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

Secondary Environmental Net Positives: September 2019

| Posted in Plastic Picking Totals

October 21. 2019

by drplasticpicker

Since starting on this journey of wandering along the ocean’s edge and looking for plastic, I have more time to think since time has literally slowed down. Because my attempts to stop climate change are tangible now, diverting ocean plastic one piece at a time – I have felt more empowered and had more time to dissect out what other easy changes our family can make. I think about it just a few minutes a day. The time I had previously spent scrolling through my iPhone confused about why the Kardashians are even a thing, I now just think – what other easy thing I can do? As always, I like to track things on my iPhone in the notes section. So this is my summary for September 2019 changes I made for our family and the Net Environmental Positives. 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 (September 2018)

  1. One Plane Trip Avoided/ 0.15 metric tons carbon avoided/ Equivalent to 15 Gallons Gasoline (Short trip I had purchased tickets for but was not that excited about it. Decided to save the carbon and money and cancelled).
  2. Five Gal Gasoline / 140 Miles of Driving Avoided (Changed dental office to neighborhood one for drplasticpicker & mrplasticpicker. We had been going to the one in our old neighborhood 25m away! Carpooled twice and cancelled 1 work meeting attendance that was unnecessary anyway.)
  3. Two Gal Gasoline Avoided/ 3 Extra Plug Ins (I have a plug-in hybrid that gets 20 miles on a plug which is just enough to get me to the hospital. But the plug-in station at the hospital is another 5 minute walk to our weekly middle management meeting. I’m chronically 5 mins late. So I made myself leave a bit earlier and was less rushed and had time to plug in and came to the meeting on-time!)
  4. Three kWh Dirty Energy Avoided (Signed up for this notification by our energy provided called the Ohm Hour. You reduce your energy use during “peak times” of dirty energy. I think though 33 kWh = 1 gallon of gas, so not sure how much difference it makes. We already have solar and produce more than we use. But the family has had fun sitting in the dark random times betweem usually 7-9pm, half kidding!)
  5. Seven Plastic Forks Refused (On two afternoons, went to lunch with my clinic office buddies. I had packed plastic forks from home that I have been washing and reusing. Offered them my cutlery and they accepted!)
  6. Three Disposable Coffee and Plastic Cups Refused (I made sure I had my coffee mug ready when I went to the hospital meeting, and used my own mug twice at the cafeteria. At the dentist office I was thirsty and used their fancy water dispenser, but with my own water bottle.)
  7. Twenty Four Recycled Toilet Paper Rolls Purchased (I’ve always wanted to try them and finally found the seventh generation ones are easy to find at Ralphs. Just having myself and mrplasticpicker use them.)
  8. Six Recycled Paper Towel Rolls Purchased (We already use cloth towels for most things, but got the seventh generation ones for those jobs we sometimes use paper. At Ralphs.)
  9. Ten Used Own Plastic Containers at Bulk Bins (Finally got our 14oz Plastic Containers tared and marked at 0.27 Grams, and began going to the bulk bins at Sprouts to get snacks. This has been a great net positive! I have to provide the kids’ school snacks so I give them their snack of choice in a small rigid tupper ware rather than buying wrapped individual snacks. Rather than those fruit squeezes and wrapped bars, we are snacking on dried peas, banana chips, pretzels).
  10. Two Plastic Table Covers Reused (I had 2 left over white plastic table covers from a Girl Scout event. It had been a clean event and I had wiped them down and refolded them. I reused both for the office park picnic and then it got ripped enough that it was time to discard).
  11. One Disposable Pen Refused (I went to one of those management trainings, and they always have those free pens. I had one in my bag already and said to my friend who organizes it, “I am going to refuse this disposable pen.” She smiled at me and held up her reusable canteen, “Good for you!)
  12. One Plastic Container Avoided (My clinic friend has a dog with Cushing’s Disease and she is kind of psychotic. They aren’t treating it but she was prescribed an anxiolytic for her dog for nail trimmings. My dog had that medicine and we fixed her anxiety issues and don’t need it anymore, so I said, “I can give it to you and save you money and save the earth one from one more plastic bottle!)
  13. One Plastic Container Avoided (Bought my first ever shampoo bar at Sprouts. This was more to avoid palm oil. Honestly its not working so well but I’m using it here and there).
  14. Three Letters Not Mailed/ $1.5 Stamps Saved (Three random bills I figured out how to pay online. About 90g of carbon saved).
  15. One Reusable Aluminum Water Bottle Gifted (My parents still drink out of single use plastic water bottles. My mother was admiring my light-weight aluminum water bottle that has our physician group branded on it. I gave it to her so that hopefully my parents start using it more. I told her how bad microplastics are for her health!)

See how I did in October 2019 or my plastic picking totals since I started

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3 thoughts on “Secondary Environmental Net Positives: September 2019”

  1. Christine M.-P. says:

    Have you seen or heard of a product called “Squeasy Snacker”. They are re-useable silicone squeeze pouches. You can get various sizes. I like the smallest size for filling my own applesauce pouches, but I know other moms who fill with their own smoothie/yogurt like creations for their kids or themselves. It helps reduce the plastic pouch trash and saves money since you can fill from larger less expensive source containers. For me that’s a win-win. It does take a bit more effort though because you have to remember to fill the pouch.

    1. drplasticpicker says:

      Hello Christine! Thank you for stopping by! I had heard some of my newer parents mention it and I think I’ve seen in once in clinic, but haven’t looked into it. I will definitely read up on them. I wish they had those when my kids were younger. Our kids are well into high school now, so I’m trying to buy actual whole fruit now and give them apples and cuties and pears to bring to school once in a while. But “Squeasy snackers” sound great for smoothies. I will check it out! Thanks for the advice!

    2. drplasticpicker says:

      Good news Christine! I contacted Squeasy Snacker and they are going to sponser a guest blog post on our website! Let me know if there is a specific product you think we could trial and do you have any fun recipes to share?

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