Environmental considerations?

Hi all, it's been a long time. I've been somewhat away from the sport in the past few years for different reasons. I'm trying to get back into it, not for anything extreme, mostly to keep active and to try to find again the meditative state I used to reach during long-ish OW swims.

Since my last OW swim abroad, the current climatic affairs have caught up with me and I'm basically trying to find a good balance between life quality and environmental impact. One of the main points is travelling less and doing it in the greenest possible way.

I don't really know what I'm after here... maybe just wondering if there's anyone else on this board who's also finding themselves rethinking their open-water travels plans in light of the necessary CO2 (and other) emission reductions to make a dent in climate change and/or if someone feels like we, as a group, might have (creative) ways to raise awareness to this issue.

Swimmingly yours, Sylvain



  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member

    I guess one idea are to swim local. I know that some areas don't have as many local swims, so another idea is to contact the RD of the race and ask if there is a way for the participants to get together and plan car-pooling. I've seen that with some swim events who have FB pages. That is one way of cutting back on your footprint. Sadly, another step is to just not do any swims that you can't bike or walk or run to, but for a lot of us, that would really limit.

    You could also talk to RDs and see if they could arrange a higher (voluntary) price for the swim and then have the proceeds go to an environmental cause to offset your travel.

    Tangentially, this consideration was supreme during my Issyk Kul swims. The Kyrgyz have a different view on the environment, which is a shame as their land is so beautiful. But the wife and I would walk up a 3 or 4K peak, and we'd see empty bottles and trash on the entire route, even up at the top. (My God, you carried the full water bottle the whole way up, the empty bottle is so much lighter!) I made it a point in my swims that we would not be dumping any litter over the side (done by locals there) and if anything blew off the boat they were authorized to turn around and go get it, they just had to inform me so I didn't follow them!


    Please join the Lake Issyk Kul Swimming Federation on FB!

  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member

    Hi @Sylle
    My husband (I'll refer to him as an indignant environmentalist) is always up in arms that more open water swimmers aren't on the front lines of environmental defense. While most of us don't have the time to get involved at the highest levels, small changes--even something as simple as picking up trash on the beach where you swim--can make a difference. Here in Boston we've got a great group of swimmers, many of whom recognize that our playground is under threat so we've "sponsored" a few beach clean up days in the past. A small group has met at our normal swim location at the normal time and spent an hour combing the beach for plastic cups, straws, paper refuse, diapers (yuck) and everything else that washes up at low tide. We each filled a large garbage bag and then went for our swim. Simple actions can have a big impact. I'd love to see more swimmers getting on the environmental bandwagon in whatever way they can.


    Stop me if you've heard this one...
    A grasshopper walks into a bar...

  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    I regularly grab trash when I'm out training and toss it in the boat, so it can be properly disposed of. The weirdest thing I found was an urn, in about 18" of water. We dropped it off at the funeral home.


    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • j9swimj9swim CharlestonSenior Member

    i admit i travel to a swim almost every weekend during the summer and will take put others in the car if the logistics can work out but honestly this is not where i try to impact the environment. i think what you do everyday is more important than what you do once in awhile, in that spirit i live and have lived in small spaces < 800 sq.ft. currently in 435. i consume less because it doesn't fit, considerably less energy is required this way, and an added bonus is it takes only 5 minutes to vacuum the space. another option for managing ones footprint.

  • suziedodssuziedods Mem​ber

    This is a FABULOUS thread. Small things make a big difference and yet, yes.. those carbon emissions.
    I walk A LOT , take the bus, super short showers, don't use my heat in the winter( ok winter in SF it's possible to do this) and yes pick up garbage, compost ,turn off lights when not in use, ALL these things make me feel better when I do fly.
    One percent.. if we all reduced ONE percent and "each one teach one". If we all can get ONE other person to pick up garbage, USE less of everything... we may delay or stop the tipping point.
    Welcome back @Sylle.


    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach

  • andissandiss Senior Member

    Really just trying to use less plastics and travel less. Or as mentor in cork said - why bother travel 600km for a 10km swim when you can do it here!

    I don't mind supporting Sea Shepherd also


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