments are vast. He is . Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSD. Click here to see his academic CV https://profiles.ucsd.edu/luis.castellanos. But what is relevant to us here on this blog is that he is Director of the UCSD PRIME HEq program https://medschool.ucsd.edu/education/diversity/prime-heq/Pages/default.aspx. From their website, “PRIME-HEq is an inclusive program designed to build on students’ interests and backgrounds in community service. PRIME-HEq faculty work with students to identify populations or communities at risk for health disparities.” This is where our professional lives crossed again, as our clinic site will now teach UCSD medical students.

He has been very busy working and has been on service as the attending cardiologist these last few weeks. He finally had time to catch his breath and answer my interview questions. He is making sure his boys are helping with the recycling at home (hence the picture above) and catching up with life. Thank you Dr. Luis Castellanos for taking care of the cardiology needs of COVID-19 patients, working on health equity and being a good friend and humoring me by stopping by our blog! You know I’m good to add on your kids to my schedule or Dr. Dear Friend’s schedule anytime you need. LOL.

What kind of coffee mug did you use this morning?

–        I use a clear glass mug for my morning coffee when I have the opportunity to have breakfast at home on the weekends. My wife likes to buy these because you can tell very easily when they are clean and do not have stains.

–        When I go to work, I actually drink chamomile or green tea in an insulated red plastic mug. I believe my wife received it as gift when she worked at USD Law School and I now use it when I drive to work. I’ve used it over the past few years and it’s my favorite because unlike ceramic mugs, this one does not break and it keeps my tea hot.

Do you carry a reusable water bottle? Can you describe it?

I used a clear plastic water bottle with white water droplets painted on the outside. It has a large opening on the top so that I can easily refill it with tap water. I like the fact that it’s clear so that I can easily clean it with soap and water. 

Your last trip to the grocery store, did you use a reusable grocery tote? Can you describe it?

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, I would use reusable cloth bags to pack my groceries. These bags are very sturdy and easy to carry and clean if they get dirty. However, currently we don’t have the option to use these since they are no longer permitted inside grocery stores. (My reply: Luis, I think you can use it now? At least in PB they are letting Mr. Plastic Picker and I use them).

What kind of car do you drive and how many miles per gallon do you get? How far is your commute to work?

My wife and I are savers, so over the past few years, we were able to save enough money to buy a Tesla. She normally uses the electric car to pick up the boys from school, an average of 40 miles round trip.  I drive a Toyota Highlander and it gives me approximately 21 miles per gallon. My commute to work is about 35 miles round trip.

What things have you done for the environment lately?

Now that I’m spending more time at home, I realized that we throw away quite a bit of organic material, (i.e. banana and orange peels, egg shells, watermelon rinds) so I built my own compost bin. It has been a fun project since it teaches my kids how waste can decay and be used to fertilize plants and trees.  It’s fairly easy to do and it does not create an unwarranted smell.

Everyone in our home is very conscious about recycling, so every morning our boys are responsible for taking the recyclable material to the large blue bin. My wife and I are making sure that they learn from a early age that it’s best to recycle things so that we help preserve the environment and also saves money for when they decide to attend college!

What are your feelings about drplasticpicker?

I enjoyed reading the posts of drplastipicker because they are fun and informative! Drplasticpicker provides a unique way of presenting information that can help improve our environment and the health of our community members! We all need to do our part so that collectively we make meaningful and lasting change so that our kids will have a better world than the one we inherited.

Thank you again Dr. Luis Castellanos. Dr. Plastic Picker thinks you are fun and informative as well. Your good opinion of our efforts really means a lot to me. I have a great and enduring respect for you as a friend and fellow physician. Stay tuned because the AAP CA3 Climate Change and Health Committee has committed to give lectures at UCSD PRIME HEq on the intersection of climate and racial health inequities! This interview gives me hope because Dr. Luis Castellanos while working on saving COVID-19 patients as the cardiology consult, then goes home and works on recycling, composting and environmental health. If Dr. Luis Castellanos can take the time to make sure his boys know how to correctly recycle and build a compost bin, than certainly the rest of us normal humans can as well. I need to stop by his house and check out his compost bin soon (maybe after COVID-19 pandemic is over).

When COVID-19 is over, I’m going to have Dr. Luis Castellanos over and make him Cold Brew Coffee with all my Harvard Medical School stuff. Or maybe I’ll go over to his house and check out his compost bin? I’ll bring the coffee over to him.
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