The Timberland Co. introduced its 2009 Earthkeeper Heroes recipients, heralding those committed to driving environmental movements around the world. The winners this year included an eco-photographer, green “trendspotter” and freestyle swimmer.

The award was presented in partnership with, a social media platform dedicated to environmental causes. Timberland launched its Earthkeepers Movement in the summer of 2008 in an effort to engage 1 million consumers across the globe to support environmental stewardship. Combining stories of dynamic environmental heroes with a social media experience, Earthkeepers is designed to create an interactive platform that connects this generation’s drivers of environmental change to inspire others.

“Timberland is leveraging its worldwide brand influence, marketing capacity and pro-environment credibility to enable these eco-warriors to realize their full potential,” said Margaret Morey-Reuner, Senior Manager, Values Marketing of Timberland. “As a company that treasures the outdoors along with tens of millions of people around the world, we want to address environmental issues in ways that are led bottom-up by passionate individuals, their solutions and their actions.”

The Earthkeeper Heroes are using blogs, photo galleries, Tweets, videos, podcasts and other social media tools at to share their environmental stories 24/7 from the trenches in order to assemble worldwide support. Timberland and Changents invite the public to follow their stories online, interact directly with these emerging change agents and become their “Backers” – online teammates whose actions, big and small, help move an Earthkeeper Hero’s mission forward.

“As the leading Internet destination that connects incredibly cool people who are changing the world with the people who help them, we are really excited to be partnering with Timberland to create highly original, entertaining gateways for the public to engage with the Earthkeeper Heroes,” said Deron Triff, CEO and Co-Founder of “We know Generation Y has a deep desire to make a difference on their own terms, especially alongside ‘larger than life’ personalities who inspire them.”

The following are profiles of the 2009 recipients:

Christopher Swain on Earth Day 2009, dove into the frigid and dirty Atlantic ocean, beginning a 1,000 mile, 2-year swim from New England to Washington D.C. – an eco-expedition designed to find alternatives to the “unhelpful human activities” (as Christopher likes to say) destroying our ocean habitats as a result of water pollution. The public can follow Christopher’s swim, communicate with him, and experience first hand what he sees while freestyling through water contaminated with algae blooms, oil slicks, trash, heavy metals, toxic chemicals, sewage and nuclear waste…not to mention container ships, rip tides, rain, snow, lightning, high winds and tiger sharks.

Sami Nerenberg and Nate Bastien (a.k.a. the “Impact Designers”) are creating break-through, environmentally friendly design solutions for impoverished and low-income communities. Nate is creating a ‘Street Pack’ for the homeless made entirely of scrap material otherwise headed to the landfill. Sami, one of the youngest teachers to run a program at the Rhode Island School of Design, is sending story dispatches from deep inside the urban jungle where she is designing high impact, green “makeovers” for environmentally-challenged homes as part of a community project with inner city youth.

Andrea Bakacs is harnessing the power of photography to deliver eco-messages. At just 29, Andrea is pointing her camera at amazing pockets of nature worth saving and a host of green projects sprouting from nooks and crannies across New York City. Ever seen Manhattan’s eco-friendly composting nuns? How about a farm complete with goats and chickens and cherry trees smack in the middle of the east village-on a rooftop? What about the green movement’s equivalent of graffiti artists-guerilla gardeners? Andrea is taking the public along for a ride on her visual story of green NYC.

Cate Trotter (a.k.a. the “Green Insider”) is a 25-year-old sustainability trend-spotter and “greentrepreneur” with the inside track on who’s leading the environmental revolution and how to join them. Cate not only inspires individuals, but also advises businesses on how to go green. She is sharing stories on her journey to discover cutting-edge developments emerging from London’s “green scene” including environmentally friendly design break-throughs, eco-architectural feats, ethical fashion trends, green technology innovations, and Gen Y eco-conscious culture spanning from art to nightlife.

Mark Shearer and Nick Gardner (a.k.a. “Project Dirt”) have combined their green hearts and business smarts to develop a unique online community called Project Dirt. It connects eco-conscious individuals with down-and-dirty urban greening projects in London. With dozens of projects on the site and an estimated 2,000 greening community projects eager to get on Project Dirt, Mark and Nick are knee deep while sharing their urban greening adventures and asking the public for help along the way.