Dr. Plastic Picker agitates for the Ocean at a regional meeting!
December 21, 2019
This post is 1 week late, but better later than completely forgotten! Having to be accountable to our blog readers is great. There are so many made-up tasks we have given ourselves in life, but at least the tasks I have assigned myself through drplasticpicker.com have environmental positives. We are about to leave on our road trip from Southern California to Utah. This trip will entail a different series of blog post – so I want to mentally close out what happened in Newport Beach. Plus, my mother-in-law (who I love and respect) is annonying me slightly and writing is a good way to let off steam. Mr. Plastic Picker’s parents live with us and we get along 99.9% of the time, but it’s been 15 years and once in a while my mother-in-law and I will annoy each other.
Newport Beach was a regional celebratory meeting for Mr. Plastic Picker and me, as we reached our tenth anniversary with our large organization. I guess I should be grateful to my mother-in-law. Because of her, we were able to spend the night at Newport at the fancy hotel. Grandmother made her standard tofu, broccoli and rice dish for the kids Thursday evening and got them all settled for the night and off to school the next Friday morning – while Mr. Plastic Picker and I were at our meeting.
Although we were at a coporate event, Dr. Plastic Picker in my heart likes to tread the unconventional path https://drplasticpicker.com/drplasticpickers-advice-to-my-teenage-patients-and-young-physicians-pick-the-unconventional-path/. I like to think of myself as a closet trouble-maker, agitator, rebel and patriot. So these are the five things I did to advance the cause of decreasing ocean plastic pollution at this regional meeting.
- Used my reusable mug: There were a couple of reusable mug users. The hotel provided ceramic mugs as well. But it’s amazing the number of physicians who chose the coffee cups with plastic lids eventhough the program was in the hotel the entire time. There was no reason to use a “to go” cup when we were not “to going” anywhere. So I used my reusable mug three times.
- Asked Two Corporate Organizers about Reusing the Laynards: They gave us celebratory 10th anniversary laynards. They look great! But they are plastic. There is 0% chance I will ever use those again. When I was at the registration table, I asked twice to separate people, “Are you going to reuse these?” They smiled and said no. My response was a half smile, but earnest “but I have ten of these at home and it would save our organization money if you reused these!” I told the young cherubic looking man in all seriousness, “I am going to interoffice it back to you.”
- Refused the hotel pens: They had the hotel branded pens scattered at the conference. We had some gratitude exercises where we wrote down what we were grateful for. This is supposed to increase physician wellness. I wanted to let them know that Plastic Picking can also increase physician wellness! And I pulled out the pen I brought from home and used my own and refused the hotel branded pens.
- Complimented a colleague on her reusable water bottle: We were at the session on benefits and retirement. A unknown colleague who I will probably never see again had a beautiful reusable water bottle. I leaned over and said in a semi-loud whisper, “I really like your water bottle. It’s so pretty.” Indeed it had playful butterflies. She smiled in delight. Dr. Plastic Picker positively reinforcing good environmental behaviors! I wonder if this colleague wants to go plastic picking with me?
- Newport Beach Plastic Picking Session! And then I lived my dream. Mr. Plastic Picker is ever patient. We finished our corporate meeting and had about a 2 hour drive home. Before heading into traffic, he drove us to Newport Beach. We have never been there before. We parked at the 30 minute parking spot for $1. And then we did a nice walk up and down their pier. I did a 15 minute beach cleaning and picked up one bag, and a discarded starbucks coffee cup. It was so nice to clean their beach. I guess it’s really everyone’s beach and everyone’s earth!
So thus ends Dr. Plastic Picker’s adventures in Newport Beach at the large regional meeting where I was mostly on my best behavior. But I did agitate and advocate for the oceans a bit. And now I am grateful to my mother-in-law. Now I remember that I was able to go to Newport because she was caring for my children. I will go apologize now (not that I was wrong but it keeps the peace). Plus my mother-in-law loves hearing about my plastic picker adventures and is a big fan of the earth!