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Meet Starsky and Hutch, World Environment Explorers

Meet Starsky and Hutch, World Environment Explorers

It's not every day you get a visit from intrepid explorers. But we were lucky enough to meet Martin Hutchinson and his canine companion Starsky last week. Martin has been on a world environment tour since around 2004 and plans to reach Australia by 2030. 

So what inspires a man to travel thousands of kilometres by foot in the Americas and even further by recumbent trike all over Europe? For Martin, it's all about making the world a better place. 

When talking to Martin you can't help but feel that he has seen a lot of the world, at ground level. And it's at ground level when travelling on his recumbent trike but also as a humble traveller who has stayed overnight in barns, dog shelters and underneath bridges.

And it's at this street level that Martin discovers the sheer amount of litter that lines our streets. 

Why do people litter?

Martin said: "Laziness, it's just pure laziness. They get away with it and they do not realise the damage they are causing."

Attitude is such an important part of making our world a better place. And this includes those who litter.

This is why Martin goes into schools to encourage children to really appreciate where they live.

He said: "I want to show the youngest generation the beauty of this planet, through my adventures and the things I've seen".

Martin has toured over 740 schools on his travels that have taken him from Dubrovnik to Cancun.

He said: "For me, going to schools is one of the best things because the kids are full of local knowledge [about where they live], and they want to share it.

We need to slow down 

We all live relatively fast-paced lives in this modern world where we are always connected 24/7. It is easy to get caught up in the 'rat race' and always find yourself racing from A-B without really stopping to think. 

Martin's journey to a slower, simpler life started with catastrophe.

He said: "I sailed away from England on a beautiful 45ft steel yacht. The idea was to go to the Pacific Ocean and have a look at the Garbage Patch. Unfortunately I lost the yacht off the coast of Sierra Leone. So then I had nothing. I thought well, I've got nothing but I've got nothing to lose."

After going to Australia to stay with friends and regroup a bit, Martin then explored Asia before deciding that he wanted to go to South America.

It is here that he encountered the idea of slowing down, after he began walking from Cancun. He never planned to walk 35,000km. But that's what happened! 

Martin said: "I think we are not meant to be going so fast and trying to do so many things in a day. We need to slow down. Really slow down." 

And when we slow down, we can really start to take things in. We can really focus on learning all about our planet and our local areas. 

Is this how we begin to care about the planet again? Maybe. During lockdowns we were almost forced to slow down. The highlight of the day might have been going for a walk and enjoying our local parks and green spaces. Almost immediately the world ground to a halt with air pollution dropping substantially. Dolphins swam in Venetian canals. But this was all too fleeting

And before we see Martin off on his travels, what message does Martin have to give us all?

Martin said: "Be grateful. Be grateful that you were actually on this planet because tomorrow you might not be here. Be grateful that you wake up, be grateful for every breath you have. Because we've lost how incredible this planet is. Why are we here? I don't know, but maybe we're here to learn. And there's so much to learn."

We wish 'Starsky & Hutch' all the best for their future travels around the UK, touring all kinds of organisations and communities doing good for people and planet. 

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  • Nice to have met you and Starsky today on your travels to St Andrews. Hope the bananas and chocs helped you on your way and the dog treats helped Starsky too. As a former teacher, speaking to pupils about the environment is particularly relevant as they are our next generation who need this awareness. Personally we do weekly litter picks in Kirkcaldy and if everyone did their little bit then the world would be a cleaner and safer place.
    What an inspiration you are and we wish you a safe onward journey.
    Regards Angela and Stuart

    Angela Murray
  • Good luck on your travels Martin. Great message you are giving to kids in schools. My son is just about to embark on Geography and Environmental Sciences A Levels. I’ll let him know he should follow your story! Regards, Ingrid (We caught sight of you near Bilton in Northumberland)

    Ingrid Hardy

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