Life on the Streets with Greenpeace

‘Hello. Would you like to help save the planet!?’

‘Not today, thank you.’


OK, so, over the past two months I’ve transformed myself from an inoffensive unemployed graduate into one of those people one tries desperately to avoid. Yes, I know that was a fake call. I shouldn’t complain, I’ve never bothered stopping for a ‘chugger’.

Definition: ‘charity mugger’. First of all, Greenpeace is NOT a charity. It’s an NGO. Secondly, ‘That’s right; I am a chugger, I’m a charity hugger.’ Actually, I’m not this at all. This clever little quip was just something I heard a colleague say once in response to a bit of commonplace slandering. Conflictingly, I have quite a suspicion of charitable organisations; in particular, registered charities, and charitable giving as an act in itself. When one signs-up to become a member of Greenpeace, the amount of involvement one has is completely up to you. You can opt-out of anything we send you, you don’t have to find out about local Greenpeace meetups. You can stop and talk to me because you’ve forgotten that you’ve actually been a member for the past 30 years. You can send your money and not think about us ever again, if you like. Guilty conscience? Sorted. This is my predicament with charitable giving. Surely, if you want to make a difference, you have to be involved? World hunger, homelessness, child abuse, exploitation of the planet, cruelty to animals, et-fucking-cetera? If you care, surely these questions keep you up at night every so often? But you know, throwing a bit of money at it means you’re ‘doing your bit’. Sweet dreams.


‘One can only do so much,’ is what many people say if they’re already signed up to 20 different charities. ‘I have to draw the line somewhere.’ Unlucky, Marianna, you got there too late.

But you know, I actually really love my job.

p.s. I know that when you say you’re busy, all you’re doing is Christmas shopping.

p.p.s. I have a lot more to say about this but it’s going to take a lot more brain power than I have at this moment.