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4Ocean – Ocean Clean Up

4Ocean – Ocean Clean Up

The story begins when Alex and Andrew take a surf trip…

to Bali Indonesia that would inevitably change their lives and the fate of the ocean. Devastated by the amount of plastic in the ocean, they set out to find out why no one was doing anything about it. One afternoon they came across an old fishing village where fishermen were literally pushing their boat through piles of plastic that had washed up on shore. The two surfers realized that the proliferation of plastic threatened both the ocean environment and the fishermen’s livelihood. Could the fishermen use their nets, they wondered, to pull the plastic from the ocean? This idea stuck with the 2 surfers and they knew it was time to hit the drawing board. After realizing that the demand for seafood was driving the fishermen to focus on fish instead of plastic, they knew they had to create something that could fund the desired cleanup efforts. This is how the 4Ocean Bracelet was born.


Made from recycled materials, every bracelet purchased funds the removal of 1 pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines. In less than 2 years, 4Ocean has removed 842.211 pounds of trash from the ocean and coastlines.


4Ocean currently operates out of multiple countries and employs over 150 people worldwide.


Cleaning the ocean and coastlines, one pound at a time.




Healthy oceans are critical for life on this planet. They provide the food we eat, the oxygen we breathe and their continued health depends on us.


Recycling is still an after-thought in many places around the world. So, part of our mission is to spread this awareness globally.


By giving ocean trash a value, we are changing the way people think about the problem and creating new economies in the process.


We only have this one planet to live on. Preserving its beauty, function and form for the next generations is the ultimate end goal.



700 species of animals are severely threatened because of ocean waste. About 12.8% of waste is plastic, which causes big problems for wildlife. Some animals mistake plastic for food, while others can become entangled in the trash. One way you can help marine life not mistake plastic for food is to not use face wash or toothpaste with micro-beads. The micro-beads go down the drain, eventually making their way to rivers, lakes, and the ocean. These toxic beads look a lot like fish food and it’s not uncommon for bigger fish and sea turtles to munch on them. To learn more about ways you can reduce plastic use go to #4Ocean #OceanConservation #JoinTheMovement #ConservationConversation

More on this project you’ll find on

There is no Planet B

There is no Planet B

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation


(Excerpt from their website)
In 1998, Leonardo DiCaprio established his foundation with the mission of protecting the world’s last wild places. LDF implements solutions that help restore balance to threatened ecosystems, ensuring the long-term health and well-being of all Earth’s inhabitants. Since that time the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) has worked on some of the most pressing environmental issues of our day.

Through grantmaking, public campaigns and media initiatives, LDF brings attention and needed funding to six program areas — Wildlands Conservation, Oceans Conservation, Climate Change, Indigenous Rights, Transforming California, and Innovative Solutions.. Several successful fundraising events have enabled LDF to scale up our grantmaking strategy, driving support for vitally important projects around the globe.

Leonardo’s website and social media platforms are also dedicated to inspiring the public to take action on key environmental issues. Growing in reach from just 500,000 followers in 2007 to over 50 million today, Leonardo’s fans have engaged on an array of issues protecting key species — sharks in California, tigers in Asia, elephants in Africa — and calling on world leaders to address the global climate crisis.

In acknowledgement of LDF’s impactful work over the last two decades, Leonardo was designated as the United Nations Messenger of Peace for Climate Change and received the 2014 Clinton Global Citizen Award. In addition to founding LDF, Leonardo also serves on the board of several environmental organizations, World Wildlife Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Geographic’s Pristine Seas, Oceans 5, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.


We are now experiencing what can only be called a planetary crisis — a convergence of accelerating climate change, unprecedented loss of biodiversity, and increasing human health issues caused by a toxic environment. Since 1970, we have lost one-third of the world’s wildlands, and in that time 50% of all vertebrate land animals have vanished. One-third of the world’s coral reefs, the “nurseries” of the ocean, have died and another third are expected to perish by 2030. Climate change is only adding fuel to the fire, with rapidly increasing global temperatures wreaking havoc on the delicate balance that has allowed life to flourish since the end of the last ice age. The situation in which we find ourselves is not just tragic for the thousands of species that will never again roam the Earth, but could threaten the very existence of our own species, homo sapiens.

