What is ‘Run For The Oceans’?

Run for the Oceans might sound like a call to dash to your nearest coastline and abandon civilization for the comfort of the water, but it’s actually something very different and much more optimistic.

Although oddly enough, it does exist for a somewhat similar reason. A lot of people might feel like they want to escape our world right now because of how threatened it is by things like climate change and pollution, and that’s sort of what Run for the Oceans stands for.

The campaign is run by a collaboration of the sportswear brand Adidas and an environmental organization known as Parley for the Oceans and it has been running (no pun intended) for three years now. 

The most recent event taking place between  World Oceans day on June 8th and June 16th, 2019. As you have probably guessed from the name of the campaign and the two companies that are behind it, the goal is to raise money to help deal with ocean pollution, through sponsored running.

It’s noble in its intention and make no mistake about it, pollution in our oceans, plastic specifically, is a problem that does require our immediate attention. If you’re unfamiliar with it, let me give you a bit of an overview of the problem.

We’ve become pretty complacent with our plastic these days. What we’ve been developing is single-use, throw-away plastic which we are using to package almost everything. Food, drinks, electronics, all kinds of stuff.

And the trouble with it is that it doesn’t disintegrate like cardboard and it you can’t burn it, or at least it’s highly inadvisable that you burn it, so ultimately it all just ends up in the ocean. And that’s been building up for quite a while now.

Every year, it’s estimated that somewhere between 4 and 12 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year and we’ve reached a point now where there is more than 150 million tonnes down there.

By 2050, it’s estimated that by weight, there will be more plastic in the ocean than there will be fish. This is a terrifying prospect. Take a minute to consider the damage that this will cause. First and foremost, it is catastrophic for marine life.

The plastic damages the natural habitat of a wide variety of fish and seaweed and it can also cause serious, fatal problems if ingested by these fish. This puts a large number of species in danger of extinction.

And these species are an important part of our ecosystem. There would be global consequences to losing them. On top of that, the tourism and fishing industries are affected too, resulting in many jobs and an awful lot of money being lost. 

Parley for the Oceans is aiming to raise awareness of this problem in the hopes of encouraging people to put a stop to it. And the best way to do this is to drill into the next generation how big of an impact this will have on their future.

Parley runs youth education programs about our oceans and our effect on them and Run for the Oceans allows them to raise money to help keep these particular programs afloat. Each year, the goal is to raise $1 million dollars and this has been met quite comfortably both times.

It’s a simple thing to be a part of and anyone can join. All you have to do is download an app called ‘Runtastic’ onto your phone, join the Run for the Oceans challenge under the challenge tab and then run as much as you want during the 8 day period.

Every kilometer will be tracked on the app and Adidas will contribute $1 for each one of them. In addition to the app, there are a number of specific events hosted around the world on the first day of the overall campaign. 

This year they were held in New York, Shanghai and Barcelona. The event is becoming steadily more well-known and participation has been increasing. As it deals with one of the many negative ways in which our actions are impacting the environment, this is a great cause.

Of course, we should also be taking action to remove as much of that plastic from the ocean as we can, but instilling this important knowledge into the minds of the younger generation will be a huge step in the right direction, and that’s what Run for the Oceans will help us do.

So with the next World Oceans Day on June 8th, 2020 likely to bring another run at this (again, no pun intended), there is plenty of time for all of us to do our part and draw some attention to the event. 

Then, of course, comes the hard part, but it’s also the fun part and the part that might just get you into shape. There’s a lot of plastic in the ocean, and a lot of work to do, so let’s get running.

 

By Kristi Hodges

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