Green Element Extra podcast Interview with Kiko Matthews from Kiko Matthews ltd

 

We are thrilled to be interviewing as a Podcast Extra; Kiko Matthews from Kiko Matthews ltd – A World record holder – fastest woman to solo row the Atlantic. She is passionate about the ocean and our environment, as well as education and adventure. She was a science teacher before being a environmental athlete. In May 2019 she will be cycling around U.K. 7200km and doing 76 beach cleans along the way. if you would like to get involved then please sponsor her – www.kikomatthews.co.uk. It is an amazing show and I hope you like it as much as us!

www.kikomatthews.co.uk

 On the back of this podcast if you would like to get involved then please sponsor her.

 

00:01 Will: Welcome to the Green Element Podcast, thank you for joining us. 

 

00:03 Kiko: Thank you. 

 

00:05 Will: Let’s just carry on with the talks that we were talking about before. So, tell us more about what it is that you’re doing, you’re just about to cycle around the UK? 

 

00:15 Kiko: That is true, yeah, I’m going to cycle around the UK. So, previously I rode across the Atlantic on my own, which I’ve never ridden before and I have never been to sea, but I love a challenge and was successful on that one. So, my next thing, because everyone is like, “Oh, what’s next, what’s next?” I’m like, “Yeah, good, I like this lifestyle.” So, my next is, I like it, it’s challenging but it’s also very varied. So, I’m going to cycle seven thousand two hundred kilometers of the coast bearing in mind I make it. At the end of each day, I’m going to be doing a beach clean with a local community which I am setting up. I’m not going to be organizing the beach clean but I’m setting up, like facilitating the fact that I’m coming, and somebody can organize it.

So, what I really want, I’m a big fan of community and I think that people will look after their own community more if there is a community within their community if that makes sense. I think it’s better for our mental health if we’ve got a community and we’re part of something. The idea of just getting out and being in the fresh air is better for our overall health because we’re out and we’re doing a small amount of exercise or a large amount. So, the plastic and the cleaning up the beach is not secondary, it’s all a part of it but it’s not to say that I think that the ocean plastics is the be-all and end-all that we need to be focusing on. I think it’s a way to engage people in our environmental issues and it’s something that they can physically see that they’re making a difference to. 

So, at the end of the day, you’re like, we’ve got five bags, or we’ve got 20 bags of rubbish, you are the guys who helped clean that. Then not only are you removing it but you’re then making people more aware of the issue and the situation and they become more connected with it. When they are more connected, they start investigating other things, which is what happened to me and now slightly too much knowledge, I think of some situations, but the idea is that ignorance is very bliss, unfortunately. So yeah, it’s a big community drive with the environment at the center and then people’s health and well-being and whatever you can take from it along tagging on to that kind of element. 

02:32 Will: So, where are you starting from? 

02:33 Kiko: London to London, going clockwise, leaving on May the 4th I believe unless a big sponsor comes in and wants me to leave on a particular date. The idea is on a Sunday that people can ride out with me to Margate where we have our first clean up. Then when I come in on July the 28th, people can ride in and I’m hoping to have a big Thames beach clean, which I’m in some talks with people about the organizing of that event as well. 

 

03:03 Will: So, I guess you’ll finish in Essex.

 

03:07 Kiko: No, I finish in London, so I’ll come into…

 

03:09 Will: As in, the last stop.

 

03:11 Kiko: Yeah. So, the last stop is in Essex, I think Southend-On-Sea is my last [03:18 unintelligible] 

03:21 Will: Southend-On-Sea, do you know anyone on South-End? I know someone who’ll do a beach clean. 

03:26 Kiko: Oh yes, brilliant, there we go. 

03:29 Will: [03:29 unintelligible] school is there, and he does beach cleanups, I’ll introduce you if you like. 

