You Can Do Something, By Choosing To Do Nothing: The Paradox of Environmentalism
August 30, 2021
I made two robot like trash-art people. They are super interesting. Check out my instagram @drplasticpicker if you actually want to see them. They are made from interesting bits of non-recyclable plastic that I found around the house. Mr. Plastic Picker’s small fancy box that his new annoying watch-buying collection came in. The two spouts from to-go coffee carafe that I tried to save from years ago. Nerf gun bullets repurposed into robot eyes. And the plastic carrying handle from the non-coffee breakfast drink almond/walnut mix that I occassionally get from the Korean market now. It all came together as two robots. And on an early Monday morning. I wonder if it means anything? LOL.
I didn’t blog this weekend. I actually didn’t do much of anything purposeful this weekend, other than go to the Climate Leader Garden Gathering on Saturday night with our Public Health Advisory Council. I dressed up fancy, but didn’t really worry about how fancy – if that makes sense. I just wanted to make sure Mr. Plastic Picker and I showed up. We had so much fun. Climate leaders and especially their spouses are really fun to hang out with. We networked and made real human connections with friends that had been mostly virtual.
And otherwise I was present for my family and went where my family needed me. My daughter needed me to take her to volleyball, so that was most of Saturday. I picked up two bags of trash at Rohr Park. Someone asked me what I was doing, and I explained my multi-tasking exercise and plalking. He was so nice, he gave me a bottle of water.
After walking around the shaded areas within the park while at the same time watching my daughter at her last summer volleyball tournament, I sat on the grass. I stretched and did some yoga, and listened to music. Afterwards, our daughter wanted to eat lunch. It’s kind of a tradition for us this summer to go to TJ Oysters after Saturday volleyball at Rohr Park. But TJ Oysters was an hour wait, and instead we went to another restaurant that ended up being more expensive and not as good. But we still went to eat, because she asked to go out to eat. No plastic trash since it was a real restaurant. She’s also taken to using her uncle’s old hand-me-down messenger bag as her volleyball bag these days. That was a really nice moment. She asked me to find an old shoulder sling bag for her, and this one was the only one without a hospital logo on it.
I visted my mother after a long beach plog to Birdrock. I gathered 4 bags of plastic pollution from the beach, and hopefully saved four bags from joining the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. After I arrived at my mother’s houe, I was explaining to my own mother my five hour period at the park because of volleyball on Satruday, and she wondered why I didn’t leave our daughter there and go shopping. And I tried to explain to her that that was the entire point. What more do I need in material things? I just don’t want new things anymore. I find it forces me to be more creative to use what I have. By choosing not to buy things, my life has decluttered.
I guess it’s not that I choose to do nothing. I just choose to live a slower life now. I choose to allow my life to ebb and flow according to the people around me. My daughter also on Sunday wanted to buy some thread to make friendship bracelets. We actually went to Michaels and only bought what we needed, her friendship bracelets, and three small clay pots. We are replanting some small succulents in preparation for teacher gifts months from now. We are trying to life a more sustainable life. We had onion rings at a local hip burger place there, and I drank a diet coke. Still off coffee. The reason I wore fancy clothes to the climate leaders gathering if that they were in my closet, and I figured it was time to wear them. I don’t even consider buying anything new. We all have so much stuff. And I spent time with my husband and our puppy, and watched Netflix shows. For me who has been perpetually busy my whole life, choosing to live slower and ebb and flow with the wants of others – is very novel.
And I really did do something this weekend by choosing not to do things that would harm the earth. The entire weekend we mostly ate leftovers. There are so many leftovers in this world. There truly are.