45 years ago, a bunch of activists embarked on an iconic journey in 1971 that would change the face of the environmental movement and formed what was to be Greenpeace. Our work today revolves around protecting forests, increasing use of solar energy, cleaning air and water, reducing impact of climate change among others. People power has helped us win many landmark campaigns related to improving the environment over the years. Greenpeace today is more than 36,000 active volunteers strong across the globe, who share their skills, energy and time to organize in their local communities — all these people are Greenpeace. And this community is constantly growing.

CREDIT: © Greenpeace / Robert Keziere

But why do we do this?

Simple. Greenpeace believes that everyone has courage- the courage to transform the world around us by taking action and to do the right thing for our future. People power is at the core of all our campaigns, and volunteers understand that they are an integral part of this work.

CREDIT: © Greenpeace / Gopal

How exactly are volunteers contributing to Greenpeace?

Greenpeace volunteers drive and help move public campaigns forward. This means contributing their diverse skills, organising their local communities and mobilizing people for taking action on environmental issues. We have chapters in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Patna, Hyderabad, Pune, and Chennai and other semi-developed volunteer groups in different parts of the country. It is hard to encapsulate all the ways in which volunteers contribute to Greenpeace India’s work, but here are a few popular ones:

 

  • Organise local volunteer groups: Set up, lead or be a part of a community of environmental heroes. Help out each other in arranging meet ups to brainstorm for  creative activities, plan for them and implement them together.
  • Greenspeaking: Organize presentations and sessions with large audiences and help them take action for existing campaign issues. Whether this is your office open day, or a panel discussion during your college’s eco-fest, you can help in representing Greenpeace’s work.
  • Non Violent Direct Action: We believe that personal direct action is an effective tool for disrupting status quo. NVDA is a core value of the organisation and volunteers are trained and encouraged to participate in actions for a greener and peaceful future.
  • Engage with your political leaders: Negotiate and interact with your local leaders to encourage them to adopt and move towards environmentally progressive policies.
  • Start your own local campaigns: Start your own campaign on GreenpeaceX. Whether it’s saving the trees in your locality from being cut down, or getting your municipal body to install composting infrastructure in your apartment complex, GpX can help you reach out to your community in an easier, faster way.
  • Contribute your skills: You could be an experienced photographer, blogger, designer or simply be good at sewing- everyone’s invited to get involved.
  • Grassroots campaigning: We work with friends across communities for various issues. Our  major campaigns have been with communities in central India and Bihar where we work on multiple issues with local community participation. If you’re an experienced social worker, we’ll be happy to have you on board.

Volunteer power is needed now more than ever. Engaging with people around you, taking non-violent direct action, bearing witness, and highlighting environmental issues, and driving the solutions. We believe we’re just one part in this larger machinery of humankind- a small lever which can propel people who are willing to dream big so that our green and peaceful world can be realized. Join this journey here.

CREDIT: © Vivek M. / Greenpeace

 

Sanchita Mahajan is a public engagement campaigner with Greenpeace India, but also chooses to volunteer her time to the organisation.