Secondary Environmental Net Positives: October 2019
November 3, 2019
This is the second 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. Since I’m less on Facebook and not randomly scrolling on my iPhone, my mind has more space and time for useful thoughts. I like to track these things on the notes section of my iPhone. So this is my summary for October 2019 changes I made for our family and the Net Environmental Positives. Of note, I did not double dip. The reductions I did during the AAP trip to New Orleans https://drplasticpicker.com/drplasticpicker-goes-to-the-aap-national-conference-in-new-orleans-and-tries-to-use-less-plastic I did not take credit for again. This will be a monthly update. I tried to order from greatest environmental net positive to lowest, but it’s kind of subjective.
List of 15 Secondary Net Environmental Positives (October 2019)
- One Virtaul Meeting avoided 100 miles of driving: Again drplasticpicker is in middle management, and we had a 45 minutes meeting regarding an interesting health measure that we are trying to improve. Usually we have the 5 attendees drive and meet in a central location. Our region is so spread out now, that I used my managerial power to turn it into a virtual meeting. Averted the 5 attendees having to drive about 100 miles, and the meeting was actually very productive. About 3-4 gallons of gas avoided.
- Purchased Garbage Bags with Recycled Content: Usually the plasticpicker family shops at Costco and Target. It has been difficult to purchase products with recycled plastic content at Costco. So I have been visiting local stores whenever I am in the area to quickly browse the asiles. I found Seventh Generation Kitchen Garbage Bags with 65% post-consumer recycled plastic content at Rite Aid in our neighborhood. The Costco Kirkland Garbage Bags Mr. Plastic Picker purchased come in 200 count. They are $0.15 a bag. I thought the Seventh Generation was much more expensive, but it ends up being $0.20 a bag. That is not bad! I’ll double check the calculations later too.
- Saved 96 Pieces of Paper: Probably the environmental impact is not that big but the number of pieces of paper is large and the decreased clutter in our mailbox is huge! Finally switched our electric bill, internet and our car payment to paperless, and switched those both to autopay.
- Paper Letters Avoided (36): Continued from above. We switched our internet, car payment and electric bill to autopay. I’m not sure how valid some of these calculations are but one British environmental blogger wrote “Sending a traditional, 10-gram recycled paper letter creates about 140 grams of carbon due to the process of manufacturing, printing, delivery and decomposition.” That means I saved 5kg of carbon which is about 1/2 gallon of gas. Not bad. Plus I now have saved myself $19 worth of stamps a year.
- Eight Resued Plastic Containers: Went to the bulk bins at Sprouts for snacks again for the kids. Filled up our tared reused rigid plastic contains 8 times avoiding 8 either bags/plastic containers and all those small little snack bags. Kids are good at using the rigid plastic tupperware for snacks now. Also we save money because all the snacks are cheaper in bulk per ounce.
- One Additional Plug-in at the Hospital: This is the same plug-in process I mentioned last month. I have a plug-in hybrid and it gets 20 miles a plug, and that darn monthly meeting is so far from the charging station. I have to leave home 5 minutes earlier to get to the morning meeting. But did it once this month at least. That’s about a gallon of gas avoided.
- 0.5 kWh Dirty Energy Avoided: We are still participating in that Ohm Hour program with our power provider. There was one hour we reduced 0.5kWh of energy from expected usage during peak times, that would have come from the coal plants or something like that. Again we have solar panels and produce twice the amount of energy we actually use, but I guess there is peak usage and this complicated stuff I don’t know about yet where the region drains energy from “dirty” power plants.
- One Large Plastic Toy Kitchen Gifted: Read my blogpost on this special plastic toy in our lives, that was gifted to another dear family. It hopefully avoided the purchase of a new one. https://drplasticpicker.com/a-large-plastic-toy-kitchen
- Five times used Reusable Produce Bags: I remembered to launder them and used them at Sprouts 5 times this month. This is always good just to have other shoppers see others use it as well. Its not as common as one would think considering we live near the beach.
- One Pair of Leather Shoes Gifted: My younger brother needed dress shoes. He is a millenial and going to weddings and many special events right now. Mr. Plastic Picker had a very nice pair of leather dress shoes that are in pristine condition. Our son’s feet are too big now. So we gifted those to my younger brother. He was surprised and intended to buy new ones. But that made no sense. Mr. Plastic Picker last wore them at least 5 years ago and they were >$200. Avoided a purchase of a new leather product. If her ever needs them, we can borrow them back.
- One Left-Over Meal Eaten/Food Waste Avoided: I definitely get credit for this one. Dr. Dear Friend, my clinic buddy said in the lunchroom, “I’m eating left overs today because you inspired me to decrease my food waste.” Methane from food spoilage, that’s a whole other blog! Thank you to Dr. Dear Friend.
- Two Reused Plastic Forks: I think it was also at one of our office lunches out. I reused 2 plastic forks from my home-made utensil kit.
- One Refused Take-Out Container: Remembered my tupperware! Probably was at a work lunch? I didn’t put location on my notes.
- One Reused Coffee Mug: Used my bring-along coffee mug at a breakfast meeting.
- One Cup of Green Tea: This actually is really hard one for me. I love coffee and I drink the worst kind for the environment, instant. Trying to drink green tea in the afternoon when I need a caffeine boost. In one month, I did it just one afternoon. Definite goals for next month.
So that’s the my Secondary Environmental Net Positives for October 2019! What were your secondary environmental net positives for last month? I would love comments! I know I am getting page views but hardly any comments.
Check out the series of posts under Interviews, for other pediatricians and what they are doing for the environment https://drplasticpicker.com/dr-young-ho-yoon-pediatrian-and-environmentalist-1/