03:33 Kiko: Cool. The idea is that I can’t actually manage that beach clean but someone like you will introduce me to someone. Hopefully as I go around as well, some of those beaches I haven’t managed to fill before I leave or get filled up and the people feel like they’re part of something. If they’re organizing it or maybe it already exists, which is great, but if it’s a new opportunity for someone to start a beach clean, then hopefully when I leave, the additional people that have gone to the beach clean, if it’s an existing one or the new people that that community remains once I’ve gone. There’s no point in me organizing it and then disappearing and who’s in charge of the one next time. So, hopefully, we can maintain a new one or grow an existing one through being part of this whole thing. 

 

04:21 Will: Okay. Is there a way that you can see with what dates you’ve got and what beaches, you’re obviously not going to do every single beach in the UK? 

04:31 Kiko: No, that would be a big hit, that would be very long, I’ll only be going about two miles a day or so. I’ve got 70, just over 70 beaches, so it’s 84 days but I’ve got a few days off, two days of traveling on things and probably on an off day I’ll pop down to the beach and if someone wants to do another beach clean, I think I’m in Skegness three days and two nights. So, that might be too big to clean, or it might be a beach clean in Skegness on day one and then day two we move a little bit further down and there’s another one but yeah, ultimately is about 70, minimum. If I don’t get on to do that beach clean, then I’ll do it myself. I’m not obviously going to be able to clean the whole beach because that would be a hassle, but I’ll give it a go on my own and hopefully, there are other people around I could tell them what not to do and they come and get involved. 

On my website, I’ve got a map currently and you can click on the little logo and if you want to sponsor the beach then that logo changes to the company logo who sponsored it. Also, you can register your interest for that beach clean and then eventually when I’ve got the names of the beach cleaner in charge then I will send that beach cleaner in charge that bunch of emails for them to then manage those people who want to come. 

05:51 Will: Okay, brilliant.

 

05:53 Kiko: Very logistically complicated. 

05:55 Will: So, is this what you do for a living? 

 

05:58 Kiko: Yes, basically.

 

06:00 Will: Okay, and before you mentioned that you cycled across the Atlantic.

 

06:05 Kiko: Rode

 

06:07 Will: Rode, cycled across, that would be…

 

06:09 Kiko: Not possible

 

06:10 Will: Yeah. Well, you could use one of those cycle things, they’ve got the paddles. 

06:15 Kiko: Well, yeah, they’ve got a paddle or something.

 

06:18 Will: Yeah, I’m quite confident you wouldn’t be able to do that though. 

 

06:22 Kiko: Oh no. 

 

06:24 Will: The storms and stuff.

 

06:26 Kiko: No. Well, it depends on what kind of paddle, there is a paddle boat which is a bit like a rowing boat where you sit down, and you paddle it. So, it is possible, it has been done, not solo but in twos or fours.

 

06:39 Will: This could be your next challenge.

 

06:41 Kiko: Well, you never know, there are plenty of others.

 

06:42 Will: [06:42 overlapping talk] paddle around the world. 

 

06:48 Kiko: On land and water, Christ. 

 

06:50 Will: You’re the fastest. 

 

06:52 Kiko: I am the fastest.

 

06:53 Will: I knew.

 

06:54 Kiko: I am, yeah.

06:56 Will: Can you tell us a bit about that journey? What was your highlight of rowing out in the Atlantic? 

07:07 Kiko: Highlight pretty much were having my mojito at the end, that was pretty good, but also the sunsets were amazing. Being on your own in that solitude, it’s quite insane, it’s mad to think that you’re out that far in the middle of the Atlantic with no one else around. People were closer to me in space sometimes than on Earth, which is insane, that’s how far you are. Just to know that you can survive, I was never in a near death situation but there were some big waves and then there were no waves. It’s long and it’s hot and it’s wet and this goes wrong and that goes wrong, and you can do it, you get over it, you have to because you got to get to the other side, right? As I said, the sunsets and the animals that I would see, which is not very many, I thought there might be more, but I do miss that solitude, it’s weird.

 

08:05 Will: Did you get lonely. 

