Parley collaborator Sam Bencheghib is running from NYC to LA to address marine plastic pollution and raise awareness of the need to protect our oceans.
Sam Bencheghib is a 22-year old athlete, environmental activist, Parley ambassador and co-founder of Make a Change World. On July 26th, he takes on an epic challenge: running across America to raise awareness about the plastic pollution crisis and the need to protect our oceans.
Starting in Battery Park, New York and ending in Los Angeles, Ocean2Ocean will take Sam from the Atlantic to the Pacific — on foot. The journey is expected to last 5 months and cover a distance of around 3,000 miles (4,830km), crossing 13 U.S. states and reaching thousands of people to inspire action and invite communities far from the coasts to help drive solutions. Sam will be the first to attempt a challenge of this kind, running 20 miles a day for 160 days in adidas x Parley trainers made from Ocean Plastic®.
“In times of such environmental concern, we’re really on a countdown. I really believe that no idea is crazy enough and so I think that by running 3,000 miles, it’s definitely a crazy feat, but it’s a good metaphor to showcase the severity of the plastic problem in the ocean. It is also an incredible opportunity to engage with as many communities as possible to tell them about the effects of plastic.”
– Sam Bencheghib
Along the way, Sam will engage with as many communities as possible to create awareness about the marine plastic pollution crisis and ignite a national conversation of what each one of us can do to make a change. He’ll be hosting educational presentations at schools and universities, organizing events such as zero-waste workshops, documentary screenings, street and city cleanups and run-alongs with running clubs and athlete organizations.
By running 20 miles a day, 6 days a week for 5 months, Sam wants to show that anyone can make a difference if they take the first step – whether that step is running across America, signing the Parley AIR pledge or starting their own project.
During this expedition, Sam and his siblings’ organization, Make a Change World, will also be producing a series of videos to document this journey and the people he meets along the way. The content will feature portraits of sustainable initiatives as well as updates on Sam’s running adventures. Everyone can follow along as he tracks his steps and mileage coverage using the new fitness app, StepChain.
“The Ocean2Ocean run shows how real change starts with spreading awareness and engaging with communities. In the run up to the UN SG's Climate Action Summit in September, I hope that Sam Bencheghib's 3,000 mile journey across the United States will raise awareness about the devastating impact of marine plastic pollution, spark conversations around the climate crisis and inspire young people to become true champions of the Earth.”
– Satya Tripathi, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Head of UN Environment Program, New York Office
“Sam and his brother Gary have already proven with previous initiatives that the real superpower of change lies in courage and individual action. Everyone can change the world. Step by step. This new project is extremely exciting because it will be not only an awareness campaign, but a six-month long exploration.
We need to include everyone in this conversation - fostering awareness and action to address these issues and drive solutions because they affect everyone, even those away from the coasts and major cities. This is an invitation to everyone who wants to rise up and have a role in the movement. For the Oceans.”
– Cyrill Gutsch, Founder and CEO of Parley for the Oceans
Track Sam’s progress: