In conversation with Vera from Greenpeace

 

I started volunteering with Greenpeace earlier this year - a weird time as it was just before lockdown!
A Greenpeace speaker means you have an outward facing, public role, visiting schools, business or social groups to present on the topics they would like to talk about.
We talk to them about topics such as plastic pollution, nature with relation to climate change. Its great for meeting new people and spreading the campaign.
We’ve been doing it online and adapting.
Anyone can go on our website and make a request for a representative to come and talk (online atm!) to them about a topic of interest.
What challenges is Greenpeace facing right now?
Ofcourse its been a challenging year with Covid-19 but we can’t lose sight that climate change is still happening.
Sea levels are rising, sea ice is melting. We've just recorded the lowest level of sea ice as its melting.
Increasing plastic pollution - focussing on the ocean
Ocean conservation - how are you campaigning?
Campaign PROTECT THE OCEAN - we need to establish more ocean sanctuaries. Currently only 1% is protected at the moment - very shocking. Because of borders, International politics with oceans - the fact that the sea's belong to different countries, we are campaigning for a global ocean treaty to protect ocean life, to help restore eco systems, so it’s vital.
Super trawlers - these are huge fishing boats, over 100m long so almost a floating fishing factory. They can be out at sea for months, they catch a huge amount of fish often using destructive fishing practices. We want to get them banned from marine protected areas. We have a petition - please sign it!
Because of the change in the oceans and the fact that the ocean absorbs the carbon in the air, it is changing the make up of the sea which can disorientate fish, making them more susceptible to super trawlers.  We’re seeing shells become weaker due to their change of environment too. Pollution + warmth are changing their habitats.
What do you Greenpeace boats actually do?
Our boats collect data and monitor wildlife. We’re also doing a direct action in the North Sea at the moment, to stop super trawlers we’re dropping boulders to create our own marine protected area because the government is just not doing enough to protect the sea. You can follow us on Instagram to keep updated.
There are lots of worries, but what about positive changes?
150 countries took part in the global climate strike for children - great to see the momentum.
We had a big campaign on reducing plastic use - we created a super market league table. Lots of supermarkets have committed to reducing the amount of plastic packaging. Sainsburys has committed to reducing it by 50% which is great. We need to call out the worst offenders.
BP has had a new CEO come in. Greenpeace have been putting pressure to move them away from fossil fuels which we’re seeing some good attitudes towards.
What can we do at home?
On average a truck load of plastic is being dumped into the ocean every minute. We can help by trying to move away from single use plastic. Buy loose vegetables, use re-usable bottles for our water, and take containers for your lunch. Choose a green energy supplier, its not more expensive! And finally look at how much meat you eat per week, start by reducing your meat intake.
How can people get involved in Greenpeace?
Signing petitions! Search for ‘protect the oceans’ - be part of the change.
Have a look at our website, lots of things to read about what we’re doing.
There are also local groups, you can sign up and join in!