 

08:07 Kiko: No, not at all but weirdly, now that I’m home and I’m doing what I’m doing and its winter and it’s dark, I’m like, “Oh God, I really want to live with someone.” I feel lonelier at home in the winter doing what I’m doing with people everywhere and meeting them than I did when I was in the Atlantic just warm and achieving and doing great stuff. It’s a weird feeling but I suppose loneliness is not about being alone though, is it? Loneliness is a deeper thing.

 

08:40 Will: When you say the big waves, you see the films, I’m just trying to visualize, literally, would you just look up and see…?

 

08:53 Kiko: Yeah, you’re in a tiny boat, so it’s difficult to compare. I used to always watch those YouTube videos of the massive boats like crashing into big waves but obviously because they’re so big. They have that because they get to the top of the wave and then they tip and go that way so when they’re coming to the next one their nose is ready to hit into the next big wave. So, it’s difficult because you’re just like a little cork going up like bobbing up and then coming down. The only thing I had as a measure would be, I guess a regular townhouse which has got the two floors and the attic and the two floors and the roof and you can look and see how high you think that is.

It’s all so difficult because you’re never fully at the bottom of it and looking straight up because as it comes towards you, you come up with the swell but looking at them, I’m trying to figure out the size of that compared to a house. I was like that is definitely at least one and a half times a house, but then when I say to people, I think it was like 60 foot they’re like, “Oh, that’s impossible, you don’t get 60-foot waves in the Atlantic.” I’m like, “But I didn’t have a tape measure to measure but that is definitely bigger.” It’s like a wall, this big black wall of water coming towards you and then you get to the top you’re like, “Woohoo, I made it” and you look around and you’re like wow, there’s a big hit of foam in the bottom and there’s another one coming. You just hope and pray that that was not going to crash on you and it’s not like they’re crashing waves, the little top of it crashes and you get the white, what do they call them, little white horses I think they call them. You don’t really want to be on a wave at that point because the size of that would possibly tip you and you don’t want to go flying down a wave really. 

 

10:43 Will: Did you ever get tipped? 

 

10:45 Kiko: No, I had about five near capsizes where everything goes onto one side and hit my face on the side of the cabin wall one night. So no, I didn’t actually fully capsize but I was hanging out the boat on one occasion. 

 

11:02 Will: Right. When you first saw the waves, did you get scared or were you just took in your stride? 

 

11:09 Kiko: Yeah, you have to, there’s nothing you can do about it, it’s coming at you, it’s like, oh shit! I did have a little prayer to God and apologized for not praying for 25 years. I was like, “I’m really sorry I haven’t been praying to you for 25 years but if you are up there then this is my sincere apology, please forgive me and do a [11:29 inaudible] and to make this be alright and it was fine. I think you’re very much when you’re in the middle of it to be fair, it’s like you build up to that size of waves, it’s not like someone just dumped me in the middle of the Atlantic or went “Here, deal with it.” There’s literally nothing you can do apart from to sit and watch it happen and you can hold on, you lock your door, make sure you’re tied in, make sure everything is put away as much as you can in the time you’ve got to do that. As I said, it’s kind of a build-up to getting to that point, so all these things should be in place anyway and then you just got to hope, that’s it, hope and pray. 

 

12:12 Will: Would you be thinking about the environment and sustainability before you did that row?

 

12:26 Kiko: Yes. So, I was a biology teacher and when I was training to be a biology teacher the guy who was training me was quite into sustainability and the environment and lived a nature-ish type of life. I quite fancied him, and I thought if I got into the environment and I followed him, so he basically inspired me to be more environmental, although I was built up. My parents live in the countryside, my dad loves nature, so I was already there anyway, but just wasn’t so knowledgeable about the whole thing. So yeah, I got into it there and then when I was doing my paddle board company and I was doing that we did something called trash for treats where we collect the trash out of the canal in Hackney and within the community one of the Cafes there would exchange like a bucket of trash for a bit of cake or a coffee or something like that. So, I was much more into it before I even left anyway, so yeah, during those probably about eight years there bouncing the man who didn’t fall in love with me to now, maybe a bit more than eight years, maybe about 10 years. 

