Dr. Plastic Picker – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Tag: Dr. Plastic Picker

Second batch of Vegan But Butter.

September 24, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I felt overwhelmed yesteray at 430PM. I had a full packed day of morning clinic. I was happy to finish relatively on time, and had 20 minutes to make it home before my virtual meetings started. The truth is yesterday afternoon the rest of the department was OFF not working and not at meetings. I sat through meetings from 1230 to 430PM. The meetings were all about really important things like vaccination campaigns, and spreadsheets, virtual care, reducing racial and health inequities, mediCAL Performance Improvement Projects, perceptions of medical home, perception of bonding with primary care doctors, and on and on. This is important stuff and actually potentially is a decision to spend tens of thousands of dollars to evert millions in fines, and to publish our work to deploy virtual care as a way to reduce racial and health disparities. As I half dozed off at 230PM laying on the couch listening to the meeting, some comment by someone woke me up. I’m the only front-line MD that actually attends these meetings (some from other departments with their name of hte projects have never shown up) and then I start talking and spouting out ideas. The team is fantastic, but at the end of the day when the meeting is over – I have to do my part to actualize these ideas. I have lots of friends in our department that want to help, but when those ideas and proposed projects are swirling in my brain and I was the only one that attended the meeting and I’m the only one with the ideas and I haven’t yet fully articulated them to my colleagues – it can be overwhelming. I feel alone sometimes.

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I like our middle management meeting on Tuesdays, not so much this monthly Wednesday late afternoon meeting about something that rhymes with BLIP.

September 23, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I really need a lot of hope this morning. Yes there are several national events that are upsetting. The Notorious RBG died of pancreatic cancer and her body is not even laid to rest, and already an orange-hued president whose name rhymes with DUMP has offered forth a replacement. A good portion of the Republican Party is upsetting me especially Mitt Romney, as they seem to be falling in line as this was their deal with the orange dumpy devil. Let him do whatever he wants as long as he tilts the highest court to the right. Then there are over 200,000 deaths due to COVID-19 in the US. Those 200,000 lost lives have created concentric circles of grief that are creating ripples in our communities. Yesterday I delivered one of my personal N95s to the airport to a friend of a dear friend whose wife is also a friend of my sister, as he boarded a flight in an attempt to see a friend who is being pulled off the respirator dying of COVID19. He is part of my community, and needed to say his goodbye. I don’t do these last minute heroics lightly and pulled a crazy U-turn near the closed San Diego Airport Cellphone Parking Lot. I had to confess to Mr. Plastic Picker last night my attempt to get to the airport on time. I made it and I hope my friend’s friend is able to say his goodbyes.

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Eco-Avatar of Maggie P, one of our AAP Climate Change and Health Childrens’ Art Council Members.
Eco-Avatar, my son. What the heck? What do those horns mean? Is that yellow halo? I’m so confused.

September 22, 2020

by Dr. Plastic Picker

The first picture is the Eco-Avatar of Maggie P. She is one of the members of our AAP Climate Change and Health Children’s Art Council. She drew a super cute and colorful Yoda. The second drawing is the Eco-Avatar of my teen son. He had to apply to our council also. We are gathering Eco-Avatars from all 11 of our volunteers for a group project. It’s really being organized by our premedical intern #1 who is doing a very professional and fantastic job. It’s hard not to compare your children to other people’s children. It’s a fault of probably 100% of parents out there, even your local litter-picking pediatrician. This morning I’m looking at both avatars and immediately comparing my son’s avatar to Maggie P’s who is still in elementary school and one of my patients. Is my son okay? His avatar has two red horns and a yellow halo? Is he trying to tell me something? Or is it that he’s a sophomore in high school.

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My new happy place. Eco-haven.

September 21, 2020

by drplasticpicker

This is really no time to waste regarding climate change. Depending on which criteria you chose, we either have 9 years or 14 years left to avert climatic disaster. We are already in mitigation mode. I am not sure if those who know me in real life truly understand the true panic in my heart. About a year ago someone at work asked me as Assistant Boss to look into why there were not enough recycling bins in their office. That request was annoying. First, it’s actually not my job as Physician Middle Manager to deal with recycling bins. Second, recycling plastic water bottles is not the answer. Acknowledging that tap water is the same as bottle water, and bring your own reusable water bottle to work is the answer. Third, this individual had mansplained me for a decade. And fourth, this request like many others would lead me down a useless rabbit hole while the world literally burns down. I could spend half of my entire professional life trying to make sure there were enough recycling bins in the offices. Instead, our department just cancelled all single-use water bottle orders. Done. No more plastic. Bring your own water in a reusable container. I have had similar requests and I address them briefly, and then move on to where I think I will be more impactful for the world.

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Physical space and mental space. This is what I’ve gained by buying less.

September 20, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Mr. Plastic Picker and I went to Costco for the first time in months together. Since becoming the Plastic Picker family and trying to reduce our plastic consumption compounded with the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing requirements, we have reduced the things that we bring home. I have salvaged over 1000 things from the landfill mostly aluminum cans. The 1057 items I have salvaged, I try to recycle, regift, repurpose or donate. I have three bags today going to GoodWill of salvaged shoes and clothes that have been cleaned. The answer it not to wishfully donate our things away, because much of it also will end up in the landfill. The answer for our family has mostly been to slow down the things that flow into our home.

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Two things from a bunch of mushy apples: apple sauce and apple-cider-vinegar scraps.

September 18, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I started my first batch of apple-scrap vinegar yesterday. We had a bunch of mushy apples and Mr. Plastic Picker asked me the day before if I could make apple sauce. If you know us in real life, this is a earth-shattering request. My children and other people eat my cooking. My son’s good friend once complimented me on my breaded chicken. But my husband wanders around the kitchen foraging on his own. The more I’ve been cooking plant-based, the more he is eating. He asked for apple sauce and he used to buy so many of those prepared apple sauces in <5> plastic. Since we’ve started going less plastic, he eats more apples but I think he misses those processed apple sauces. He actually says mine is better.

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Why am I crying while making cornbread?

September 17, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I’m making cornbread this morning and I’m crying. It was supposed to be a vegan cornbread recipe, but I don’t have vegan butter nor non-dairy milk. I substituted real butter and real milk which pretty much just makes it cornbread. It’s not even imperfectly vegan cornbread. It’s definitely non-plastic at least. I’m not crying because it’s not vegan, I’m crying because I’m thinking about a really close friend that loves to cook. I wish I could call and text her as often as I used to about how much I’ve grown in my cooking. For various reasons our friendship has been one of those wonderful yet sometimes painful pairings. But anyway, I just miss my friend. I miss her when I cook and when I meet these milestones. The reason why is that she is a phenomenol and intuitive cook, and she knew me before I could cook. And she actually taught me a lot of things about cooking and life. We will just leave it at that. We are better off where we are now in our relationship, still true friends but more distant. I can’t believe I’m crying. This plastic picking and journey of discovery is literally making me process decades worth of issues. We all got issues. I’m just doing my own therapy through this blog in front of everyone.

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First born, putting on his own shoes.

September 16, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Above is a picture of my first born putting on his own shoes. For various reasons, I am very proud that he is able to do that and that he gets out the door by himself without assistance. Sometimes all of us just watch him leave from the porch: his grandmother, his grandfather, the puppy and myself. His sister was still sleeping because she had virtual school yesterday. He got to the car all by himself without any assistance, and his father (Mr. Plastic Picker) drove him to his fancy prep school in the family’s red Prius. They listen to NPR on the way to school. His breakfast was a vegan sausage and broccolli sauteed with some vegetable broth, and a piece of Dave’s Killer Wheat Bread which is palm-oil free. With that, he was sent forth into his teenage world hopefully avoiding COVID-19.

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Posed this picture to get attention. Doctors really like attention. Isn’t that half of the reason we became doctors?

September 15, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Above was bag #283 and item #1050 was a flattened alumnium can on the road. I oddly really like recycling those aluminum cans because I figure no one else will. Of those items, 483 have been aluminum cans. I only did an analysis on aluminum cans called “Aluminum Cans: The High Yield Salvagable” https://drplasticpicker.com/aluminum-cans-the-high-yield-salvagable/. At that point I was only at 150 aluminum cans. But even at 150 cans, I realized how high-yield it was to pick those on my walks especially the flattened ones that probably no one else would recycle.  I have always been fascinated by the idea of efficiency. So as drplasticpicker, I want to help the earth but do it in an efficient manner. Remember of the 100 billion aluminum cans sold in the US, only half are recycled. So every year there are 50 billion aluminum cans that never make it back. Recycling one aluminum can is enough to power a television for 3 hours. Therefore 1050 aluminum cans, I could watch Star Trek Enterprise straight for 131 days. But I can watch it anyway since we have solar panels that produce double the energy we use (yes I went a bit overboard). The best thing about aluminum cans is that they are endlessly recycle them.

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I’m odd and I’m okay with that. This was one of my more memorable trash art pieces.

September 14, 2020

by drplasticpicker

When I started this journey of climate activism and picking up ocean plastic pollution a year ago, I never thought that writing would be my way to make a difference. I began blogging at 4am this morning, earlier than I usually do. I had to work yesterday at Pediatric After Hours Clinic and it was a relatively quiet and fun shift. I did pick up a hip click that two other doctors missed so I felt good about that. But anytime my schedule is a bit off – my sleep is disrupted. Writing like ocean plastic picking tends to quiet my mind. I love the sound of the clicking on my key board. It makes me feel like I’m going somewhere, eventhough most mornings I’m just sitting at my kitchen table. The air purifier is running this morning and that is a stark reminder of our climate crisis. It’s been running all night and stable in the 30s PM 2.5 but when you open the door, it shoots up to the mid 50s. Before the wildfires began it was in the single-digits. My father-in-law is moving around the kitchen quietly making his coffee. It’s usullay just him and me in the mornings, and he tries to not make too much noise. I think he thinks I’m doing really important things on the computer, eventhough most of the time I’m writing nonsence. But the air purifier is running today and we will buy an additional one for him, because increased particulate matter and air pollution is associated with increased cardiac death in older adults.

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