For almost as long as the Arctic has been melting, activists have been trying to turn back the tide. Case in point: September 15 marks Greenpeace Day, more than five decades after a small band of anti-nuclear activists in British Columbia set sail on a ship to try to stop nuclear tests planned to take place off the shores of Alaska in 1969.
Back then, the organization was called the Don’t Make a Wave Committee because there were fears an underground nuclear weapon test on the tectonically unstable island of Amchitka might trigger earthquakes and even a tsunami. The tests went ahead, but the protest set in motion a movement. In 1972, the committee changed its name to Greenpeace Foundation. And in honor of Greenpeace in 2011, the Mayor of Vancouver declared September 15 Greenpeace Day.
Much like Earth Day, Greenpeace Day is a call to action as the global issues of climate change, deforestation, plastic pollution, and dwindling biodiversity continue to worsen. Ready to make your voice heard in this generational fight? Here’s everything you need to know about Greenpeace Day and how to join the movement toward a greener future.
What is the purpose of Greenpeace Day?
Greenpeace Day strives for environmental change while celebrating the dedication and work that’s already been done. It’s often a day of peaceful protest against fossil fuels, single-use plastics, overfishing, water and air quality, and deforestation. With each passing year, our environment faces increasingly urgent challenges. And so, Greenpeace Day reminds us that we all have the power to create meaningful change with small everyday actions. It’s a day to celebrate the victories while also underscoring that there’s still much more to do.
The history of Greenpeace Day
As we noted, the roots of Greenpeace Day trace back to the early days of Greenpeace, an international environmental organization known for its bold, impactful campaigns tackling issues ranging from climate change to marine protection. While environmentalist activism is common these days, in the late 1960s it was barely thought of. Greenpeace helped change that by drawing attention to issues that threaten both people and the planet. Greenpeace Day celebrates the organization’s journey and its dedication to safeguarding the environment. It’s a day to honor the activists who fearlessly confront environmental injustices, the scientists who tirelessly advocate for evidence-based policies, and the individuals who support Greenpeace’s initiatives in various capacities.
With offices in more than 50 countries, Greenpeace tackles environmental issues on a global scale. Among them:
- Climate change
- Plastic pollution
- Arctic protection
- Whale and marine protection
- Rainforest protection
- Biodiversity conservation
- Renewable energy
- Air and water quality
If any of those initiatives resonate with you, volunteering with Greenpeace this September is an excellent way to make a difference and fight for a cause you believe in.
Ways to participate in Greenpeace Day
Are you excited to make a difference this September? Here are some ways to volunteer or participate in Greenpeace Day 2023.
Knowledge is the first step toward change. Utilize Greenpeace Day as an opportunity to educate yourself and those around you about pressing environmental issues. Share informative articles, documentaries, and resources that shed light on the challenges our planet faces and why change is the necessary next step.
Support Greenpeace campaigns
Greenpeace is known for its impactful campaigns that address critical issues. Engage with their campaigns, sign petitions, and amplify their messages on social media. From advocating for clean energy to marine conservation, your support can make a difference.
Make sustainable lifestyle choices
Use Greenpeace Day as a motivation to evaluate your lifestyle choices. Embrace sustainable habits such as reducing single-use plastics, conserving energy, supporting local and organic products, and turning to pro-planet household products like plant-based laundry detergent sheets.
Volunteer on Greenpeace Day
Many local Greenpeace chapters organize events, cleanups, and workshops around the globe. Get involved in your community by participating in these activities this September! Your hands-on contributions can create tangible impacts that you’ll be proud of and the planet will appreciate.
Advocate for policy change
Advocating for change is such a vital part of Greenpeace’s initiatives. Support efforts to influence policy change by signing petitions, voting in elections, and advocating for environmentally responsible policies. Remember your voice matters in shaping the legislative landscape!
Donate to a Greenpeace cause
As a non-profit and non-government organization, Greenpeace’s work relies on financial support. You can set up a monthly donation as low as $5 a month or do a one-time donation of whatever you can spare. This is a great way to give back when you’re unable to get out and participate in hands-on events.
Participate in peaceful protests
Unleash your inner activist and hit the streets! Greenpeace is known for its nonviolent direct actions to draw attention to environmental issues. If you’re comfortable, participate in peaceful protests that align with your values. You can also gather your friends or family to make signs to help raise awareness during a march.
Greenpeace Day is more than an annual event — it’s a reminder our actions shape the world. By participating, you become a part of a global network of individuals striving for positive change. Volunteer for the day or raise awareness about environmental issues online. There are so many ways to participate in Greenpeace Day 2023.