We can reshape our future by inspiring and empowering the next generation. With all eyes on Rio for the Summer Games, we brought Parley Ocean School to local youth in collaboration with Projeto Grael.
“When we teach our children early that sustainability should be taken seriously, preservation becomes something natural. We can reverse the problem."
Torben Grael, Co-founder, Projeto Grael
As you've probably seen or heard, the beaches and waters of Guanabara Bay are heavily polluted. The impacts of plastic bags, bottles, household trash, and far worse weigh heavily on this region, but these issues are not unique to Brazil. Ocean plastic pollution affects marine ecosystems worldwide, as well as the human lives they support on land — where the problem begins.
The next generation will be left to deal with this mess. They’re also the ones who can change it. Today’s youth have the power to reshape our future, and our oceans'. Parley Ocean School connects local youth to the marine environment through unique experiences focused on education, leadership-building, direct action, and sports. The goal is to engage and empower tomorrow's 'Ocean Guardians' by encouraging them to harness their imaginations and be ambassadors for the cause.
To bring this initiative to Brazil, we partnered with Projeto Grael, an environmental education NGO founded by world-renowned sailors Lars and Torben Grael. Supported by adidas, the traveling environmental education program aims to raise awareness of ocean plastic pollution and engage youth, children, and adults in actions and habits for reversing the destruction.
As part of our global ocean plastic education initiative, Parley Ocean School is circulating throughout public schools and popular sights in Rio de Janeiro and Niterói, and is expected to impact at least 5,000 people by September.
The collaborative initiative launched in July at Icaraí Beach in Niteroi with a cleanup event that brought together more than 100 children. Cleanup participants also took part in an interactive and educational workshop on trash in the oceans, with a focus on using imagination and innovation to implement Parley A.I.R. and redesign the future.
Parley Ocean School students — Ocean Guardians in training — later shared their learnings and participated in a workshop held August 18 at the adidas Creators Base in Rio. Members of Parley, Projeto Grael, and adidas influencers and athletes, including Olympic swimmer Coralie Balmy, took the stage to present the collaborative initiative and Parley A.I.R. Strategy, as well as the world-first adidas x Parley Ocean Plastic running shoe. The event included leadership-building activities, games, and creative brainstorms to protect our oceans, our future, from the impacts of plastic pollution.