Dr. Plastic Picker’s Recommendations for Nature Walks Near-by – Dr. Plastic Picker

Dr. Plastic Picker’s Recommendations for Nature Walks Near-by

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Highlands of Scotland. It was beautiful. But it is all deforested. We are lucky still in America. Let’s help the Scots by supporting rewilding Scotland, but we can enjoy our natural spaces nearby without spewing carbon into the air. This is our trip last summer. But I feel a great sense of guilt since it was quite a bit of flying. We did buy carbon offsets, but do those even work? Our family has drastically reduced our flying. Honestly, it is not sustainable and the 1% (yes us physicians) are contributing to this. Just do what you can though. Maybe that one trip that isn’t that exciting or that cruise you were thinking, maybe go visit a National Park instead?

February 14, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Martin et. al. just published this month an article that explains it all, “Nature contact, nature connectedness and associations with health, wellbeing and pro-environmental behaviors.” I have to email the HMO librarian about getting the article, because it cost $39.99. But the highlights are that

  • Visiting nature > once/week was associated with better health.
  • Nature connectedness was positively related to eudaimonic wellbeing. I had to look up eudaimonic, it means “a contented state of being happy and healthy and prosperous.”
  • Nature connectedness was positively associated with pro-environmental behaviors.

This explains it all. I sometimes was unsure if I was going on the right path, but this is my path. I need to lead people to the beach to experience nature and also to clean the earth. I will try to pick our next dedicated beach cleaning soon.

But I also want to emphasize that you can go by yourself without Dr. Plastic Picker. Certainly come when we have our next group beach cleaning, because you will be building connectedness and community when we ocean beach clean together. But your pediatrician does not want you to wait. I want your headaches and stresses to go away, and part of that answer is to go out into nature and bring a bag that you would otherwise throw away and pick up 5 pieces of litter. Bring gloves if you want. Better yet, bring an old sandwhich bag and use that as gloves. It works fine. You might think you are going to look silly, but you are beautiful when you do that.

We are based in Southern California and we are blessed with beautiful wild places that are close by. Instead of going to Disneyland where they have again raised ticket prices, please consider replacing one of those consumer-filled days with a local nature-walk instead. You will save time, gas, money and the earth – and maybe your soul.

I will now close my eyes at 452AM, as I am sitting in my dark kitchen blogging. My father-in-law is getting water from the refrigerator water dispense to fill his reusable water bottle. He is used to seeing me typing away at the computer in the early mornings now. He has always been an early rise and has been using a reusable water bottle for decades, and will be going for his jog soon. He is almost 80 and is so fit and healthy, and mindful. He knew the key to good healthy before I figured it out. Anyways, let me close my eyes and imagine where I want you to go this weekend for a walk.

PACIFIC BEACH, Walk from Crystal Pier to Tourmaline Beach. I call this my beach, but it’s not my beach. It’s our beach. Come early in the morning before it gets too crowded and the plastic starts accummulating. Walk from Crystal Pier (there are plenty of parking lots nearby) and walk toward Tourmaline Beach, where the surfers are. Walk along the edge of the sand and watch the waves and pick up a few pieces of plastic. I promise you there will be a few, and then walk back along the sandcliffs. You will see my friends the Whimbrel and Marbled Godwit birds https://drplasticpicker.com/we-are-tired-we-marbled-godwits/. If you don’t mind, can you pick up a few pices of imbedded plastic on the bottom of the cliffs/slope? That area does not get cleaned enough. This area is technically a Marine Protected Area. We are so lucky.

Torrey Pines State National Park. I have not been here with Mr. Plastic Picker in years and we live just a few miles away. Can you believe that? I think we will try to go this weekend since we both have it off and there isn’t much scheduled with the kids. This is one of the most beautiful hikes in the world https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=657

Arches National Park. I know this seems far away. But I have been on Facebook, and I see friends that have gone all the way to Egypt. Traveling all over the world is not sustainable. I want to return to Peru but now I am living our climate reality, and realize to love Peru – it is better for me to donate to the Rainforest there https://drplasticpicker.com/donation-round-up/. But closer by and equally amazing is Arches National Park. You can drive from Southern California and make it a longer road trip hopefully in a fuel-efficient car. Or we did take a short flight to Salt Lake City, and drove from Salt Lake City to New Mexico. This was in lieu of an international vacation we were planning instead. It was a glorious vacation and I still can close my eyes and remember the landscapes and vis.tas I can still picture the first snow that fell onto the red rocks as we looked out from our Home2Suites buffet breakfast. Moab is a really easy place to be based at with kids, and do a lot of day hiking. We went during the fall last year, and it was still one of our most favorite vacations.

Cabrillo National Monument. There are beautiful hikes all around that area. I know likely your children have gone multiple times with school, but go there to be in nature. The key is to go and move your body, and to sit in a natural spot and close your eyes. If the kids refuse to go to Torrey Pines, I will take them here https://www.nps.gov/cabr/index.htm

These are just three places nearby that any of my patients and their families can go to. If you do go and it was this post that prompted you, can you leave a comment or email me at drplasticpicker@gmail.com ? It really makes it all worth it.

I saw one of my beloved patients who is five with autism recently. His parents were updating me on his school progress, and our visit was as always interrupted by his sudden happy but slightly flat-affected outbursts of “I’m going to Legoland!” “Go to Legoland!” We are all four of us, parents, patient and myself very comfortable with eachother. I continued to have my conversation with his mother, but sprinkling in comments about the beach and eating more fiber and less plastic and the beach. I gave them a drplasticpicker reusable grocerty tote (gratis of course!) https://drplasticpicker.com/the-drplasticpicker-reusable-grocery-totes-are-en-route/. As I was leaving the exam room, my little patient said happily “Beach! I want to go the beach!” He laughed joyously albeit a bit inappropriately, remember he has autism, “Dr. Plastic Picker! My doctor is Dr. Platic Picker!!!” And indeed, my little patient, I am Dr. Plastic Picker.

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