Change a little, help a lot

Four young climate experts give tips on how to keep our planet clean and healthy.

Young sustainability advocates give tips on how to save the planet

Salina, Andri, Noé, Allegra and Mia live quite an extraordinary life: together with their parents they are part of the climate expedition ToptoTop. With their wind and solar powered sailing boat they travel the world and teach people across the globe how to save the planet. Since Victorinox also cares deeply about the protection of our environment, we are one of the official sponsors of the ToptoTop expedition.

Discover their fascinating life and let them inspire you to take action.

Get to know an adventurous family

One big family

Dario and Sabine Schwoerer and their five children live on board the Pachamama, their 15 meter long sailing boat.

A life of traveling and teaching

The family travels the world, teaching people how to live more sustainably. They visit schools, talk about their adventures and give tips on how to protect the environment. Pictured here is their trip to a school in Liverpool.

Salina was born 2005 in Chile

She is the oldest of all children. She says she learned to respect nature: “If it’s getting dark earlier, I just go to bed earlier. If an island has no garbage disposal, I wrap my sandwich in a leaf instead of in tin foil or plastic wrap.”

Andri was born 2006 in Patagonia

When he and his family are not on board their boat, they ride their bicycles to wherever they want to go. The family's goal is to rely only on renewable energies – for example their own muscle power on their bikes.

Noé was born 2009 in Australia

In this picture, we see him celebrate his 7th birthday at home – on the Pachamama sailing boat. Since space is limited on board, he and his siblings share a room. But Andri doesn’t mind. “Less cold at night” he says.

Alegra was born 2011 in Singapore

Alegra, like her brothers and sisters, is full of energy. In order to make sure that none of the kids ever fall overboard, there is a safety net encircling the deck of the boat. The children are also safely harnessed when the seas are rough.

Mia was born in 2015 in Switzerland

She is the youngest person on the planet to have sailed the Arctic Channel. By doing so, the family aims to draw attention to global warming – climate change has resulted in thinning summer ice, making the historically impassable Northwest Passage navigable.

Number 6 to arrive soon

At time of writing this article in February 2017, the ToptoTop team is about to welcome a new family member. Victorinox congratulates the Schwoerer family on this wonderful news.

Save the world
Change something today

Salina, Andri, Noe, Alegra and Mia have seen many of the devastating effects climate change has had. That’s why they are on a mission to help save the planet.

Learn from what they have learned and join their quest.

Don’t replace it, fix it

“When we break something, there usually isn’t a shop nearby to replace it. That’s why we fix almost everything. Flat tire? We take care of it ourselves. The teddy lost an eye? We carve a new one. Jacket got a hole? We sew it.” says Salina, the oldest ToptoTop sibling.

Less stuff, more freedom

“Our home is small. That’s why we can’t have too many toys. We each get one box for our own toys. If someone gives us a new toy, we have to give another one away because of the limited space. But are we ever bored? Actually – no!” says junior climate activist Noé.

Everything is a toy

“When we planned to cross the Arctic Ocean, we were worried that the kids would be bored.” Dario recalls. But Andri just laughs. “We don’t get bored! We just invent toys: water bottles turn into music instruments, a rope becomes a swing.”

A bottle is a rattle is a jar

“We have made it a hobby to find several uses for everything. Take a plastic bottle – it starts life as a refillable bottle for drinking water, then it is filled with coins to serve as a rattle for baby Mia and finally we cut it open and turn it into a pen holder.” Alegra explains.

Grow strong, change the world

“Our days look never the same. When we’re on the boat, we are outside in the fresh air helping to sail. When we’re on land, we help to teach. That’s why we eat a lot!” – the kids tell us. To get the best possible fuel, they eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

No car, more fun

“I prefer to take the bike than the car, because I get to see more of the world.” Noé tells us. He also likes that he can stop his bicycle any time and talk to people or take a break. "But riding the bike is not only more fun", he says. "It also is a lot better for our planet."

Learn to cook and reduce waste

Salina doesn’t like disposable dishes. “Prepare your own food and you can use your plates many times.” she says. “Unless of course you happen to live on a pacific island. Than you can just use banana leaves which are bio-degradable” she laughs.

Get out there

Mama Sabine also has a tip: “Go outside and get dirty. Hug a tree, dig in the soil, catch a worm.” Because only by being in nature we learn how precious nature is. “And that’s the best way to develop the willingness to save our planet”, she has learned.

Let’s ask some questions

We talked to Salina (11), Andri (10), Noé (7) and Alegra (5) about their work as climate activists and their life aboard their sailing boat. 

Why do we have to take care of our planet?
Noé: Because we want to have a healthy planet when we are old. 

Could you give us some examples where you have seen that our planet is in danger?
Andri: In Bali, there was plastic everywhere in the mangrove forests. That's a breeding station for many different types of animals and fish. They eat the plastic and die. 
Noé: In big cities, there are too many cars and poor public transportation. It is too noisy for the birds.
Salina: In the Arctic, the ice is melting one month earlier now and it is freezing one month later. This change causes huge problems for the Inuits and their ability to hunt and get food.

Could you also give us some examples where you have seen that our planet is still doing well?
Noé: There are parks where they protect nature.
Salina: They are planting trees to reforest.
Andri: Once we were cycling along a field full of solar panels. It was so huge we were riding our bikes for one hour before we got to the end of the field.

Tell us about your work. What are your tasks in the expedition ToptoTop?
Andri: We try to stop global warming. We help teaching.
Noé: We also give tours on the boat and explain how we live.

When you visit schools, what do you tell the students?
Andri: We explain how we live with technology that produces renewable energy. 
Salina: We show them examples of how to do better, in particular, examples from our journey.

How do the students react when they meet you?
Salina: They’d like to join us!

Which are the five most important things to help save the planet?
Andri: Solar and wind power, own fewer things, use your clothes again, repair things yourself, do not throw away so much.
Alegra: Do not drive a car or fly a plane, don’t use plastic and don’t use things just once, for example throwing your cup away after drinking a glass of water.

What do you like more? Living on water or on land?
Alegra: I slightly prefer the water because of all the beautiful sea creatures I can see.
Noé: Both.
Andri: Both.
Salina: Both.

Do you have tasks?
Noé: I love birds and like to share my knowledge about birds with others. I am also our observer on board – I look out for other boats, upcoming storms, observe the cloud formations, spot animals but also plastic debris. 
Alegra: I am responsible for turning the light on at night on the boat, so the other boats can see us. In schools, I talk about polar bears. I am also good at collecting plastic.
Andri: I am the navigating assistant.
Salina: I talk about our expedition. I take care of my little baby sister and I like to cook. 

Don’t you have to go to school?
Salina: There is a teacher with us on our expedition. When we’re at sea, we go to boat school. When we’re hiking up a mountain, we go to tent school. When we’re on land, we also go to regular school. 

What do you like most about your adventurous life?
Alegra: I love to watch the dolphins.
Noé: I like it when we see whales and birds. Once we had a sea lion live on our boat for a whole week. 
Salina: What I like most is that we can see different cultures and countries.

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