May 2022 Plastic Picker Totals!!!
by Dr. Plastic Picker
I’m almost at bag #700 to my #1000 goal! This month I gathered 13 bags for a grand total of 694. I gathered #11 items for a grand total of #1920 items. I’m going to dispense with the table format today. Next month I’ll be more motivated to do that.
Mostly this blog has been to keep myself accountable to the ether of the internet and blogsphere, as a fun way to keep myself motivated. I never dreamed that I would have sometimes up to 1000 unique visitors a day to this “Personal Environmental Action Blog.” But this morning was proof that this blog has meant something to me and meant something to the world, as frugal pediatrician me paid $110 a year to protect the blog against Brute Force attacks. I guess I’m a moderate sized website that deserves this protection. The blog pieces are my thoughts and my environmental journey, and a real facebook friend said that as a cherished hobby – I should spend the money. So I did.
I just let the earth and my body guide me, and it guided me to the beach yesterday for a wonderful early morning plog. I gathered 3 bags of plastic pollution and weirdly collected $15 of new things that Pacific Beach denizens had just left to the beach. A perfectly new bottle of anti-bacterial spray cleaner, new container of disinfectant wipes and new package of two medium lithium batteries. I like to look up the price of these items and they totaled $15. Pretty good for a free exercise session that helped the earth, and actually helped my pocket book.
Finance is never far from my mind, and as Mr. Plastic Picker and I were walking along the beach for my 2nd look at the ocean for the day yesterday evening – we chatted about our son and exorbiant amount we’ve paid for his education. His junior year grades are almost all in and we are awaiting AP test grades and SATs. There was one particular class of the AP scientific persuasian that we were all worried about, and he pulled that grade way up. We are so proud of him. He worked very hard this year. He was dilligent. He cared about his future, but with a level head. I can’t ask more of him. The stress of being Crimson University quadruple trained graduates squared is a lot for Mr. Plastic Picker and myself, which is why we paid for private school (not that I recommend it) to ease some of our guilt. It’s something that fellow graduates will understand we just put upon ourselves. But we feel so free now that we’ve gotten our legacy kid this far. Well, really he’s gotten himself this far. And now we are at the point that he is within striking distance of all those schools with fancy names and has a shot at our alma mater and honestly we don’t care. We don’t care if he applies to Crimson University and we don’t care if he gets it. We just wanted to make sure he was within range, and now he can decide his life.
I’m working on SB1173 fossil fuel divestment bill still with the larger working group and with the AAP California legislative group. I’ve made moves to push divesting our physician group pension as well. We have to try. This is the literal gorilla in the room for physician climate and health advocates who have owned that climate change is a true code red for humanity. We have a fun single-use plastic webinar in the planning stages and that will be fun end of July activity. Trying to figure out the AAP National resolution process with a young pediatric chief resident and one of the UCSD medical students.
I never thought when I embarked on this journey to heal myself by picking up plastic, that I would motivate others. And one of the most important two people I motivated was my two children. I often ask Mr. Plastic Picker if that is true, and what my uber smart college boyfriend told me is that is it true. My activism happened to dovetail at the same time that our own two kids were in the formidable stages of forming their world view and their understanding of themselves within that world. And my two children think they are players in the arc of justice, and they are finding their own paths. They both help me with some of my climate work, but they have their own passions. Our son is interning with Survivors International this summer. They are a group that helps with the transition and advocacy of asymlum seeks at the US-Mexico border, specifically those that have been the victims of state-sponsored torture in their home countries. It’s a heavy heavy topic, but he has a passion for justice. We were introduced to this organization through a friend who had been following my climate work, and I had not realized that she too has this passion for justice. He did the virtual listening tour of their organization, and it sparked an interest in him. For those with teens, you know that spark is rare. You can’t force that spark. It has to come naturally with a meeting of circumstance and passion. He has been meeting virtually with the volunteer director, and has plans for helping with their social media, newsletter and other meaningful advocacy work. My friend has offered to have him meet with another board member to talk about the legal work that is involved for asymlym seekers, and she is a columbia and georgetown trained lecturer is immigration and human rights.
And that is why we don’t worry anymore about his actual college applications. He’s such an interesting kid with really independent passions. I don’t need a brand-name school to brand him, because he’s one of a kind that we would never have predicted. Just like Dr. Plastic Picker! I’m one of a kind. I truly am! And I own it.
Sending you much love especially for those in my actual department. I’m here. I’m no longer officially middle management, but I am part of the Ping Pong commitee and co-lead of the Green Team. And I am sad too. I’m sad about our beloved colleauge who died too young after battling cancer. I sent a text to her saying goodbye. I’m not sure anyone will read this and I don’t need them too. But as this is my emotional journal, I want to remember for myself. My text read “I miss you my friend. I’ll see you on the other side. You will be forever young. Will try to take care of the young ones in the department that you mentored and cared for so deeply. I’ll miss your text messages about random HMOisms that drove you crazy and me too. Take care R.G. and I hope you are no longer in pain, and sitting in a natural spot where you have peace. Let’s meet again and work together in the next life. You’ll always be Nature Defencer to me. Love Dr. PP.”