Nature freely provides us with an estimated $100 trillion in ecosystem services per year, making life on Earth possible. Natural systems like forests, wetlands, and marine ecosystems give us clean water, fresh air, and abundant food, while ensuring a balanced climate system. Despite this importance of a thriving biosphere, only 15% of our lands and just 3% of our oceans are formally protected, and only a fraction of global philanthropic dollars support environmental efforts. Recent estimates indicate that we need 10 times the level of environmental funding to fund projects that help stabilize ecosystems, giving ourselves the best chance of survival as the world gets hotter and climate impacts become more severe.

The diverse range of projects supported by LDF – from efforts to create and expand protected areas on land and in our oceans, to supporting grassroots and indigenous organizations working to secure important environmental protections and implement sustainable solutions at the local level – is a direct reflection of the array of efforts that are needed to turn the tide. LDF believes that we can create a world where both nature and humanity coexist in harmony. Not only do we believe this can be done, we know it must be done in order to ensure the long-term survival of vital species and ecosystems.

Our Grants Program

The Foundation has gradually built a significant grantmaking operation, awarding over $80 million in grants since 2010, funding 200+ high-impact projects in 50 countries across Asia, the Americas, Africa, the Arctic, Antarctica, and all five oceans. Through active collaboration with a broad network of environmental leaders and experts, effective organizations, and committed philanthropists, the foundation is able to find and support the best, results-driven projects in the world’s most wild and threatened ecosystems. Our work is divided into six main program areas – Wildlands Conservation, Oceans Conservation, Climate Change, Indigenous Rights, Transforming California, and Innovative Solutions.

Explore our Programs ›


Leonardo DiCaprio during his acceptance speech at The Oscars 2018:

“Making ‘The Revenant’ was about man’s relationship to the natural world, the world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in reported history — our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow.

Climate change is real. It is happening right now. It’s the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.

We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this. For our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed. I thank you all for this amazing award tonight. Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted.”


Instagram Quotes —


“The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit? Yes. Settle? Not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. … To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve, and cherish, the pale blue dot; the only home we’ve ever known.” ♻️ #EarthDayLive
― Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space


@conservationorg: “What is the meaning of our lives, really, if we work and live destroying the planet while sacrificing the future of our children? What is the meaning of our lives if our decision… is to reduce the opportunities for our children or grandchildren?” – French President @EmmanuelMacron, addressing US Congress.
Unite in the fight against #climatechange. Act now.
#PlanetB #Macron


Kenya bans all plastic bags – following Rowanda’s example nine years later

Kenya bans all plastic bags – following Rowanda’s example nine years later

2018 Nonprofit Technology Conference April 11 - 13, 2018 Morial Convention Center New Orleans, LA

5 Important Results of the Plastic Bag Ban in Kenya

In the slums of many African countries, children’s daily life involves dodging mountains of discarded plastic bags. Now that Rwanda and Kenya are fighting back against the bag, what does this mean for families living in poverty?

5 Important Results of the Plastic Bag Ban in Kenya

Kigali, Rwanda: First impressions are of beautiful, bright colours and crowds of resilient people. Motorbike taxis with two helmets in matching green, blue or red, weave in and out of traffic. The wide streets are lined with new buildings and more are being built, their formwork propped up with thousands of sticks.

One thing, however, is conspicuous by its absence: rubbish. In particular, there are no plastic bags flying through the air or congregating in drains.

Rwanda banned single-use plastic bags in 2008 and heavy fines or jail sentences are in force for people found to be manufacturing, importing, using or selling polythene bags1. In August this year, Kenya instituted a similar law, amid a wave of controversy.

What does this ban mean for children living in poverty? Here is what we found:

1. Some family members may lose their jobs.

Before the ban, Kenya had 176 manufacturers of plastic bags, employing 60,000 people2. The bags they produced were used in Kenya, and were also exported to neighbouring countries. Without intervention, the loss of jobs from these industries could have a devastating effect on local communities. Rwanda softened the blow to industry by offering incentives for manufacturers to buy machinery to recycle plastic, instead of manufacturing it. Even with support for industry, an immediate result of the plastic bag ban may be that many parents lose their jobs and more children are living in poverty. However, establishing alternative industries or retraining, like Compassion’s income generation critical need, could help to fill this void.

