Hopeful Wednesdays – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Tag: Hopeful Wednesdays

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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Things I get to see while plogging. When one road is closed, just find another path.

September 2, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I am overdue to write this month’s Plastic Picking totals post https://drplasticpicker.com/plastic-picking-round-up/ and August’s Secondary Environmental Net Positives. I have a reasonable goal of 20 bags a month. This month I hit closer to 35 due to some big items left at several beach bonfires. I think I’ve salvaged over 100 items that were recycled or going to the GoodWill. There was a pair of gray vintage shoes that were still in a shoebox. I found reusable masks that are now regifted to other friends or upcycled as a office display on our daughter’s colorful and sparkly Build a Bear. I laundered them all twice. But I will write those post later this week because today is Wednesday (Hump Day) and I think everyone needs a bit of hope today!

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Beautiful Trash Art piece by Emmy. Her mom is one of our fantastic nurses. Upcycled colorful medicine vial caps.

August 26, 2020

by drplasticpicker

This Wednesday kind of crept up on me. Since we went on a short trip to Palm Springs and returned on Monday, Tuesday seemed like Monday and Wednesday seemed like Tuesday. But the reality is that it is Wednesday. I realized that yesterday and knowing I needed to write this Hopeful Wednesday post lifted my spirits. My spirit is generally good these days, but the California Wildfires and the annoyance of the RNC nominating convention that I’m trying to actively ignore depresses my spirits a bit. But then one of our pediatric nurses sent this image to me of an upcycled trash art piece “Rainbow Fish” that she completed with her daughter. It is indeed beautiful and trash art gives me hope. Because through Trash Art, I have learned to look at the world a little bit differently.

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Home-made pizza. Our daughter made. I didn’t fully appreciate it because I was too busy on AB345. I need to refocus on the kids.

August 5, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Yesterday was surreal. Dr. Plastic Picker waded into politics yesterday. Like many doctors, I have shied away from partisanship. But AB345 was too important to ignore https://drplasticpicker.com/yes-on-ab345-press-conference-today/. This bill would improve pediatric health by protecting schools from gas and oil drilling wells. I didn’t realize fully what a large impact this bill would have on overall climate change by reducing fossil fuel production within California. But I was and am focused on the kids. And for the kids, we made the statements that we had to make.

This is the text message I sent my colleagues who cosigned the letter in support of AB345.

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Screenshot of this great quote, from “Story of Stuff Project.” Great account to follow for inspiration.

July 22, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It’s funny how one can read quotes and understand them conceptually, but until you experience that stage of destruction and growth than that is when you understand it viscerally. From great hardship and tragedy can come tremendous growth. What I wanted to add today, is that what enables one to grow and recover and be reimagined is connections, community, bonds and relationships with the other living lifeforms around us. There is a resiliency in being connected.

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A friend who drives this machine always waves to me.

July 15, 2020

by drplasticpicker

When I was a young pediatric resident, I would often watch the nurses go about their tasks and ask them questions. I would like to look at the IV setups that some doctors would just take for granted, and sit and figure out how the the saline in the saline bag which started high above the patient’s head on a pole actually flowed into the patient’s veins. I never wanted to be a nurse. But I always knew the details of their work was important to understand. I can appreciate someone’s role better when I know some details.

On Monday the staff lunches that were stored in the bottom drawers were oddly covered in coffee. It looked like coffee that had cream and sugar. My cold brew coffee was still secure in it’s mason jar and one of our nurse’s cold brew coffee that had creamer in it, was also secure. I pulled out the drawers and cleaned the food, and after a few minutes found the source. It was a half filled styofoam coffee with creamer on the top shelf that looked intact. But there was a small dent on the side. It was leaking. I found the source and cleaned it up.

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Screenshot from one of my Instagram friends who inspires.

June 24, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Above is a screenshot of an instagram account by an environmental advocate in Nepal. Harish Joshi was interviewed on our blog several months ago https://drplasticpicker.com/introducing-harish-joshi-thursday-trash-reflections-from-nepal/. He is busy with his environmental advocacy and I find his account inspiring, as I find many teen environmental activist. This image he created reminded me that those everyday voluntary actions on behalf of a greater good, whether it be the environment or another cause, are incredibly powerful. I have written before about the power of agency and free will, and that although I believe society needs to systemically change and enact laws that benefit the environment – right now we also can help determine our future https://drplasticpicker.com/you-have-agency-you-have-free-will-you-are-your-own-determinant/. And this Hopeful Wednesday post is a voluntary act of gratitude and hope. I have a great sense of wellbeing this morning, that as a small person in a chaotic world – I am helping to calm the winds and reduce the heat and suck up more carbon than I am producing. By refusing a plastic bag at the store, this is a powerful first step to combating global warming.

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Our daughter was so excited about this book. Just published.

June 3, 2020

by drplasticpicker

My paternal grandfather told me something toward the end of his life that I will never forget. I believe I was actually in medical school already and home for a brief visit. By then he was already older and weaker, and had suffered one or two strokes. He was intermittently lucid but even for a beginning medical student I knew that he had dementia. But during one of those early morning visits when he was lucid he told me that he had returned to his home village at some point in the Southeast Asian country he had left unwillingly because of political ubheaval. At this point he was no longer a strong man in his mid 40s but likely in his late 60s. He said someone from the village offered him something that was morally repugnant for money. He had returned to the village to give help build a school. And he told me, his oldest granddaughter, with fierce convinction, “Until the day you die, you do not know if you have lived a good life.”

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French Press coffee. We can change. No more single-use Keurig coffee pods.

March 11, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I start these Hopeful Wednesday posts usually a few days earlier, and add bits and pieces of good environmental news that I see over the week. I never know what the actual Wednesday will bring. This Wednesday morning I had thought we were going to be hiking in the Grand Canyon and having coffee at a local lodge there. Instead, COVID-19 happened and I was able to get an almost full refund on Hotels.com and I’m pretty sure Razelle who was behind hotels.com chat box is now an Instagram friend https://drplasticpicker.com/covid-19-and-curtailing-travel-razelle-m-from-hotels-com-helped-us-save-over-345/. Instead this morning, I am sitting at home and Mr. Plastic Picker is making his first coffee with a new small French Press that is plastic-free and sharing a cup with his mother. We will go on a hike this morning when the kids wake up.

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Dr. Plastic Picker and Dr. Dear Friend strike again! We brought our own mugs to the clinic coffee cart.

February 19, 2020

by drplasticpicker

We are getting there. I am at 153 bags of ocean bound plastic collected, 590 items salvaged. I have written 133 blog posts and 134 Instagram posts, and have passed 450 Instagram “followers.” The Instagram is more for fun and motivation and I am not seeking more Instagram friends, but somehow everyday there are more. About 200-300 people click onto the blog every day, so some folks are seeing the less-plastic-please help ocean plastic-pick message.

But what gives me hope are the tangibles, the changes that I know are happening in the real world. I know I picked up a lot of plastic, and I know that we are close to getting our organization to agree to bring in Eco-America training to our HMO. I see more and more reusable coffee mugs and water bottles at work. We actually cancelled all the single-use water bottles for all the MD meetings, and will just send a reminder out for everyone to bring their own water. We also changed our lunch order to half vegetarian, and for everything to be in large trays and not individual plastic clam-shell containers anymore. That way there is less food waste and less plastic waste in general. And a father in clinic told me his daughter’s school has asked all parents to avoid single use plastic items and moving toward zero-waste lunches.

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