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How a volunteer is saving the Earth


The following testimonial is from an interview with Chetna Batra, a Catchafire volunteer.

Through Catchafire, volunteers like Chetna Batra are protecting the environment, one project at a time.

Chetna is an environmental champion and passionate volunteer based in Delhi, India. Because they care deeply about the environment, Chetna does what they can in their day-to-day to live sustainably: cutting out single-use plastic products, recycling, and volunteering for environmental causes.


“The environment is something that the entire world should care about. I personally consciously make an effort to contribute positively towards it…If this little impact can be made by each individual, there’s a big difference that we can create overall.”


In Catchafire, Chetna found a way to grow their positive impact exponentially. Rather than just picking up a few pieces of litter here and there (which is admirable work, too!), Chetna uses their skills to support nonprofits who are doing that work on a larger scale. In doing so, Chetna helps conserve and rehabilitate ecosystems all around the world, contributing to cleaner beaches, cleaner trails, cleaner water, and a cleaner Earth.


“That’s what keeps me going, and that’s my basic aim behind all of this…If I can contribute even a little bit to that effort, ensuring that my support amplifies their work, I will spend an extra hour of my time to help them.”



Without ever leaving their landlocked city, Chetna completed a Catchafire project that prevented over 3,000 pieces of microplastic from reaching the ocean!

Plastic pollution is one of the most urgent environmental issues we face. There are an estimated 150 million metric tons of plastic in our oceans - that’s the same weight as 150 million fully-grown great white sharks. When plastic reaches the ocean, it doesn’t just float off into the void, it breaks down and becomes microplastics in the ocean and nanoparticles in the air and soil, all of which are ingested by animals, plants, and humans, harming ecosystems and human health alike.

Sea Hugger, a nonprofit in California that works to protect and heal the marine environment from plastic pollution, was looking to grow their community of beach cleanup supporters through Google Ads. Chetna helped them apply for, receive, and work with a $10,000 Google Ads grant, allowing them to expand their reach within their local community and beyond.

Within two weeks, the beach cleanup campaign was surpassing expectations. In fact, Sea Hugger was seeing donations come in from all over the country, from regions that they had never even tried to reach before! Today, the campaign has over 8,000 views and a 10% conversion rate – that means that 800 of those 8,000 views have resulted in donations or volunteer sign-ups. As a result, Sea Hugger has seen their beach cleanups grow, allowing them to prevent thousands of pieces of microplastic from reaching the ocean.


“It makes me feel so good when you see that things are working out…there is this contentment I have at the bottom of my heart…and it feels like ‘Yay! My mission has been achieved!’ It’s very encouraging.”


Not only did Chetna achieve their mission, but they equipped Sea Hugger to better achieve theirs, too. In addition to connecting them with hundreds of new beach cleanup supporters and saving the ocean from thousands of pieces of plastic, Chetna’s work allowed Sea Hugger to gather data on who their audience is and how to engage them, which will allow them to build even more successful campaigns down the road.


“It’s almost like you’re building this foundation for them, and then the nonprofits get to build whatever they want over it."



For Chetna, volunteering on Catchafire is not only an opportunity to help nonprofits deepen their impact, it’s an opportunity to build relationships with people on the other side of the world. They maintain a relationship with all of the nonprofit organizations they've worked with, and those nonprofits know that they can always rely on Chetna to help.


“I can find people who care about the same causes that I care about. We’re miles apart, but we still care about the same things, and it’s easier to connect with them.”


You, too, can make a difference by volunteering on Catchafire. Virtual, skills-based volunteering is a rewarding and convenient way to give back . Take it from Chetna:


“It makes you feel like you’ve done something right, and we all need a little bit of that in our lives.”


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