2. Helping mum with the shopping could get a bit more complicated.

Plastic bags are much cheaper to produce than paper or woven alternatives but they are seldom used more than once. Even in communities where people live in poverty, shops are likely to provide plastic bags for shoppers to carry their groceries and other products. In fact, 24 million plastic bags were used in Kenya each month before the ban3.

Removing all plastic bags from the shops will require retailers and shoppers to be more resourceful. Kenya’s largest supermarket chain anticipated the ban and started using net bags for its vegetables earlier in the year4. The Rwandan government offered tax incentives to companies which manufacture environmentally friendly bags5 and many Rwandans use woven baskets to carry groceries home on their heads.

3. The children’s surroundings will be cleaner.

Countries across Africa are being swamped with abandoned plastic bags, as increased use of the bags outstrips the limited resources of local waste management services. Roads and pathways are littered with outcrops of plastic waste, which could take hundreds of years to break down.

Growing up in the Kibera and Dandora slums of Nairobi, Paul Omondi found that the dumping of plastic bags became an even greater health hazard because they were used for the disposal of human waste. He explained why it wasn’t a good idea to walk around after sunset. “People answered the call of nature in their … rooms and they would store that in plastics bags and wait until dark sets in at about 8:00pm, when all the poos would be flying through the window,” Paul said. Without adequate sanitation and healthcare, children and infants were falling sick and dying. Through Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program, Paul had access to clean water, health education and sanitation. He survived to complete his education and fulfil his dreams but many of his friends didn’t.

Alternative methods of human waste disposal need to be integrated into the slums, so children aren’t exposed to the devastating diseases brought about by unhygienic surroundings. At the Compassion child development centres, providing clean, safe toilet facilities is a high priority.

4. The families’ livestock will be healthier.

Animals and birds don’t distinguish between plastic bags and food when rummaging through rubbish for something to eat. Abattoirs in Kenya have noticed an increase in the amount of plastics in the stomachs of the cattle and goats they process. The non-degradable plastic in the animal’s digestive system makes it difficult to resist disease and sometimes the livestock even starve to death because the bags completely fill their stomachs. Many farmers have welcomed the ban because they believe their animals will be healthier6.

5. The children’s homes, schools, and churches will be less likely to flood.

By design, plastic bags are waterproof. When they become litter, many find their way into drains and other waterways, clogging the pipes and restricting water flow. In times of heavy rain, water cannot run off fast enough, streams overflow their banks and the surrounding land is flooded.

Both Kenya and Rwanda experience seasons of heavy rainfall every year and overflowing drains can flood the surrounding regions with contaminated water. Makeshift homes and infrastructure are less likely to resist the force of the water, so floods are more devastating in poverty-stricken areas. Compassion provides emergency assistance to the registered children and their families at these times; restoring lost items and repairing damaged homes and child development centres.

Sadly, sometimes the result of flooding cannot be repaired, such as in the serious injury or death of a child or family member. It is far better to prevent flooding by keeping the storm water drains clean and—with a reduction in the use of plastic bags—authorities and plastic recyclers can clean the waterways and be confident it will take much longer for them to be blocked again.

Like many aspects of poverty, the results of the ban on plastic bags in Kenya will be complicated. For some children, the transition will be difficult, particularly if family members lose their livelihood because of the ban. But, if the immediate problems associated with such a major change to the economy are well managed, the long-term consequences will be very positive, providing a cleaner, safer environment for children to grow and thrive.

To help more children like Paul Omondi to achieve their dreams, sponsor a child today.

Words by Vivienne Hughes

Photo by Silas Irungu

  1. Official Gazette of the Republic of Rwanda (2008)
  2. The Guardian, (2017)
  3. Ong’unya, R.O.; Aurah, C.M.; Nabwire, J.L. and Songok, J.R. (2014) The Plastic Waste Menace in Kenya: A Nairobi City Situation, International Journal of Current Research, Vol. 6, Issue 04, pp. 6175 – 6079.
  5. Dr. Rose Mukankomeje, Director General of the Rwanda Environment Management Authority, quoted in The Delicious Day, (2012)