 

13:37 Will: So, it wasn’t an epiphany, you were at the top of the wave and you saw the light.

 

13:42 Kiko: No, it wasn’t like that I’m afraid. The journey since, like now that I do my Kik Plastic thing but, to begin with, I knew the environment was an issue, but the more I investigated and had my ears and eyes open to stuff I’ve learned a lot more about what’s going on out there. Slightly to a point of just, I wouldn’t say depressive, depression but a true understanding of what we are headed for. 

14:12 Will: I think it’s really hard. We talk about a lot as professionals in the industry because our job is to understand everything and to understand, well you’re never going to understand everything but to understand as much as you can and to know what research is out there and to know how to deliver environmental change or reducing organizations’ impacts. I think you’re right, I think you can be depressed but equally, there’re so many good things out there and it’s partly why we set up this podcast was because there are people like you out there and not to downgrade you but there are an awful lot of people that are doing an awful lot of good in the world. I personally believe that we can’t quantify all of these people and I think only hindsight will quantify everyone. I think that there will be a tipping point, but it will be a good tipping point where we’ll find out that there’s an awful lot of organizations that are producing renewables or producing a different type of material instead of using plastic.

 

15:28 Kiko: Yeah, I get there’re a lot of people doing good things, I’m doing good things, but I still look at my lifestyle, I don’t spend lots of money on clothes, but I still want things. I’ve got five paddle boards, I’ve got three bikes because they were mounted, I’ve got some flowers which have been delivered that I get once a month, which I probably don’t need. There are still lots and lots of things which collectively I can’t see, globally, us as individuals making enough change for it to be okay. I can’t see all those drinks and that choice of drinks on the shelves coming off. The soil is horrendous, the insects, [16:17 unintelligible] on the news the other day, the scientist was like, “The insects are going to be gone in a hundred years” and the newsreader went, “Oh, so our great-grandchildren will have to be there pollinating plants” and they went, “No, you won’t have any grandchildren, there will be no humans left.” 

I was like no one is talking about this, that’s a hundred years we’re talking, the insects go, the soil degradation is just hideous, and we still want strawberries in the winter. We like avocados, it’s the number one shipped vegetable across the world, is that sustainable? Yes, there’re great things like we’re improving our CO2, are we improving on CO2 output? I’m not sure but renewables are great and we’re addressing the plastic situation. Everyone’s going, let’s change plastic for something else, which is not better at all. They’re not going we actually need to stop consuming because the world is based on this false economy. No one ever says, well, you can’t increase economic productivity year-on, year out forevermore because essentially every time you sell something that’s something from the environment. That’s something from a resource from the earth, which you’re taking out and then, they’re not too many humans? 

 

17:42 Will: Yeah. So, what do you think we should do? 

 

17:45 Kiko: I just think we have to do our bit because it makes a small difference, but I don’t think it’s going to be a big enough difference. I imagine we’ll probably have a major wipe out in 60 years of some sort, and we’ll end up with a billion humans on the planet, but that soil needs to improve hugely. We need the style of farming to feed the people that we’ve got but it’s not sustainable. I’m going to buy a church with a graveyard because I believe that the soil in the graveyard is going to be really fertile.

 

18:31 Will: You’d get sponsored by the church.

