Hello everyone! Today’s post is a little bit different from usual. I’m going to share a story about how I became more aware of the environment and what made me become so passionate about it. This will be in a short story format, so I hope you enjoy reading it!

I was born and raised in China. Now I don’t want to generalise the entire country, but where I was raised, it wasn’t the richest place on Earth. It was a tiny little town, excluded from the outside world. There wasn’t anything exciting about it, but what I loved about it was the beautiful environment. My grandparents lived next to a lake and right across it, you can see fields and fields of crops.

Occasionally, you’ll spot some cows around or some chickens, running around on the fields, trying to find food. Life then was simple, but it was beautiful. Even after moving away from that town to a bigger city, I would still visit my grandparents every now and then, looking forward to my bike ride as I ride around the town.

Every time I visit, it would be the same. Chasing after the wind and playing around the fields. Once it gets dark, I ride my bike back home and look forward to the next day. Every time I visit, it was the same. Except last time. I returned after a few years since I moved away to a different country. This time, it felt different.

I rode my bike around the same old town. Went to visit the giant lake and somehow…it disappeared. I asked my grandmother.

“Hey, where did the lake go?”

My grandmother pointed. “You mean that one?”

In a distance, I can see a very dirty lake. I thought my grandmother was joking, but then I see that little wooden shack next to it. The same shack next to my beloved lake. The lake that my mum used to ice skate on with her friends when she was young. The lake that the cows would drink from. The lake that I would ride my bike around, is now filled with trash.

Refrigerators, microwaves, broken children’s bikes and food scraps. It’s the same lake, but it’s different now. It’s not beautiful anymore, and that’s not the lake’s fault. Although I was shocked, I should have expected it. The last couple of times when I visited it, there were a few food scraps here and there. A few soft drink cans and other small items.

I should’ve asked to help pick them up. It was only a small bagful of rubbish. It wasn’t a lot. But since people saw others throwing rubbish there, they can’t help and have some urges to do it too. It went from small food scraps to packaging boxes. Now it’s refrigerators and bicycles. I should’ve done something because I knew. And now the lake can’t be saved. Because I failed.

I should’ve picked up that bagful of rubbish. I should’ve visited the lake more often. I should’ve told people to stop dumping rubbish there. But I failed. I didn’t do it. And now I deeply regret it. Not only is the lake now filled with rubbish, I too, lost the image of that beautiful lake in my mind.

I don’t remember what it looks like anymore. It’s just a vague memory of a glistering lake surrounded by trees with a small wooden shack next to it. Not this lake surrounded by buildings with rubbish filled to the top. Where did the dirt path go? Why’s it concrete now? Where did all the cows go? This used to be where they all hanged out at.

I don’t know. I don’t recognise the place anymore. And there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s too late now. The image of the lake being filled to the top gave me such a huge impact, it was like a slap to the face. And that was when I decided to cherish the environment more and start changing my lifestyle.

To all of you reading this, I’m sure there’s a childhood place that you too, would want to protect. Don’t ignore them. Start saying no to plastic little by little, start recycling, start buying reusable products, just start somewhere! It’s the small changes that we make that can change our surroundings.

You may think that something so small won’t make a difference. But that’s what I thought too. That small bag of rubbish near the lake couldn’t do any harm. But I was wrong. So, change your mindset, because every little action can make a big difference. Start now.

I will appreciate it. My beloved lake will appreciate it too. Its sacrifice changed my life, and I hope from now on, I won’t lose another piece of my beautiful memory. And I hope you won’t lose yours as well. Thank you.


Thanks for reading.

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  1. I understand how you feel about your lake. My parents are from China and as a child, I used to go every second year or so to my Dad’s village. In the village, there was a nice little lake and I remember as a child, I would always run up to the railing and stare into the lake with the crop field in the background.

    Now, it’s filled with garbage as well. I remember seeing trash bags and diapers floating about. From what I remember, it would take a lot of effort to clean up the lake and my Dad believes nobody in the village cares anymore.

    I moved to Australia last year and the Australians take environmental care so seriously! I absolutely love that their supermarket sells reusable bags rather than single-use plastic bags. I love how everyone uses their own reusable coffee cups and the shops sell heaps of beautiful reusable cups in various sizes as well. I’ve been so inspired by Australians that I started to carry my own reusable cups to bring into Starbucks, and always have a reusable bag in my purse. I’m not 100% there but I’m slowly learning to take care of the environment one step at a time and it feels amazing!

    1. That’s so amazing! You’re so similar to me because I live in Australia as well! I absolutely agree with how Australia takes way better care of the environment as compared to China. I hope China would pay more attention to their environmental issues and hopefully…we’ll both see our precious lake in its beautiful form again! Thank you for sharing such a touching story!

  2. This is heart breaking! I known what it feels like to see places of beauty replaced by trash and developments. For that reason I will always fight for this planet!

  3. I have some family in China and keep hearing about how polluted it is. There is so much we can do to help our environment. Don’t feel guilty about not helping pick up trash at that time. Even though you can’t go back in time, you can change your actions now so it affects the future for the better. I am glad you’re working to protect the environment now. At least we can take actions now that we are older and can contribute more towards the greater good. Thank you for sharing this story :). Keep up the good work!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    1. Thank you so much Nancy! The only thing we can do now is to do what we could that we couldn’t before. I hope everyone will do the same too. Thank you for dropping by!

  4. I have a lake like this in China too! It’s not completely filled with trash yet, but it’s definitely a lake you don’t want to fall in!

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