Friday Question of the Day: GreenPeace, A Menace To Society Or At Least To Chinatown?

Greenpeace, originally uploaded by RainbowWarrior.

So maybe this is just in Chinatown, but I’m terrified of the GreenPeace solicitors. I certainly support those who wish to combat global warming but the fine folks from GreenPeace are far more aggressive than any panhandlers I’ve ever encountered. In Chinatown they work in twos and basically block the sidewalk and follow you for about 20 feet or so until finally in a fit of aggravation I say, “I voted for George Bush, God Damn it!”. I voted for Gore and Kerry just for the record. But, hell, these people are insane. I just want my PotBelly’s sandwich man. That’s all, let me through. A friend of mine just told me in the age of the internet that soliciting on the street is pretty ridiculous. And I agree. So the Friday question of the day is: Do you think the fine folks from GreenPeace are too aggressive in their soliciting campaign on the streets of DC?

24 Comment

  • Jeez, POP, are you really that offended by someone just asking if you want to talk about the environment? Maybe the folks soliciting by the Chinatown metro are angry and insistent and refuse to accept “no.” But that’s not my experience. Further, while the Internet is great, it hardly replaces the need for human interaction in areas like organizing, particularly where non-profits are concerned. Just my two cents.

  • SouthwestDC

    They solicit a lot around Eastern Market too, particularly when I’m carrying bags of heavy produce. But if I start walking faster as I approach them, they usually get the message.

  • Everytime they approach me and ask me “do you care about the environment” i just respond with “no, actually i hate it!.” they get a little shocked and walk away quickly lol.

  • Memorizing Monty Burns has always helped me in dealin gwith them.

    “Oh Mother Nature needs a favor does she? Should’ve thought of that when she was bombarding us with draughts and plagues and poison monkeys! Mother Nature started the war for survival, and now she wants to quit because she’s losing? Well I say ‘hard cheese’.”

  • I just tell them I don’t have any money generally. But yes, they irk me too!

  • I vote obnoxious too. For the record, I do “have a minute to help stop global warming.” So I stopped the first time I was approached. But I didn’t have any interest in writing down my credit card number and other personal information on the clipboard for the whole world to see. Because I’m sure they guard that info reeeallly well when they’re on break flirting with each other outside Urban Outfitters.

    It is amusing to observe them during the summer though, when the girls break out their short shorts and flip flops. All the middle-aged men in a five block radius suddenly develop a burning desire to, er, help stop global warming.

  • They’re in front of the P Street Whole Foods too. Earlier this week they asked a friend if he has a few minutes for the environment. He said he’s not sure what they mean. He doesn’t know about them, but he personally spends 24/7 in the environment.

  • They always stand near my office, so once I decided to give them $25 bucks so I could say I was already a member when I walked by. What I didn’t realize (and they had conveniently hidden with the large clipboard) was that I was signing up for a $25 a month donation). Ok, it was kinda my fault for not reading the whole thing. Let’s just say I called and stopped the charges after I noticed 2 months later. This really turned me off of what they are trying to do.

  • The Greenpeace kids I can handle, it’s the Zendak freaks, who seem to have moved from Dupont Circle to Gallery Place over the last couple years, that I can’t stand.

  • The Greenpeace kids and the Zendiks are soliciting in Georgetown as well. A blunt “not interested” while still walking (don’t stop and pay them attention, that only encourages them) tends to work just fine.

  • as soon as i see them i bust out my phone and pretend i’m on it until im safely past them. Sometimes, however, they still try to talk to you at which point i just point enthusiatically to my phone and give them the “sorry” face.

  • Best answer I ever heard:

    “Are you interested in talking about the environment?”

    “Yes, but not with you.”

  • I usually avoid them but frankly, I’d be delighted if we did away with winter in DC so let’s put more CO2 out there! Think they’d be able to help?

  • As an avid environmentalist I admire the consternation of the Greenpeace folks… I’ll admit I was a little nervous giving my credit card # to a complete stranger in a green jacket on the corner. However, my $15/month (as small as that is) gives me a warm feeling everytime I see it deducted from my bank account; a feeling significantly more pleasant than checking my balance after a hard night at the bar. Lets face it, the earth is in trouble, big trouble, not ‘this can wait until i’m done eating my styrofoam packaged take-out and finish this wk’s american idol’ trouble… more like the ‘entire biospheres, species, cultures, and our decendant’s futures are being blinked out of existence’ trouble. That being said, if you want over-zealous environmentalists off the street, try joining them in the field.

  • I am approached at least once a day in Dupont Circle. I tell them “I already give” and they always leave me alone. It’s a white lie…I don’t give to them but I give an annual donation to other environmental nonprofits.

  • There is no need to speak to anyone who approaches you on the street and if they look like they’re panhandling or asking for charity money, most of the time I give them a blank stare and keep walking. Saying anything is an interaction.

    That said, I contribute to charities online only.

  • My response when they ask, “Do you want to do something for the environment?” is “I already do, I vote Democratic.”

  • This haas been hard for me, too. But just because someone asks you a question, doesn’t mean you have to answer them. Ignore them, don’t make eye contact and keeo walking. I run into them in Cleveland Park, too. BTW, why don’t they go to Anacostia or NE?

  • They do.

  • PoP, I had the same grievance a few weeks ago. You’d appreciate this. I haven’t gotten a call from them yet though… They are nice people.

  • I work for an environmental organization and donate to charities regularly… I also really, really, dislike the greenpeace “panhandlers” that hang around dupont. they always have this self-righteous attitude like if you don’t stop an listen to their polar bears spiel you don’t care.

  • oh, I also agree… in the age of the internet… get out of my face on the street. I just want my damn sandwich.

  • Not sure what the situation is in DC, but I had a couple of friends who were Greenpeace “panhandlers” in Montreal during summers at college, and they made good money (a few bucks over minimum wage – not bad for summer work). And they totally did not recoup that amount in donations. So the whole thing was really designed as a PR campaign, and not a fundraising campaign. Like I said, i’m not sure if they’re compensated the same here, or if they potentially cover the admin costs of running that campaign, but I’ve limited my donations entirely to online only.

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