July 2020 – Plastic Picking Round Up
August 1, 2020
About a year ago today I gave a speech in front of a local ethnic civic organization. My dad is a big funder of the organization, and asked me to give it. We had just had a measles case in our clinic, and RN Plastic Picker and I helped lead the effort to stop it. It was a complicated logistical dance with public health, our own infection control, patients and the media – but essentially I know that we helped stop a possible epidemic. I will always remember that as one of my greatest professional accomplishments. When I gave this speech in front of this civic organization, I related authoritarian governments with the measles virus. I spoke of needing to innoculate the population with knowledge of past evils, just like we innoculate children with measles vaccine. I had sent it over to my sister for comment, and as a gifted attorney and speaker herself she really liked it. I gave the speech and had dressed in a suit. My parents and my brothers were there. It is rare for all of us to gather just our original nuclear family (my sister could not make it since she lived out of state), and it was a big night for me. I had cancelled plans to fly to New York to visit Mr. Plastic Picker’s family to stay back to give this speech. It was important for my family and especially to my father.
I delivered the speech which was well written and I know well delivered (I am a former State Speech competitor), and it was one of the funniest experiences I have ever had. No one listened. I looked out from the low rise podium and everyone was eating. Clinking of glasses, chopsticks raised. I spied a former HMO Family Practice resident who was now a doctor in the community looking at me sympathetically. I finished the speech and returned to our family’s table a bit taken aback. My family analyzed the delivery and chocked it up to the audience, but my brother said he’s turn my speech into a podcast.
It was soon after that I started walking along the beach to pick up ocean bound plastic. I am at bag #240 now! And salvaged #827 items. This month I reached my goal of picking of 20 bags and again reached over 80 salvaged items. This is a good rhythm for me, and I think helps me not overdo the litter picking and have room in my life for trash art and blogging.
And I now realize that probably some of Dr. Plastic Picker was born that evening when I stood on the stage and delivered a well written and metaphorical condemnation of totalitarian governments and antivaxers. I thought it was well written, and my Yale-educated sister and my family with influence congratulated me. I know if I had turned that speech into a Crimson University professor for grading, I would have received high marks. But in the end it didn’t land. No one listened. For that speech, it didn’t matter that it wasn’t well received because I was already speaking to an audience that agreed with my political sentiments. But with Climate Change and plastic, self congratulations weren’t going to create change and encourage other folks to pick up plastic.
And then walking along the beach and picking up now 240 bags of trash and meeting so many new litter pickers, zero wasters, low wasters and other beach combers – I changed. I don’t think I would deliver that same speech again. It was kind of preachy, although I did help stop a measles outbreak in our community. And now I just write my truth, describe the bags I pick up and the adventures I have. I don’t have all the answers. And I am grateful people are listening. I’m at almost 270 blog posts, and 1000 page readers a day. Instagram I’m trying to keep in moderation and I’m 1060 followers and facebook close to 85 steady readers. That’s my story and it’s true! Here is what I picked up on the beach.
20 Bags of Ocean Bound Plastic Collected
84 Items Salvaged
|Dog Toys||2||Regifted to RN|
|Office Supplies||1||Works! Using!|
Here is what I picked up at Goodwill! Finally finally found the answer to the Costco huge parmesan cheese plastic containers. Our daughter found out that pregrated cheese has a lot of additives to keep it from sticking together. We tend to eat too much of it and it has a high sodium content. There definitely is not an organic version. This cheese grater from Goodwill cost me only $2.99! Pregrate parmesan is $10 for an 8oz bottle. But more importantly we get to buy different hard and soft cheeses now and save overall on plastic. We tend to eat less and use it for a garnish. I also picked up two high quality work shoes for $7.99 each and my plantar fascitis is essentially gone! I just needed good shoes and I got new-to-me ones at Goodwill. I am so happy. Well it is 640AM and I’m off for a quick beach plog to get my first bag for August. This weekend I have to do our quarterly taxes. We usually have money to buy another rental property so I have to start plotting that for the next few months. We also get to decide where we donate this month for the earth. I think we’ll do Eden Reforestration Projects again because it’s $0.10 per tree. I like planting trees and picking up plastic. I have to check our various favorite environmental organizations if anyone is matching donations. I like to get deals for the earth as well.
Liked this post? There is one every month! Here was the one from June 2020. Aren’t you curious how many bags I collected? https://drplasticpicker.com/june-2020-plastic-picking-round-up/