Acorns for sale. What’s up Greenpeace?

February 13, 2008

Today the Greenpeace folks were spread out all on Comm. Ave on BU’s campus. I haven’t seen them in a while. Perhaps they took a break?

I do not understand one bit why this organization thinks putting workers on the street (not… literally) and making them ask every single person that walks by “Hi! Do you have a second for the environment?” is going to help its cause. Today, I walked by a Greenpeace girl who was so frustrated, she threw her arms to the sky and yelled, “Doesn’t anybody care!”

Now see, I do care. Really. I recycle printer paper. I walk everywhere or take public transportation. I do all that stuff. But I am not going to stop for you. I don’t know enough about your organization to let you interrupt where I’m going. And I for sure don’t know enough about your organization to give you money.

To be honest, I have never stopped long enough to hear what they actually would want from me, but I am assuming it is a donation. (If anyone has any insight to this… I would love to know.) And if it’s not money that they want, they should somehow be more clear in the first words they say. Maybe they could say, “Do you have a second to plant this acorn for the environment?” That would be so cool. I would totally do that.


But, they don’t do that.

So. Because I am not anti-Greenpeace by any means (I hardly know enough about those guys to dislike them fundamentally)… I am going to give you free advice. Ready?

Dear Greenpeace,

1) The ask-everyone approach does not work. If you have data to prove me wrong, prove me wrong. But I am going to assume that 99 percent of the people who you try to flag down are not going to help you. And .5 percent of the people who do stop, only stop because they feel obligated or they don’t know what’s going on. Or you tricked them. You tricked them good.

2) Find someone who cares. Really. Who actually cares? The National Tree Hugger’s Association of Boston might love it if you bust in on one of its meetings. I’m not sure if said association exists, but you know. Someone like that.

3) Find a more proactive way to get information about your organization out there. Green jackets and binders are not enough. Yes, you have a dandy Web site. But how are you going to make me visit it? What other avenues could you use to spread the word. Free brochures in coffee shops? Rent a booth at the next environment-lover trade fair?

Regardless, I seriously think you should check out the free acorns route.

Good luck,