 

18:33 Kiko: Yeah, especially with my praying to God story, he saved me on that massive wave. They’ll be like, “Yes, it’s a great story and now look what he’s given you.” Obviously, hope is a really fundamental and important point because I do have hope, if I didn’t have hope, I’d be like what’s the point in being here because I don’t believe it’s going to change. If you’re going to be academic about it and address how humans behave and look at the economies of the world, you can’t stop hundreds and hundreds of companies producing stuff because that’s hundreds and hundreds of people who are relying on that money to pay for the food to keep them alive but we can’t sustain the amount. I think the drinks industry is a really good example of what it has become, you’ve got cocoa this, you’ve got smoothie that, it’s ridiculous. If you go to a proper supermarket, the amount of different drinks you can have, packaged in whatever packaging, the most sustainable packaging in the world still takes energy to create that. I didn’t realize, today I read that the fashion industry produces more CO2 than aviation and the Marine industry put together.

 

20:04 Will: That whole more CO2, it depends on how you slice the cake, doesn’t it? Because you see one story where it fell to a pie chart of industries, but then every industry uses it, then you can have a pie chart of the different transport or energy sources. So yeah, the fashion industry probably does use more but then actually the fashion industry is a part of transportation surely. So, therefore it can’t be bigger than that because that’s also not including all the other industries that are using transport. 

 

20:51 Kiko: Doesn’t it add to the fact that that’s part of the transport?

 

20:56 Will: Yeah, but what I’m saying is transport can never be smaller than fashion because transport is bigger than fashion, fashion sits underneath transport. 

 

21:07 Kiko: Oh yeah, I get you’re saying but in the production of the clothes and getting the clothes to that ship or getting the clothes to that airplane also requires a lot of energy and getting the materials into the clothing. Yes, transport is a small part of that fashion industry.

 

21:27 Will: Yeah, I agree but that’s why I’m saying there are different ways to slice the cake.

 

21:31 Kiko: Yeah, but I just think I can’t see, so yes, me and you and someone else will go, “Oh, that’s okay, I don’t need fashion, I’m happy with what I’ve got.” Even I go, “Oh, yeah, I really need a new jacket because the one I’ve got is looking a bit old and torn” but I don’t need a new jacket, I want a new jacket because my other jacket I had it for 10 years and it’s boring. I can’t see the oceans out on New Year’s Day in Tooting and the shops were full of people buying and I’m like, what are you doing? How are you going to stop those people who’ve got no concept of what is going on, to stop buying stuff unnecessarily? You have to educate a nation. I was trying to find out how long it takes to break a habit, it takes no time at all to form some habits, but to break them, I wonder. Who’s going to be responsible to say actually, we don’t need fashion, we don’t need seasonal fashion, in fact, we’re not allowed seasonal fashion, the clothes stay in that shop until they’re sold and that’s it. I don’t know how that happens and when it becomes trendy just to be putting patches on your jumpers like the good old days.

 

22:55 Will: What age group did you teach when you we`re a biology teacher? 

 

22:59 Kiko: Secondary kids.

 

23:01 Will: So, that’s about 13 years old?

 

23:03 Kiko: Eleven to eighteen.

 

23:05 Will: Eleven to eighteen. Did you find that they thought about environmental stuff? 

 

23:12 Kiko: So, the one school that I taught at which was the first one, we did have an Eco club and the head of biology was leading that and I joined that. There were some kids on there who were very, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s now at Cambridge changing the world. Just at the age of, what was he, 13 at the time and there was a group of people there who really understood and liked it. This is the other thing, you got cities full of concrete, three-quarters of those people in that city have never been out and properly connected with woodland or the sea or beaches. 

When I was in my paddle boarding and I was picking up the trash one of the little girls from the estate in Hackney threw her drinks carton at me into the water and I said, “You can’t do that, that’s really not good.” She goes, “Yeah, but you’re there to pick it up.” Every weekend I would pick up the stuff and every weekend it was back exactly where it was the day before. Even though they’ve got that canal, they have no idea that canal is connected to fish and turtles and even the Thames, they’ve got no idea that it’s connected to the Thames and that Themes is connected to the ocean. We’re talking about cleaning up beaches, we shouldn’t even be going out to the Themes in the first place. There should be a full-on and that just got worse and worse, the Thames just got worse and worse. We should be investing in technology now to be on every single river that goes out to somehow collect the source of the issue, I don’t know where we’re at with technology. 

