About Jason Lewis

First human-powered circumnavigation of the globe. Low carbon lifestyle. Exploring sustainable living solutions.

Our Diving is Rubbish

You’ve heard of ocean plastics, but the grim reality is our seas are being used to dump many other forms of non-biodegradable waste. Fishing equipment, electrical goods, vehicle tyres, shopping trolleys – you name it. Even entire cars wind up being ditched into the briny.

It’s part of the “out of sight, out of mind” mindset that typifies our unsustainable, disposable culture.

Refuse such as electronics causes toxic pollution, leaching dangerous chemicals into the water. Larger items trap fish and other marine organisms, leading to needless suffering and death.

Frustrated by government inaction, local plumber and part-time dive instructor David Kennard set up the UK’s first underwater clean-up group in 2005. Neptune’s Army of Rubbish Cleaners (NARC) has since carried out over 2,000 underwater clean-ups and inspired other dive groups in the UK and abroad to take action.

Once salvaged, the rubbish is sorted for recycling or even up-cycling into new products.

“As much as governments are the key to these problems, we can’t wait for them to sit down and make an agreement.” —David Kennard, NARC

David and his team of volunteers exemplify our belief that transition to a sustainable future starts with ordinary people taking local action and driving change from the bottom up.

One Person. One Action

All Rights Reserved © 2021

The Great English Sewage Scandal

Ever heard of “sewage fungus”? Probably not. But it’s something to be aware of next time you feel like taking a dip in an English river.

Chances are you’ll be swimming in a toxic soup of untreated sewage that includes human excrement, condoms, sanitary pads, and toilet paper, not to mention microplastics and antibiotic resistant bacteria.

This according to The Guardian newspaper, who recently revealed that England’s nine water companies dumped raw sewage into rivers and watercourses on 204,134 occasions in 2019, totalling 1.53m hours. The discharges caused widespread fish kills, habitat destruction, and endangered human health with deadly diseases such as leptospirosis. Continue reading

Wales Expedition Launch

Pedal boat Moksha
A new look for pedal boat Moksha following an extensive refit

Thirteen years ago, pedal boat Moksha and I arrived back at Greenwich after completing the first human-powered circumnavigation of the planet – without using fossil fuels. A week ago, following an extensive refit, Moksha and I set off on a new journey, this time with actress, animal rescuer, and first-time adventurer Tammie Stevens, who also happens to be my wife.

As a proof of concept for #GB360 (postponed until next year), the aim over the next seven weeks is to complete a 750 mile, zero carbon trip around Wales via river, canal, and ocean, documenting examples of sustainable living along the way. In partnership with Squire Studio and director producer Astrid Edwards, we’ll be exploring how coastal communities on the frontline of climate change are transitioning to the UK’s net zero carbon targets for 2050.

Explorer Jason  Lewis and Tammie Stevens

There is, however, one slight problem. Tammie can barely swim and is terrified of water.

#GB360
Our route around Wales

Follow the journey via Instagram or #GB360:

@explorer_jason or @therealtammiestevens

Dark Waters adapted for Young Adults

It’s 10 pages lighter without the coarse language and bad behaviour, but the trade-off is we now have a version of the Expedition 360 story suitable for Young Adults, published June 1 by BillyFish Books. Supplemented with an educator discussion guide, the first volume in The Expedition trilogy is aimed at 13 through 18-year-olds (although there’s no reason why anyone of any age can’t enjoy it, including grandparents).

Young Adult version of Dark Waters by Jason Lewis

Inevitably, this meant the Plumb Line story from day 92 of the Atlantic crossing (think pus thirsty maggots and sensitive body parts) had to be axed, along with several other anecdotes likely to raise the eyebrows on a concerned parent or teacher. But there’s still enough raw adventure in there to (hopefully) hold the attention of the average fifteen-year-old.

Dark Waters (adapted for Young Adults) is available worldwide through local bookstores and online retail outlets. Here’s a list, or search under ISBN 9780984915576.

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All Rights Reserved – © 2017 Jason Lewis

Micro Earths – Exploring Skills Opportunity

“We live in a disposable society. It’s easier to throw things out than to fix them. We even give it a name – we call it recycling.”―NEIL LABUTE

One of the biggest obstacles to global sustainability is the rapid extraction of raw materials to produce the stuff we consume (and ultimately throw away in a traditional linear economy).

Skills Opportunity - relearning the lost art of how to mend things

A few innovators are beginning to design goods with a circular lifecycle, meaning the items can either be disassembled at the end of their service life and returned to the Earth or the constituent materials be endlessly recycled and made into other products. However, we’re still decades away from such products being the norm. Continue reading

Micro Earths – Exploring Clean Mobility

“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.”―JOHN F KENNEDY

If current trends continue, private car ownership worldwide will triple to 2 billion vehicles by 2050, increasing road emissions by 80%.

Micro Earths - exploring clean mobility

As it is, transport is responsible for 22% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, pumping 8.07 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2015—cars being the worst offenders. To prevent the Earth’s climate warming beyond 2°C, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that global CO2 emissions must be cut by at least 50% by 2050.

With a business-as-usual mind-set, there’s little hope of this happening.
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Stuart Smith 1939 ~ 2016

Some sad news to share with you all: Stevie’s father Stuart lost his battle with terminal cancer a week ago last Wednesday. He died peacefully in his sleep.

31_166_TI_stuart_gazing_out_to_sea

Stuart was one of the early driving forces behind the expedition. When few others took Steve’s embryonic idea seriously, Stuart became a walking, talking evangelist for Pedal for the Planet (the original project name), especially in his local watering hole. His infectious enthusiasm regularly convinced customers to hand over ten pounds for a vinyl name on a boat that didn’t even exist yet. This was the early seed money that helped purchase materials to start building Moksha, the unique craft that Steve and I would use to cross the world’s oceans by human power. Continue reading

Micro Earths – Exploring Energy Efficiency

“We simply must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly shrinking resources. By acting now we can control our future instead of letting the future control us.”―JIMMY CARTER

Most of our household electricity still comes from burning fossil fuels—gas and coal accounts for 60% of total UK usage, for example. The typical North American uses 4,629 kWh of electricity each year, six times the global average of 731 kWh. Europeans use around 1,996 kWh.Exploring Energy Efficiency with Micro Earths expeditions and adventurer Jason LewisTo become part of the solution to a sustainable energy future, we each need to take a look at where our electricity comes from, how much we use, and decide what to do differently. Continue reading

Micro Earths – Exploring Waste Matters

“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.”―Jacques Yves Cousteau

Those of us living in affluent countries discard an average of 4.3 pounds of waste a day, enough to fill a 3,100-mile-long column of refuse trucks bumper-to-bumper from New York to San Francisco.* This contributes to a global annual total of three trillion tonnes, the vast majority of which either ends up in methane-emitting landfills or is burnt, producing toxic chemicals known as dioxins. Two thirds of our waste is organic (mainly food, a quarter of which is never eaten), and a third of it paper and plastic.Exploring Waste Matters with Micro Earths expeditions and adventurer Jason LewisBut if I’m not personally affected by any of these things, you may say, why should I care?

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