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THE ENVIRONMENT

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Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the Green Party all campaign for a cleaner, healthier and less polluted environment.

Greenpeace operates internationally and is able to embarrass governments and large oil companies through feats of direct action which attract public sympathy. These may include attempts to block the disposal of radioactive waste at sea or to prevent the siting of a new oil rig.

Friends of the Earth has branches in many towns and cities and is known especially for local initiatives such as recycling tins and newspapers, opposition to road-building schemes and attempts to raise people's awareness of green issues.

The Green Party in Britain has never won a seat in parliament. Nevertheless, the green movement as a whole has had an influence on the agendas of the major political parties. Both the reduction in the tax paid on lead-free petrol and the imposition of VAT on domestic heating have been presented as policies to help the environment.

As more of our streets become jammed up with cars and more of our children suffer from asthma, the need for a greener life-style becomes one of self-interest, not to mention the protection of other species and their habitats.