British adventurer Sarah Outen set out from Tower Bridge in April 2011 on her London2London: Via the World expedition. Her goal: to row, bike and kayak around the northern hemisphere, inspiring children and fundraising for charities. Green People provided Sarah with organic personal care products to help her stay protected and clean at sea without marine damaging chemicals.
Finally, after 4.5 years and over 25000 miles, Sarah is now back home. The final leg of the journey saw her cycle and kayak from Falmouth to London, paddling under Tower Bridge at midday on 3rd November to complete her journey.
Her book 'Dare to Do' about her expedition will be available in May 2016.
Guest blog by Sarah Outen MBE
The rhythmic clunk of the water maker is one of the most important sounds on my rowing boat. It means that I have fresh water – I can survive. Yet watching fresh water appear through the little tube and fill up my three 5 litre bottles, I am excited about having a wash. Having been out at sea for months alone in my little rowing boat, it’s the small things like washing my body and hair that can feel like real treats. Devoid of smells other than my own body odour and boat mould, the tangy scent of my favourite Green People citrus shower gel is a welcome assault on my nostrils. I relish the sensation of applying Gentle Cleanse to my sensitive skin after sloshing fresh water over myself, ready for the grand finale of emptying a bucket over my head.
From 2011 to 2015 I rowed, cycled and kayaked around the northern hemisphere, spending nearly a year afloat, alone. People ask why. I go because I love it. I love being surrounded by water and sky, living by the rhythm of the weather and moon. I love meeting wildlife out there – soaring albatrosses, the troupe of pilot fish that follow my boat or the huge whales that roll over to have a better look. I love the challenge of surviving out there and the perspective that life afloat can bring.
It has always been important to me to make as little impact on the environment as possible, even if my part in the picture is a tiny one. You can’t achieve sustainability overnight, just as you don’t get across oceans in a rowing boat in one leap; it is a steady, cumulative effort that sometimes involves going around and around in circles before we finally reach our destination.
Out at sea I try to make sure that nothing other than organic waste goes overboard. I use biodegradable soaps on my body, my clothes and to clean the boat. I pick up floating plastic, if I can. By the same token, the products I use on my skin, hair and teeth are not the only way I keep healthy but they are an important part of it. Keeping in good shape at sea (or anywhere) is a combination of nutrition, care, sleep and down time.
Sometimes I cannot always control the sleep and down time and I might not always get to eat or brush my teeth when I want to if the weather is rough. But when I do I want to know that I am giving my body the best possible chance of recovery and repair and avoiding anything nasty like infections. I wear high factor sun cream whatever the weather and I use Green People after sun at the end of every day, a deliciously soothing hug for myself. The night cream likewise feels like it is doing good things. Green People’s baby salve and nappy cream are always important for preventing and healing sores or rashes down below – given that I row up to 12 hours per day, this is a key area to look after! I love the different and gentle flavours of Green People toothpaste and like to think that if it is gentle for me, it is not going to be damaging anything else either.
Now that I am home from my travels I am enjoying catching up on some of the latest Green People products, with the quinoa shampoo a favourite. I also love how a shower with the citrus wash transports me right back to the tiny deck of my rowing boat under an open sky, remembering the feeling of having the first proper wash or hair wash in weeks. I can feel the salt being sluiced off. I can hear the waves. So thank you Green People for your help in making my journeys happen, minimising my impact on wildlife and also for taking me back there in my mind as I brush my teeth or shower or slather on the night cream.