Dr. Plastic Picker Reporting: Five Beautiful Eco-Moments At Work
October 30, 2020
I am so proud to be our Eco-Champion for the Kaiser South Pediatric Clinics! Jenny Lusung RN at Bonita designated me for that role, so I think that makes it official. Jenny has asked me to write a regular item for the BOTAY Newsletter and this will be my first specific one for our great community. Thank you for allowing me a regular column in this virtual space. I am grateful.
I wanted to highlight the Eco-Choices that our community is making. Sometimes I live in my own head way too much between blogging, going to the beach to pick up plastic alone and trying to move the healthcare sector toward more sustainability. This week I attended the National Children’s Health and Climate Leadership Forum and again talked about myself. But when I get out of my own head and look around, I find the greatest inspiration from our work community. I thought I’d report to everyone the beautiful world I see moving toward sustainability and amplifying eachother’s voices!
Five Beautiful Eco-Moments
(1) Office Beach Clean Up Picture and Story Went Relatively Viral: We just got together to clean the beach and hang out. But it was the beginning of something beautiful. This picture made headlines as one of the key slides in Dr. Lori Byron’s (The Chair of the AAP Climate Change and Health Committee) keynote address at the National Children’s Health and Climate Leadership Forum. It also was featured in a blogpost I published on Eco-America Climate for Health site. Thank you for lending your efforts and showcasing your beautiful sandy toes!
(2) Dr. Goldberg Family’s Gardening Adventures! One of the greatest gifts of picking up plastic at the beach is that it helped me look at everything differently. I have known the wonderful Dr. Goldberg for over a decade, but I never knew that she loved gardening! Isn’t that wonderful? The Goldberg family has begun gardening more including compost gardening, a drip irrigation set up and a hydroponics project. Dr. Goldberg writes, “I used to garden many years ago, but never really had the time until recently. And my kids seem to love it. Hoping we get some actual product this fall.”
(3) Glory At Bonita Raising a Pretty Phenomenol Kid: Arlene Nagtalon is Glory’s daughter and a teen writer for Voices of Gen Z. She used her power as a writer to highlight Dr. Plastic Picker and the environmental movement in a very well-written article. I learned that she is a fantastic kid and very articulate. But did you also know that she has a dream to upcycle objects found on her nature hikes (like acorns) and upcycle into jewlery? I would be the first in line to buy those!
(4) Dr. Patton and Pediatric Plant-Based Diet. Our wonderful Dr. Patton is finally doing all Pediatric GI after toughing it in her previous dual role as urgentologist/specialist. We are honored to have her as our first and only pediatric specialist with a foothold in the Pediatric South clinics. Did you know that as a Pediatric GI specialist she she is fellowship trained in Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition. The “Nutrition” part is often forgotten but is one of her passions. She is lending her voice and leading a journal club and panel discussion later on Plant-Based diets in Pediatrics to further educate all of us on how to counsel families on plant-based eating. This will improve health and also save the planet! Did you know her favorite organ is the liver? Neither did I!!! How amazing is that.
(5) People Who Bring Lunch To Work (More Vegetables and Less Plastic!): As your intrepid Eco-Champion and Sleuthing Environmentalist, I often check the lunchroom and check out what people are eating and our trashbins. I have noticed an uptick in healthy eating and decrease in single-use plastics in the lunchroom. It’s been months since I’ve seen any single-use water bottles. I have noticed in the Otay Mesa refrigerator that Gail and Quetzalli usually bring lunch and share healthy vegetables together. Dr. Patton always meals prep, and has a healthy meal from home (this makes sense since she is a GI specialist). I have noticed Dr. Anselm and Dr. Vadivel also bring lunch from home. But there is still the ever growing collection of sauce packets from Panda Express and other fast food establishments from when colleagues get take-out. I’ll continue to monitor the pile of single-use sauce packets. This is likely a barometer on our overall eating in our clinics.
And that is it! Those are my observations of positive environmental changes in our community. For the next installment of this series, I will commit to traveling to Bonita Pediatrics and looking into their lunchroom and doing a trash audit. There is a certain young associate who loves to cook and photograph, and I’ve been checking out her Instagram feed for recipes. This will be super fun to be the Sleuthing Environmentalist. Until next time! This is your Assistant Chief but rather would be known as your Eco-Cheerleader. If you have any items you want to submit for next quarter’s article – just let me know. Group projects are always best.