Julie Dass alongside her family and son Nathan Dass moved to Gran Canaria in 2016 due to health problems affecting her son Nathan.
As soon as they arrived to Gran Canaria they got involved in several volunteer projects around the island by taking part in tree planting events, food bank projects and even setting up a Shoe Box Appeal at Christmas to help families in need on the island.
They were simply looking for ways to help and say "Thanks" to the island for giving them their sons health back. Nathan being well had given them all their lives back.
Being surrounded by the sea as we are here in Gran Canaria they soon started Scuba Diving and this is when they realised the true extense of the plastic problem in our oceans. They were shocked by the amount of trash under the sea and blind to the human eye. The amount was huge.
This is when Nathan and Julie decided to do something about it and form a charity. Nathan came up with the name and designed the logo and this is when Oceans4Life was born.
Their first beach clean attracted 15 people and was a co event with Davy Jones Dive company to help clear the plastic under the sea and on the beach.
At this event we found so many plastic straws, so our next mission was to eliminate plastic straws. we visited bars and restaurants across the island, offering them a chance to swap to paper , metal or bamboo. Giving the establishments a certificate to show they were helping in the protection of the island.
We then designed straw pouches, made from old bed linen from Radisson Blu, so up cycling and using local seamstresses. The pouch contained a choice of straw and a cleaner , so people could carry in their hand bags. the monies raised allowed us to purchase beach cleaning materials
After many beach cleans, we realised that we need to educate people , as no sooner are we picking up the trash, its back there again.
We started an education programme, visiting local schools and doing talks about recycling. This then progressed to an arts and craft session making sieves out of plastic bottles and excess netting from the banana fields.we now return to the schools the next day and take them for beach cleans so they can use their sieves, so instead of sieving for gold they search for micro plastics.
After our first year, we now provide monthly beach cleans to the public, monthly education and kids beach clean and a monthly beach clean for local businesses to help them with their sustainability programmes.
We source alternatives to plastic , and promote local companies who are proving eco products.
We promote REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE and collect the bottle tops across the island and donate to a local charity for medical equipment.
Our overall mission is to make the islands single use plastic free. Our next challenge is to be able distribute free glass or stainless steel water bottles to every school child on the island .
WE are always looking for more help, so please message us with any ideas to help us keep this island beautiful
We strive to reduce the environmental impact of plastics on our island, through direct action, outreach and education. We organise beach and sea bed cleans. We promote and support companies and groups that want to reduce their use of plastics by providing viable alternatives and we are educating the following generations to build a more environmentally conscious society.