Secondary Environmental Net Positives: December 2019 – Dr. Plastic Picker

Secondary Environmental Net Positives: December 2019

| Posted in Plastic Picking Totals

December 30, 2019

by drplasticpicker

This is the fourth post in this series. Since ocean plastic picking, I now spend a few minutes every day to dissect out what other easy actions our family can make to help the environment. I am still not sure who is reading this blog but the pageviews are steadily trending up. Discovering this joy of writing has been a Secondary Net Personal Positive for me. This series is not that popular per the Google analytics but probably the most important for the environment. The physical act of collecting ocean plastic has motivated me to make other changes in my life. And then with this monthly blogpost, I have to be accountable for 15 changes. I never take double credit, so the environmental moves for the Christmas holiday I posted on “How Did Our Greener Christmas Go? 10 Ways We Changed” – I did not account for again. So this is my summary for December 2019 and changes I made for our family and the Net Environmental Positives. I try to list from greatest environmental impact to least, but it is kind of subjective.

List of 15 Secondary Environmental Net Positives (December 2019)

  1. Meatless Mondays: This was actually prompted by our middle-school daughter who is trying to help the environment as well. I am very conscious of eating disorders as I am a real-life pediatrician, andatless also don’t want to encourage any behaviors that would prompt that. I’m not too worried because she loves to cook and loves food, and we encourage health and movement in our family. We have no history of disordered eating in our family. Anyway, we call ourselves opportunistic vegetarians. So we have gone mostly meat-free on Mondays! Seems an easy change, but eating more plant-based diet has an outsized effect on the environment!
  2. Ecosia: We changed our search engine to Ecosia, well at least the kids and I did. Mr. Plastic Picker is still skeptical. I’ve been reading up a lot on their non-profit and I think they are legitamate. Every 45 searches = 1 tree. Since starting with them I have 80 searches on my home computer, and 8 on my iPhone. So 2 trees planted. I have started a blogpost about them and will publish at some point.
  3. 50 Rolls of Recycled Toilet Paper: So we did end up paying for the 50 rolls of Who Gives a Cr@p Toilet Paper. Mr. Plastic Picker just saw the charge on this month’s credit card bill. Its about $1 a roll, pricier than virgin forest toilet paper for sure. They did give a small free sample box of 7 paper products which I gave away to friends I’m actually okay with this since I think I’ve accidentally signed up for a every 3 month subscription. Because then at least every 3 months we will be getting 50 Rolls of Recycled Toilet Paper and we have to save the trees. My in-laws usually buy the toilet paper from Costco, the virgin tree Kirkland brand. They probably think we are getting it for free, and I will let them keep on thinking this unless they ask me directly. Snow-shoeing through the beautiful Utah Aspen forests was life-changing this winter and reminded our family how important trees are.
  4. One Hospital Plug-In: So I got my act together early enough to get to one of the hospital middle management meetings on time to plug in my Ford CMAX. This is a 25% success rate. The funny thing is that when I got to my regular clinic that day, I was late and didn’t have time to plug it in there. Real life frustrations of trying to be earth-friendly. I still gave myself credit for the morning hospital plug-in.
  5. Saved friend 10 miles of driving: One morning, our large middle management 730AM meeting was at a different location this month. There was a possibility that the entire group would go to the wrong location 10 miles away. But I texted our upper management colleague, who texted a lot of people. But I directly texted my friend Dr. Dear Friend, who told me later that that text saved her from going to the wrong location. So 10 miles (about 1/3 gallon of gas) saved for her. Honestly, I think I may have saved her life. When one is rushed, this is when accidents happen. She has a Ford CMAX Energy too!
  6. Tea instead of Coffee: I have admitted I drink and like the worse kind of coffee for the environment, instant. Anyway, this whole drplasticpicker thing has really helped with my coffee habit. I used to drink 4-6 cups a day. My instant coffee is not rainforest friendly. But it’s so addictive and I have so few vices. I’ve reduced dramatically and down to 1-2 cups a day. There were 4 specific times I thought of getting coffee, but drank Jasmine green tea instead. This tea I’ve had for years and it is good to finally use it. When I drink Jasmine tea, I do not use creamer nor sugar. It is better for my health and the earth.
  7. 9.5 Pieces of Fruit: These are the pieces of fruit I ate with peel in lieu of processed foods. I eat more fruit than this. I only give myself credit when I’m reaching for one of those bars in the lunchroom or Dr. Deaer Friend’s office, and remember “hey I have fruit” and go back to my office and eat it. So much better for my bowel movements and waist-line and the earth. Win-win-win.
  8. Four magazines replaced: I didn’t mention this is the blogpost “How Did Our Greener Christmas Go? 10 Ways We Changed” I will take credit here. When we checked into the timeshare in Utah, both Mr. Plastic Picker and I picked up those real estate magazines at the desk. I think we are like everyone and like to look at the cost of the vacation homes where we vacation. We probably both looked at it briefly. The magazines looked in perfect condition. Rather than just tossing it in the recycling, I snuck downstairs and replaced them in the front office display case! Hee hee.
  9. Five Bulk Bin Purchases: We definitely shop at Sprout’s more which has bulk bin options. We had 5 purchases there where I used my own containers.
  10. Five Reused Produce Bags: Again at Sprout’s or our local Vons. Used our reusable mesh produce bags. We always feel so eco-cool at the check out line. You should definitely try it!
  11. Ohm Hour Challenge: We are still participating in that SDGE Ohm Hour Challenge. Reduced 2kWh use during peak times when they tell us the grid will be drawing from dirty power sources. Again not sure how much a difference this makes. We had solar installed years ago and still produce more than we use.
  12. Four Times We Ate Oatmeal: We were definitely not oatmeal eaters before. Oatmeal has so much fiber and no palm oil if we eat non-instant oats. So four times I ate oatmeal, and likely fed it to the kids, with some fruit and sprinkle of cinamon and brown sugar instead of some other bread product.
  13. Five Reused Plastic Cutlery: Five times I reused plastic cutlery that I had with me either at a meeting or going out to eat. We have stopped buying any plastic cutlery. But we still have some in our drawers and I am using them until they are unusable anymore. My plan is to then replace with stainless steel ones from home.
  14. Two Reusable Water Bottles Gifted: I found two super fancy reusable water bottles on the beach, one Hydroflask and one Corki. I washed them twice with boiling water and dish soap. Gifted them to friends who know I found them on the beach and cleaned them, and they are being deployed back into the circulation of stuff we have.
  15. Middle Manager Friend Used metal fork/spoon: One of my middle management friends told me specifically that he now has a metal fork and spoon in his office and he uses it for lunch! He specficially said my drplasticpicker project has influenced him. He has been very helpful with this blog and dispenses a lot of advice. Read here about some advice he gave me

Great! Now I can also delete my notes for the month from my iPhone and start the next 15 Secondary Net Environmental Positives for January 2020!

Here was the actual plastic picking totals from December 2019

Check out what I did in January 2020, did I keep up the momentum?

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