So, I think that one of the issues is education but not education in a classroom. It was so difficult trying to engage people into something you’re passionate about which is the environment in like a white-walled clinical classroom with big bright lights. The kids are saying, they wouldn’t say this but you’re trying to infuse them and get them excited about something which is incredible but you’re doing it in this clinical environment. They’ve gone from their camp estates to their bus stop, to their McDonalds, to their school, hoping not before school but to school and then back their McDonalds and then to the bus stop and back home. That is pretty much most of their life until they’re 18 or 16, probably more like 16. So, I think there’s a change needed in the education of it all as well, but the bloody politicians are just chatting about crap, aren’t they? 

25:54 Will: Yeah, yeah.

25:57 Kiko: There was some MP, I think in North Hampton, she was a female MP who is like, “These kids should be at school, they’re truanting” and you’re like, “Why would an MP say that? These kids are out striking because it’s a really important thing, a really important mess that you have made and you’re whining about saying they’re truanting.” 

26:20 Will: I would say that they’re getting more education on the political system and they’re actually getting real-life experience by doing what they did, forgetting about the environment, they’re actually getting a very good experience on the way the world works. 

 

26:35 Kiko: Yeah, I think it was great and a strike is not a strike if you’re not turning up to something. She’s like, “If was a weekend”, so it should have been a weekend but that’s not a strike, that’s like a march, that’s very different. Where the strike is saying we’re willing to give up our education, our day of learning to come and tell you guys that we need to stop arguing about Brexit and do some real changes that are needed now. 

 

27:01 Will: Yeah, we’ve employed a PR Company and they were asking me about environment and sustainability and what sort of things I’d like to see as a change within the political system. I was talking about that and we were getting to the point where they were going right, fine, why don’t we try and engage politicians, so we can do that in probably about 18 months, two years’ time? I was like, well, not now, they literally are not talking about anything other than Brexit at the moment. You just feel, wow, so the whole world is stopping because of something that’s not going to make any difference, brilliant.

 

27:42 Kiko: No one really wants [27:44 inaudible] it’s just such a joke. I also think we should take the politicians like Theresa May out for a walk in the countryside where they can see the fly-tipping. When I’m out on my bike, I’m like this is revolting, this is meant to be a nice place but if they’re just hanging out in Parliament and flying from Brussels to wherever or just driving their way or getting on a train down to wherever it is, Westminster, how do they even have any concept of the reality? Do they go and do beach cleans? Do they go and hang out in the local by the roadway? 

 

28:24 Will: She’s a big walker, isn’t she, Theresa May? 

 

28:27 Kiko: She used to come down the A3 where I live.

 

28:29 Will: You know what the media’s like, they were taking the Mickey out of her for going for a walk. Her kids were gone on holiday and she goes for walks in the Lake District and stuff and it’s like, seriously, you’re taking the Mickey out of her for going for walks in the Lake District? How low are we going to get if people can’t even do that? 

 

28:51 Kiko: Yeah. I do wonder though that they’re quite aware of some of the litter and the situations. 

28:59 Will: It’s the constitute, it’s the culture that’s inside her, I don’t think it’s the individual people, I think there’s a toxic culture within our political system now and we need that to change.

29:12 Kiko: It’s interesting that you say it’s not the individual because doesn’t culture come from the individual? 

29:19 Will: The individual isn’t there long enough in order for that culture to change which is why it’s toxic. We as people and voters need to change that system, the system is not going to change itself because the system doesn’t allow it to be changed. The reason is, they will be gone a year and a half time and then there’ll be someone else and then there’ll be someone else and then there’ll be someone else.

