AUSTIN, Texas - A man from Germany has traveled from Europe to Austin causing zero emissions. He’s passionate about sustainability and inspiring others to reduce their carbon footprint.
Julen Sanchez rowed 131 days from Portugal to Florida.
"I formed the idea to cross continents and oceans just by human power to inspire other people to face their impossible challenges and show that we can go anywhere sustainably," Sanchez said.
Sanchez did it. He’s the youngest person to ever row solo from Europe to North America.
"Yeah, your body obviously needs to be strong to be able to do that, but at some point it's your mind coming in, and your mind needs to send the signal, okay, let's do one more repetition, now let's do another one, and the mind needs to be strong enough to say maybe I need to do this for the next 100 days," Sanchez said.
He wasn’t done after that.
"Most of the time while being on an expedition, I'm actually thinking about next expeditions, I'm thinking about what I can do next, and it's quite a privilege to have so much free time to think about stuff, think about stuff deeply," Sanchez said.
His next trek was cycling from Toronto to Texas.
"I was in Indiana, and I realized there was a massive cold front coming up from the north, so I had to push the pace to make it down south," Sanchez said.
He made it in two weeks, and he’s ended up in Austin.
"I had this idea of wanting to make an impact," Sanchez said.
Sanchez said he wants to show that anything can be done sustainably and to make a long term impact, it requires a mindset shift.
"It's about encouraging other people to think of their own ways to contribute, and it's not about doing everything right, I'm not doing everything right either, but that's why I thought I might be a good example because I'm just trying to get a little better by the day," Sanchez said.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports the top sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. are transportation, electricity production, and burning fossil fuels. Sanchez said his contribution to reducing carbon emissions is transportation. He encourages others to commit to something.
"Once you realize, hey listen, this doesn't really reduce my quality of life, maybe improves it to a little more conscious and sustainable, then I think we can go a very long way," Sanchez said.
Sanchez said he’ll be in Austin for a few weeks to fuel back up, and then he’s onto another cycling adventure. He said it’s a surprise, but it will take everything he’s done to a different level.