Part 2: Organizing the office beach cleanup is the ultimate bargain in clean fun! – Dr. Plastic Picker

Part 2: Organizing the office beach cleanup is the ultimate bargain in clean fun!

| Posted in Office Beach Cleanings, Travel

November 4, 2019

by drplasticpicker

The important part of this picture, is the hand that is holding up the bukcet handle. That hand belonds to Mr. Plastic Picker.

Drplasticpicker and Mr. Plastic Picker spent Friday and Saturday morning preparing for and then participating in our first Office Ocean Plastic Picking Outing. This journey of becoming drplasticpicker has brought unexpected joys, and one joy is that it has made me cherish Mr. Plastic Picker even more. In this journey of becoming Drplasticpicker, Mr. Plastic Picker and I have had all sorts of fun.

The morning I found the beached stingray was also a morning “off” for both of us. Mr. Plastic Picker took a precious vacation day. We both still did middle management work from home, because middle management never ends even on vacation. But Friday afternoon, we settled into our reliable red hot Prius and took off into town to prepare for the Office Ocean Plastic Picking Outing.

Likely next time it will be easier, but before doing anything for the first time – it is always better to be prepared. We finally made it to the I Love A Clean San Diego in Liberty Station. I had tried to stop by during the week after work, but it had been too hectic. Together we admired the nice administrative offices, and the process of signing out for our supplies and filling out the required forms.

I Love A Clean San Diego offices at Liberty Station, Point Loma.

Then we drove south on the I-5 to Imperial Beach Pier, our selected beach. Even though I grew up in Southern California, I had not ever been to the IB Pier. It is one of the few affordable beachside areas still in San Diego, and I told Mr. Plastic Picker we don’t want to ruin it for the locals. Gentrification and higher real estate prices are not always a good thing. But indeed, IB was lovely and there was a Friday afternoon Farmer’s Market in action.

We scoped out an easy parking lot that my office friends could use, and then walked the path from the parking lot to where we planned to set up the next morning as our base. I typed the final email on my iPhone with the cross streets and reviewed the final directions. Our prep work done for the afternoon, we wandered into the small Farmers Marker and looked at a few booths and then spied an Argentinian Empanada stand!

They were delicious. $16 for 6 delicious empanadas.

We bought 6 empanadas, 3 for ourselves and 3 for the Plastic Picker children. The emapanadas complete with chimichurri sauce were delicious! It was wonderful short trip to IB that Friday afternoon. After our empanadas, we headed north to pick up new glasses for Mr. Plastic Picker (his had broken unexpectedly a week ago). And after the eye glass dispensary we headed next door to Costco.

I wanted to make the Office Ocean Beach Cleanup Simple. The whole idea is to make it fun and easily to duplicate, so that we can do it again and others can duplicate. I did want to provide breakfast and I don’t mind spending money, but I’ve come to realize sometimes the best things in life don’t cost much. Sometimes rather than throwing money at a problem, it makes sense to devote time and thoughtfulness.

I purchased about $30 dollars of food from Costco for the beach clean up. We were not sure how many people would come, but the maximum was about 20. We ended up having 18 people which was amazing! Honestly readers, I had expected to be there alone and no one to show up. Sometimes the key to happiness is to have low expectations and then no matter what, you are happy! But indeed my office friends did come and we had enough food for everyone. Even with hungry children and growing teenagers we had plenty of food left from the $30 worth of food and everyone seemed to have had some breakfast. I tried to buy things that could be recycled and in less packaging but there is so much plastic at Costco! I also wanted it to be somewhat healthy.

Costco Food (mostly).

Going back to the Costco trip. This is what we purchased and actually used. I did not count the left overs my children. Cups, plates, and napkins were left over from a different office event. We asked everyone to bring reuseable water bottles to decrease our own plastic, and also brought paper lunch bags so folks to bring home left-overs.

Item Cost
Bag of Apples (organic medium)  4.49
Bag of Clementines 7.99
Butter Croissants  5.99
Muffins 7.99
Orange Juice (1 of 2 jugs) 5.00
Vinyl Table Cloths x 2 Reused from Girl Scout Event
Home-made Cookies My nephews made them
TOTAL $31.46

So organizing this clean up was the ultimate bargain. For $31.46, I got to

  1. Feed friends a satisfying meal averaging $1.75 each including fruit.
  2. Fun outing for 4 separate family groups that included being outdoors, communing with nature, helping the environment, one meal and high school community service hours! Consider the average Disneyland admission for the day is $100 a person and the amount of waste one generates going to an amusement park, I think a beach clean up is much better.
  3. Estimated we picked up at least 20 lbs of trash. That is about 1lb of trash removed cost me $1.5 dollars a pound. At the “nonprofit” i saw online called 4ocean, which I think is kind of a scam, you can buy a $20 bracelet and they say they’ll pick up a pound of trash for you. I am not trying to scam anyone.
  4. Mr. Plastic Picker mentioned that this whole endeavor was very interesting and a new experience for us, almost like a date weekend away. It only cost us $31 and we didn’t need to board the animals (which is like $60 a day between our bunnies and puppy) and buy plane tickets/hotel room chasing the novelty of a far away new experience which usually runs at least $1000 not counting the carbon emissions.

So this is part 2 of the Office Ocean Clean Up outing saga. The next post I’ll let our readers know about how the actual day went. But the planning process was very fun, and a bargain for the environment and for my own entertainment! I leave you with a picture of where we actually cleaned that day. I would say Mother Nature is worth it.

You can see Isla Coronado in the distance. That is in the country of Mexico. IB is the most southwestern city in the United States.

Come by here if you want to read about the 6 children’s impressions of their first ocean beach cleaning!

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