Four Bretons sailing "zero waste" around the world

On a self-powered boat, four young people intend making the public aware of the circular economy through their life on board.

Two years’ sailing around the world taking a threefold technical, scientific, and educational approach.

They are Brendan, Igor, Robin and Joaquim - 26 years old, from Brittany, friends forever, passionate about the ocean and especially about protecting it. On November 5, 2016, they left the port of Crouesty in Brittany for a two year world tour on an energy independent sailing boat. Objective: to raise awareness about the "zero waste" challenge and the transition to a circular economy. Four lads blown by the wind and committed to sustainable development.

“Sailing for change”

The project was inspired by sailor Ellen McArthur and her foundation dedicated to the circular economy. Its principle: as resources on land are limited, we have to learn to transform our waste into new resources. It is the best way to limit the pollution of our oceans, which already contain more than 270,000 tonnes of waste.

Armed with this conviction, in February 2015 Brendan, Igor, Robin and Joaquim set up the association “Sailing for Change”. And then went to work organizing a two year expedition around the world to encourage us to rethink how we consume and manage waste.

A threefold mission

Our four Bretons have embarked on a "zero waste" challenge that will last two years. The adventure has three main aspects. The first is technical. The idea is to prove it is possible to live with limited resources in a confined space, reusing waste and producing clean energy. Named "Ekolibri" in reference to the Colibris movement, their boat is equipped with solar panels, a wind turbine and a hydro-generator which allow them to be self-sufficient in electricity.

During the trip, the four friends will make their own natural hygiene products and store their food in bulk in jars and waterproof drums. They have also taken two laying hens along on the adventure as well as a mini-greenhouse to produce vegetables. They humorously recount their life onboard in an entertaining web-series.

Their project is also scientific. The young sailors have built an analysis laboratory aboard their vessel. With the equipment provided by their partners, they will study marine pollution: a plankton survey, a macro-waste study, analysis of meteorological variations, etc.

The educational dimension is very important to Brendan, Igor, Robin and Joaquim. They will produce fifteen video reports in collaboration with their editorial team on shore. All around the world, they have planned to meet people involved in innovative initiatives covering waste management, the circular economy and sustainable development.

Their first stop is for example on El Hiero Island in the Canary Islands - the first island to use only water and wind to supply its electricity. The sailors will also be in constant contact with schools and associations to share their experiences.

Supported by some twenty partners, the four friends are supported by the Nicolas Hulot Foundation and Béa Johnson, founder of the "zero waste" movement and official sponsor of Sailing for Change. We hope their wind of optimism takes them far!

Find out more:

- Ellen MacArthur - the standard bearer of the circular economy
- The new plastic economy

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