 

29:45 Kiko: Yeah. It’s more like a competition in politics to see who can have their voice heard and who can get the right things. Can we stop having this like school fight or something? It’s like having a rugby match or a hockey match or something and actually, they just care about their time. I feel sorry for Theresa May and that’s not in politics, but I do feel sorry because she got lumped with this whole lot of shit and she’s in a party, even labor conservatives, they’re all rubbish. Are they rubbish or are we putting that amount of stress on them? I do feel like it’s the individual that we rely heavily on the government to make our lives better. I think if the government doesn’t say we shouldn’t do it then we won’t do it, we need the government to tell us that we have to do it, then we don’t. Imagine if you took the government away what would happen, and you needed to run the world on your own? 

We should be looking after our neighbours, we should be cleaning up our area, the councils are stretched to how the benefits system is. A huge amount of money goes to a benefits system which it is what it is and the recycling, is it their fault that they haven’t got the facilities to recycle or is it our fault for buying all the products that are packaged, I don’t know? I’m a big believer in the individual, I think we need to take responsibility more for our own behavior. 

 

31:26 Will: I agree, that’s where we need to be educating people and that’s where I think the younger generation is possibly understanding more as well. 

 

31:40 Kiko: Yeah. I say blame less change more.

 

31:45 Will: Yes. So, moving back into your cycling and going around the UK, are you going to continue the relationships? You talked about future cleanups not being reliant on you but are you going to put it… 

 

32:09 Kiko: It’s difficult to say now exactly what happens and where it goes, but I think it’d be really nice. I didn’t know whether we retain the community from within Facebook but what I’m also keen not to do just to reinvent another name for beach cleaning community. We’ve got marine conservation society, we’ve got to keep her inside, we’ve got surface against sewage, we’ve got the final straw in Portsmouth or whatever. So, I don’t believe we need yet another beach cleaning organization, so that’s not really what I want to do but it’s called Kik plastic because that’s the name of the campaign. The cycling is one part of it but to organize that and who knows what comes of that and where it ends up going, so it takes a sort of promise. I do think there’s an opportunity to then revisit those communities or somehow make sure those communities stay together. 

If that beach cleaner who organized [33:22 unintelligible] beach cleaner, then I’m not going to say, oh, you need to turn and be a Kik Plastic beach cleaner because it doesn’t make sense. I think there’s an opportunity, there’s Inland in Britain, there’re other countries, there’s an education element of staff. Back to the individual thing and taking control, I think it’s nice that hopefully, some people will be empowered, and they’ll keep on going, they’ll keep on doing it. In an ideal world, I step away, well, I ride away should I say and that continues because that community really enjoy doing it and we want to do it whether I keep in touch with them. I’m sure I will because I would have built a sort of relationship with them between now and then, so yeah, it’s difficult to answer that question.

 

34:20 Will: I guess it depends on the way it goes. So, sponsor-wise, do you need more sponsors?

 

34:27 Kiko: I always do need more sponsors.

 

34:29 Will: Where can people go to find out more information about what it is that you’re doing? 

 

34:33 Kiko: So, it’s on my website, which is www.kikomatthews.co.uk and you are looking for beach sponsors, looking for leg sponsors, regional sponsors, select your welch, for example, your welch company and you want to sponsor whales and that’s great and headline sponsor which I guess that’s the large chunk of it. Yes, it brings in money, which is great, ultimately, I can’t get around the UK on a bike without such things but for it to work but also recreating content. So, I’m looking at making a documentary which would then go further, wider and that, hopefully, is really about the story of someone who sees an issue and wants to make a change as the individual and what you can achieve as one person. I think there are a lot of us going, Oh, it’s only me, what difference is one person going to make when it’s only me making a difference but actually look at what happens when one person does and like the strength of the community.

So, that’s the story, not I’m going on a bike and I’m going to clean up beaches. So yeah, the sponsor really is part of connecting a company to the situation and to the campaign as well, so you’ve got a company on board, they’re not just going to go here’s 15 grand see you later. Hopefully, they go here’s 15 grand, let us come down to the beach and do a beach clean, let us make a change within our company, they also get some consulting from Green element, which is always helpful. So, engage as many people as possible and like I say, once I’m gone, if they’re a local company to one of the beaches I’m stopping at then once I’ve gone that support, both manpower and also financially, would be good for that to continue once I’ve left, it would be a nice thing. So, the sponsorship has two elements and it also is great for the employees. So, it’s good for your CSR, good for marketing but also great for the employees to really engage in something that is positive and have a collective thing that they’re all working towards. 

