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Going green: Greenpeace

By: Sara Allen

The organization known as Greenpeace figths to protect the enviroment among other things. Photo courtesy of Google images

Many causes have activists, including the going green cause. The most well-known green activism group is Greenpeace. Started in 1971, Greenpeace now has 2.8 million supporters throughout 41 countries.

In 1971, green activists from Vancouver, Canada, sailed to an island off the west coast of Alaska in a small fishing boat. Their goal was to reach Amchitka to witness the US underground nuclear testing. The island was the last refugee for many endangered species, including sea otters, bald eagles and peregrine falcons. The activists did not make it to Amchitka, but their journey did bring attention to the nuclear testing. That year, nuclear testing on the island stopped and Amchitka was declared a bird sanctuary.

Since then, Greenpeace has helped many forests, bodies of water and animals. In 2001, it helped Canada’s remaining coastal rainforests. The agreement ended logging in that area. Greenpeace also ended logging in the Amazon area after campaigning for 18 years.

Whaling is another cause that Greenpeace helps. In 2004, they gathered 50,000 signatures pledging to visit Iceland in order to end whaling. This would bring $60 million in tourism to Iceland, proving that the whales are worth more alive than dead. In another effort to protect ocean life, Greenpeace also takes on companies that dump waste, toxic and non-toxic, into bodies of water. Their campaign in Buenos Aries, Argentina, led to a zero waste plan. At the time, in 2004, Buenos Aries was the largest city to announce their choice for zero waste.

Greenpeace rallies to reduce “e-waste” as well. Electronic waste makes up five percent of waste in the world; this is almost as much as plastic waste. To reduce the world’s e-waste, Greenpeace took action against companies like Phillips, Apple, Dell, Motorola, Sony, Ford and Samsung.

Going green is not just about recycling and saving energy. People are fighting to protect natural habitats, reduce waste and save animals. Greenpeace has an online branch of activists, so check out http://www.greenpeace.org to see how you can help.

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