I’ll never forget this picture because it sparked a passion to improve my environment. It was my first time on Bali Island at the end of a cross-Asia Birthday trip. Flying Taipei to Singapore to Hong Kong to Bali meant I crossed the South China Sea FOUR times in under a week. I met up my friends then booked this beach side hotel for a final solo night
This moment, this image, was the first time in 2 weeks I sat down and quietly reflected on the experience but I just couldn’t get the flashbacks out of my head, of litter and debris everywhere I went. It physically made me ill to see the beauty of this remote island dotted with road side trash.
Sitting there, I made a small commitment to myself. I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t know if I could make a difference. But I knew I couldn’t do NOTHING
Upon returning home, I begin looking for opportunities, beach clean ups or hiking trail maintenance and for about a year still felt useless. Most of the non profits I helped meant well but SERVICE always seemed to get tied up in admin or logistics. I was frustrated that I couldn’t GIVE my volunteer time away haha
SO, I started do it myself. I grabbed some trashbags and head off to a local hiking trail, feeling kinda silly as people stared or asked to buy a box of thin mints
Some days I walk around the LA River in despair at the endless empty bottles of 40’s and foam takeout boxes filling my bag. But I know it matters. Even if all my efforts merely OFFSETS the amount of waste my household produces... I’m proud in the quiet moments I strain straws out of the river. I’m proud to be a keeper of my word, even if I only silently promised myself and no one else
Extremely blessed for friends that has seen my efforts and offer to help. I’m thankful for the support and I apologize these outings are often spontaneous. To be honest, I also greatly enjoy doing this by myself but will def organize bigger cleanups for all my magnanimous friends🌳