I think there are lots of charities that companies work on that’s great but not every employee is affected by the charities that they raise money for. Often, it’s based around an employee who is x y and z or the CEOs or someone’s been to Africa, that’s great but not every single employee is going to care about the water and Africa, it’s got nothing to do with them. The thing about the environment is it affects every single one of them in the building and also every single one of their children, every single one of their sisters, mothers, brothers, whatever. It’s a cause which everybody needs to be part of, and everybody is part of. You can’t escape and go, “Yeah, well, our company is not really into the environment”, well, really? This is your life, this is it basically, this is our last chance, not the Kik Plastic tour is the last chance, but this is our last generation where we have to very quickly make a change. 

37:59 Will: So, what is the one thing that you would like listeners to do on that change? Can you think of one thing? 

 

38:08 Kiko: I think the change for me and what I think other people need to or would be nice to see them doing is that question, just be aware of that exchange of money, where that money is going to. What are you buying, what you’re spending your money on, is that really necessary? Can I make a slightly better choice? Am I buying strawberries because I want strawberries? Is it the right season, is it not the right season? Do I really need the cheapest meat, do I really need meat? So, I think it’s that conscious purchasing, I think it’s very easy for us to change and also just pick up a bit of litter when you walk past it. If you see it and it’s at your feet, it’s not meant to be there, so it really doesn’t take much effort just to pick it up and wait for next bin and put it in the bin. So, make your own sandwiches, convenient food, I’m actually on an environmental diet, I’ve been losing weight because I cannot eat half of the stuff that I’m like, “Oh, that’s nice.” No, I don’t need it, it’s wrapped. I have a more conscious food habits, you can’t just eat any old thing, whatever, it’s interesting. 

 

39:31 Will: That’s brilliant. Maybe that’s your next thing, Kik, the environmental diet. 

 

39:39 Kiko: Yeah, it’s the same thing we’re saying about coffee, you didn’t take your coffee cup with you on the train for your three days in London. So, you already considering the fact that you are either going to have to sit in a coffee shop and drink your coffee or not have the coffee at all. It’s not like, “Oh, God, I haven’t got my coffee cup. Oh, well, I’ll just use as I normally do.” You made a conscious decision and all of those little things they do help. 

 

40:11 Will: Okay, brilliant. Well, thank you. 

 

40:13 Kiko: That was more than one, wasn’t it? That was quite a few. 

 

40:15 Will: Well, it’s conscious shopping, that’s what you said really. 

 

40:21 Kiko: Yeah, thanks. 

 

40:24 Will: So, where can we find out more about you and what you’re up to? 

 

40:28 Kiko: All my social media is Kiko Matthews, so luckily, I’ve got a name that nobody else has so it’s very easy to find me and not mistake me for somebody else. Kik plastic I have, which is Kik and then plastic, is my other social media that’s a little bit more environmental than the Kiko Matthews. Kiko Matthews is a bit more, it’s got some of that, but it’s also linked in with adventure and my day-to-day activities. My website, like I said before, it’s kikomatthews.co.uk and on there are things where you can use links to click to join the ride or to join the beach clean or to see where the beach cleans are or see what I’ve been up to before. I’ve got a book as well, which is for sale and that’s about it really.

 

41:18 Will: Brilliant. We’ll put all the links to everything on our website and thank you so much for today, that’s awesome. 

 

41:25 Kiko: Thanks. I hope it wasn’t too much doom and gloom, I’m a very positive person. 

 

41:30 Will: No, it wasn’t.

 

41:31 Kiko: Okay, perfect. Thanks, Will, nice chatting.

 

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