Drplasticpicker is not judging anyone! My plans to have a GREENER Christmas season. Just do what you can.
December 7, 2019
It has started. It is December 7, 2019. Eighteen more days until Christmas and now commences the mad rush. I feel it at clinic. Parents have that dazed look in their eyes as I ask them how things are going. Work, school and family social demands pile up. Dr. Plastic Picker went to my first work holiday party last night. I tried to deliver good comprehensive care to my 28th patient of the day who tested positive for Influenzae A, and still make it to a 6pm work party that was 45 minute drive away. I failed. Took care of the family first, which is always the right thing to do. I rushed home to cleanse my face and my blepharitis-plaqued eyes, put on a clean layer of foundation and pencil in my eyebrows that disappeared in the late 90s. Arrived there at 650pm. Tis the season.
Influenzae season strikes at the same time we have this mad holiday rush. People get sick more during the winter and spread it around when they get together, and then get more people sick. Then we are shopping, and trying to provide our families with the holiday they “deserve,” and then make ourselves tired and sick again. And then we buy and buy. We party and party. But as Charlotte, aged 9 wrote in her poem “Help” – the earth and the ocean are still “dirty, dirty dirty” https://drplasticpicker.com/help/ and filled with plastic https://drplasticpicker.com/plastic/ as the western hemisphere is on Consumption Overload.
My sister showed me a picture of the plastic inflatables she bought for her house. She showed me the above picture with joy but with some guilt. Her son in particular is taking great joy in their Christmas Inflatable lighted display. But I looked her in the eye and with honestly exclaimed, “Those look great and I do not judge!” Dr. Plastic Picker does not judge. I did not judge at the work party I was at yesterday as the food was served on plastic plates and we used fancy silver-ware-like but still plastic ware. I do not judge because I know that the beautiful Paella served was seafood and therefore better than beef for the environment, and the rest of the food looked delicious and local. I do not judge because I have bought likely hundreds of plastic Go-Go squeezes at Costco before coming drplasticpicker. I have taken to heart the words of Ghandi. “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” https://drplasticpicker.com/behaviors-are-contagious-i-am-trying-to-spread-a-good-contagion/
So I look at the upcoming Christmas Holiday Season, I am trying to plan how we can make our December more manageable, less wasteful, and enjoy this special time of year. Here we go! The best kind of blog post, a list!
10 Ways Dr. Plastic Picker’s Family Plans to have a Less Wasteful Holdiay Season
- Reuse Our Artificial Tree: We inherited an artificial tree 8 years ago. It had gone through two other families before we were gifted it. My father-in-law carefully packs and unpacks it every year, and it has come to be a special part of our holiday. The kids will decorate it later with their ornaments that they have made at school throughout the years. In the artificial versus real Christmas tree environmental debate, our reused artificial tree clearly wins! My plan is to use it until I die.
- Driving to Our Vacation Destination: Mr. Plastic Picker and I were miraculously able to have the week of Christmas off. So we are getting out of town, and staying at a Utah timeshare gifted to us by a generous family member. We are meeting family there, and we will drive our minivan 750 miles and make it a roadtrip and make the journey part of the vacation. The kids are excited!
- Family Gift Exchange: We will be meeting family on Mr. Plastic Picker’s side and my side. We have decided to only give gifts to the children, and are planning on buying gifts from either Rainforest Trust, World Wild Life Fund or the Central Public Library. I am going to make an effort to find out what are my nephew and nieces favorite animals.
- Office Holiday Party moved to January: The Dr. Plastic Picker family is hosting the office holiday party at our house this year, but to give our co-workers time to enjoy their own families and give us a breather from the social whirlwind, we are having the “office party” in mid January. We will get it catered by a local Louisiana/Cajun place, and are planning on ordering mostly seafood and avoiding beef and pork. This way, I can control what kind of plates and utenils we use too. I am hoping to serve infused pineapple purified water for the first time. We are hoping to use very little plastic. I am going to encourage carpooling and maybe offer a raffle for people who carpool. Future blog post for sure!
- Christmas Cards: This is an easy one for us. We only sent out Christmas cards one year early in our marriage. We thought about sending them out this year as we have many family updates. But I think we will forgo this again and save ourselves times and carbon and money, and just do the update Facebook post.
- Staff and Teacher Gifts: We always need to give gifts to Mr. Plastic Picker and my staff in our respective departments. Also gifts to the kids’ various teachers and coaches. We planned this year and did buy them at Costco but bought gifts in reusable tins and mostly edibles. It is still wasteful but at least we planned and mostly in nonplastic containers.
- Concentrate On Plastic Picking Totals: Keeping myself accountable for the ocean plastic pollution bags and salvagable totals for December is really important. I think it will help me keep focused on just getting to the beach still, and not shop.
- Turned Down Some Social Engagements: Again this is easy for us because I’m a secret introvert, but I think ultimately very important. We have chosen selectively which social engagements to attend. And we have just said no to certain ones because we would not attend them with full joy, and also the driving, the energy, the time, and the wear on our health.
- Bought the Ornament Exchange Gift from A Local Friend doing a Fundraiser: We do an ornament exchange every year in our middle managememt meeting. This year a high school friend is doing custom glass ornaments for $15-$20 as a fundraiser for her son’s ballet group. So I chose to support a local group and use our dollars that way.
- Romance Novels: I joke around with my friends that I think I’ve read every G rated romance novel out there. Usually there is a rush of ones published about now. I still have unread ones. We have to go to the Central Public Library as my daughter is participating in History Day club and has to do lots of research over the weekends. The library has a fantastic used book store. I’m going to try NOT TO BUY ANY NEW ROMANCE NOVELS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON. This is definitely going to be the hardest one.
So there you go! Dr. Plastic Picker’s preplanning on how we are going to have a more sustainable holiday season. What are your plans? I am not judgy. I am sure my sister will enjoy her Plastic Inflatable Christmas displays in the decades to come. And when she is done with it, she can hand them down to us. I think she is the one who gave us the artificial Christmas tree? LOL. Keeping it fun. Its 845 AM on a December Saturday morning, and I finished 2 blog posts, picked up 2 bags of ocean bound plastic, and did staffing for our weekend after hours clinic. Now I will go close my 15 charts from yesterday. Am hoping the kids will agree to watch Frozen II. Have a great Saturday everyone!
Addendum: my sister just called to tell me and she wanted to correct this blog post in that she says she feels no guilt. LOL. Nor should you my dear sister, as we are going plastic picking together this morning.
Click here to read about how we did! https://drplasticpicker.com/how-did-our-greener-christmas-go-10-ways-we-changed/