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#thankyoubag #appreciatingmysurroundings

Yashodha Sivakumaran's picture

Always pack a ‘thank you’ bag

All the extra time to myself during Melbourne’s lockdown served as the perfect opportunity for me to explore my surroundings and reflect on my habits. I’m blessed to live not too far from the coast and thus the beach became a haven of sorts for me to escape the confinements of home and enjoy the vastness of the shoreline (during my daily assigned hour of time outdoors). Sitting by the sea however, was oftentimes more confronting than it was relaxing. Although it saddened me to see the amount of rubbish pilled up and littered across the sand, I decided that disappointment alone was futile and I had to take action to improve the situation instead of absolving myself of personal responsibility. Ever since the start of lockdown, I have taken a bag with me every time I visit the beach and spend the last 10 minutes before leaving to pick up any rubbish on the sand that I had passed on my way there. Some days the bag is full and other days there is much less, however the bag never comes back home empty. To me, this serves as a reminder of the responsibility I have to my environment, regardless of whether or not I caused the litter. If I’m able to enjoy the beach without any personal cost, then taking a few moments to clear up my surroundings serves as a ‘thank you’ to the environment for my enjoyment and time spent appreciating the atmosphere. Always packing what I consider a to be a ‘thank you’ bag has been my One Step pledge that I plan to take beyond the beach and adopt in other environments, including future time spent on campus.


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