47. Lizzie Carr; Paddleboarding Adventurer and Plastic Patroller on NYC Via The Hudson River, Paddling Britain and Overlanding Asia - The Big Travel Podcast

Episode 47
December 11 , 2018

47. Lizzie Carr; Paddleboarding Adventurer and Plastic Patroller on NYC Via The Hudson River, Paddling Britain and Overlanding Asia

Being diagnosed with cancer at just 25 changed the course of Lizzie Carr’s life, ditching her corporate career to become an adventurer and taking on challenge after challenge on her paddleboard to battle plastic pollution worldwide. She’s the first person in history to solo paddle board the length of England, the first woman to solo paddle board the English channel and in 2018 paddle boarded the whole of the Hudson River from Albany to New York City. Her app Plastic Patrol already has over 50,000 entries from people logging plastic pollution all over the world. An inspirational story of what we can do if we put our minds to it.


On this episode we cover:

Paddle boarding 170 miles down the Hudson River to arrive in New York City

Paddling through currents, tides and crazy storms

Being ‘mostly scared’

How a challenge is not a holiday!

The dense woodland of the Hudson River

Finally seeing New York City in sight

Organising plastic patrols and foreshore cleans on the way

Using a detachable ‘smart fin’ on her board

Developing the Plastic Patrol app

Bottles, wrappers and bags

The UK being quite progressive with plastic legislation

Lucy Siegle’s Turning the Tide on Plastic

What the current situation is with plastic pollution

Increased awareness, education and accountability

The whale on the beach in Indonesia

The European study that showed we all have micro plastic inside us

Returning to craftsmanship

How being diagnosed with cancer age 25 changed the course of her life

Turning to paddleboarding and connecting plastic with the environment

Seeing birds nests made almost entirely of plastics

Paddling the length of England via canals

‘Portaging’ (Lisa’s new word of the week!)

The birth of #plasticpatrol

The global reach of 50,000 uploads around the world – Europe, Russia, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Africa…

Crossing the English Channel on a paddleboard

The terrifying experience of going through the shipping channels

French ruling that human powered crafts cannot cross their side of the shipping lane

Being called out by the authorities across the French border

The Truman Show!

The most stand out moment – coming out of Rye Harbour surrounded by

How getting sea sick almost scuppered her plans

Arriving in France in a dramatic storm

The beauty of the Isles of Scilly akin to the Caribbean

The joy of autumnal paddleboarding at magic hour

Travelling through Africa, Australia and New Zealand and the Trans Siberian Railway

The idea of sharing the reality of a destination

How social media can show a reality that doesn’t always exist

Using travel to talk about humanitarian and ecological issues

Using travel to collect meaningful information

How in retrospect she could see some of the signs of cancer

Hiking rice fields in Vietnam

How Africa can steal your heart

Seeing ‘the big 5’

How Africa spared an interest in conservation

How travel can open the eyes to so much

Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Namibia and South Africa

England to Kenya, overland to Cape Town

New Zealand to Australia (not enjoying it!) then Singapore and Malaysia overland to Beijing.

The joys of overland travel by train and more

The trans Siberian railway across Siberia and to Russia

Plastic Patrol and plans for the future

The UK roadshow where people volunteer and pay ‘nature tax’

What we can do to help – logging data in the app, do a beach clean, reuse plastic, consume less

Don’t demonise plastic but use other single use products

How China is now refusing our plastic

‘The song of the paddle’

The memorable train journey across India

The song that reminds her of all her amazing adventures