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"Munters has made it fun to travel at high latitudes"

apr 22, 2020

Munters has made life much more comfortable for Dario Schwoerer, a Swiss climatologist and international ski and mountain guide. For more than two decades, he and his family have been sailing around the world on their climate expedition, TOPtoTOP.

In 1999, Dario and his wife, Sabine Schwörer, set out on a journey to teach the world about climate change and spread the message of hope. Twenty-one years later, the couple still travels the seven seas in the company of their six children (ages two to fourteen) and three researchers. Their mission: reaching out to as many young people as possible about the importance of respecting and protecting the planet and sharing innovative, sustainable solutions with the communities they come in contact with.

From wet to warm and cozy

When Munters talks to the family, they are in Norway, on their last leg of circling the Artic, from Russia to Alaska. In Norway, they take samples of water, fish and sediment, which will be studied by the Norwegian Research Centre (NORCE) and the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences for microplastics.

There has been a dramatic increase in microplastics since the TOPtoTOP expedition first set sail. Despite this and other adverse effects of climate change, Dario is hopeful about the future of the planet. And he and his family take every opportunity to spread the message of hope to young people on their travels.

“In March, we had 200 students visiting our sailboat,” he says. “It was a rainy day – everything was wet. In the past, we have always been worried about moisture and condensation, but this year was different. Thanks to Munters’ dehumidifier, we have enjoyed a warm boat and even been able to dry our wet clothes and laundry. It has felt like any other cozy home on land.

“Munters changed our climate onboard for the better and made it so much more fun to travel in high latitudes.”

Dario and his family share a space no larger than twenty square meters. Despite this, there has never been a problem on board. What’s the secret? Dario says it’s because all six children were born on the expedition.

“The sailboat is their home,” he says. “I remember their reaction during a big storm in Brazil. Our children were playing ashore when the storm hit and their reaction was to run to the pier and hide inside the boat, although it leaned heavily on its side. A boat is like a mother’s stomach. It gives you a protected feeling and if you grew up this way, the boat is where you will feel safe.”

Inspire people and communities to act

To date, the family have traveled more than 100,000 nautical miles to more than 100 countries and have made presentations to more than 140,000 students. Wherever they go, they share stories and innovations from other parts of the world, and they only sail when Mother Nature allows them. This means that they stay longer at each location, giving them a better understanding about the challenges the communities face and helping them find solutions to solve them. In eastern Greenland, the family has donated climate equipment and taught the Inuit how to free climb to provide them with another source of income and in Ecuador they have taught a community how polluted water can be made drinkable again with the help of the sun. The longer visits also allow the children to go to school and learn new languages.

“Every year, with the privilege we have of seeing so much great nature and so many good projects around the world, I have become more positive about the future of our planet,” Dario says. “When people understand how wonderful our planet is and what we stand to lose, I think it will lead to more action.”

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Follow the expedition online: www.TOPtoTOP.org or read their blog.

To donate to the expedition or help rebuild the boat that was badly damaged in a storm, click here

For schools, students and parents, check out the TOPtoTOP expedition learning resources.

 

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