Hopeful Wednesdays – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Tag: Hopeful Wednesdays

Reimagined coffee cup lid from Dr. Dear Friend. It’s a puppy!!! Presenting Mr. Little Blue Puppy from a Coffee Lid

December 17, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I’m never sure how the mornings are going to go. I was thinking when I woke up this morning, I may not write a blog because I felt overwhelmed last night. I had met with the amazing students at Sustainable Pharmacy Project at Virginia Communwealth University (I am the “spiritual volunary non-faculty advisor) and they are working on this supercool student initiated project on pharmaceutical waste. I really want to help them with this project that will help the earth, and also help our HMO get there as well. I had no idea that there were so many medications in the water supply. It makes a lot of sense to me to reduce overprescribing and ensuring safe disposal of medication waste. Then I have our two other premedical interns that were kind of floating out there. But I sent three emails to one, as we are going to organize a film screening of the movie “Gather” and that will be his project for now. And then I emailed our other intern who is more quiet, about setting up a time to catch up on the art’s exhibition.

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Mr. Plastic Picker is on his own journey. He was showing off his fancy coffee grinder. It’s German. He studied German in high school.

December 2, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Today I’ll reach my monthly goal of 20 bags of trash picked from either the street or the beach. Since I live just a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean and concentrate on the storm drains, I know that 100% all that litter would eventually end up in the ocean. I arbitrarily extended November into a few days into December, because this is a virtual world with my made-up rules and I just do it to keep myself accountable to the earth. I just looked at my excel spreadsheet, and I’ve picked up now 340 bags of ocean plastic pollution! Wow! That is a lot. I’m really excited to get to 500 bags eventually. I once won first place in my elementary school Olympics jump roping contest and I think got to somewhere in the 300s. It’s all about consistentcy, pacing oneself and rhythm.

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Our wool dryer balls! No more fabric dryer sheets!. So cute.

October 10, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I forgot why I did not write last week’s Hopeful Wednesday post? Let me think. [pause] Yes now I remember. I had been a bit overwhelmed on Tuesday with some HR issues and an avalanche of environmental work. The mood in the country was dark with the coronavirus as well. This week I had been getting semi-harassing text messages from a climate leader in a different part of the state. One of the climate groups is trying to get a letter with thousands of signatures. In principle I completely agree, but there has already been multiple letters written and the New England Journal of Medicine published a definitive editorial and endorsed a Biden administration. It seems like everyone is doing the same thing, and everyone wants to get their voice heard. I listened to the other physician climate advocate who is retired, but I felt semi-harassed. I honestly have a network of folks but I don’t want to exhaust them. Most of us work, and getting another thing to do which I’m not sure even makes a difference is not high-yield. Plus we had nothing to do with the content of the letter and they just want our signatures without any input. I’m not of the top-down environmental movement approach. Our committees are just our friend-group, so we have to do things together organically and make it fun. Plus the letter and the speaker was kind of preachy. Dr. Plastic Picker does not like preachy.

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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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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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