Posts Tagged ‘Atlantic Ocean’

Safe Haven for Dead Gadgets

When he’s not logging swim hours in the Atlantic Ocean, Earthkeeper Hero Christopher Swain takes to dry land to educate the public about pollution and the need for cleaner waterways.  In Philadelphia last week, Christopher staged an Ethical Electronics Recycling Event where more than 11,000 pounds of discarded and outdated consumer electronics (commonly known as “e-waste”) were collected for recycling and, when possible, reuse.

What’s the link between your old computer and the clean ocean Christopher Swain is advocating for?  In his own words:

If these devices get tipped into a landfill, or dumped on the ground in Asia or Africa, they vomit their toxic contents–mercury, lead, arsenic, barium, hexavalent chromium, and other nasty compounds–into the environment.  This pollutes nearby lands and waterways, and eventually, the ocean.


Dead dolphins and porpoises have been found with high levels of manmade toxics like brominated fire retardants in their blubber.  Have dolphins been fighting fires?  Maybe.  But a more likely explanation is that they have eaten fish from oceans contaminated with the same chemical powders that grace the insides of our cell phones and laptops.

That’s scary enough to make any Earthkeeper give up his or her electronic gadget habit … or at least find a safe home for those dead iPods and laptops.

You can read more about Christopher’s work to clean up our e-waste in his blog post on Changents.com.  And if you’re interested in organizing an electronics recycling event for your community, visit Christopher’s website.

The Pen is Mightier Than a Kick in the Pants

It’s been one week since Earthkeeper Hero Christopher Swain started his swim journey from Marblehead, MA to Washington DC.  You can catch up on news, photos and Christopher’s own thoughts about the first several days of his project on Changents.com.

Christopher’s dedication, both to the physical challenge of swimming 1,000 miles through some seriously dirty water and to the more intellectual challenge of educating students in over 2,000 classrooms along the way, inspires us.  Guess what inspires him?

Two words of encouragement, written on his nautical chart by his 5-year old daughter Celilo on the morning of his swim:

As if anyone needed more motivation than that.

Swain Swims for Clean Water

“Once I finally get in the water and start taking strokes, I often feel relieved.  The hard part is over.  There is nothing left to do but swim.”

- Christopher Swain

For those of you who don’t already know him, we’re pleased to introduce Christopher Swain – environmental educator, activist, and Earthkeeper Hero.  Christopher has spent much of the last 5+ years swimming some of the country’s most notable waterways (including the Columbia River, the Charles River, the Hudson River and Lake Champlain) in the name of cleaner water and water quality education.

Photo courtesy of Carrie Branovan

Christopher recently joined the ranks of the Earthkeeper Heroes — a select group of environmental change agents who, through a partnership between Timberland and Changents.com, tell their amazing stories in real-time while building a network of fans around the world to help them.

Tomorrow, Christopher will embark on the first leg of his next adventure – a 1,000 mile swim journey from Marblehead, Massachusetts to Washington, DC.  We’ll be providing regular updates and insights from Christopher here on Earthkeepers, and you can follow his journey anytime on Changents.com.