A Promise Betrayed
When Sierra Club attorney Aaron Isherwood and his brother Nicholas decided to visit Ecuador, an Amazon adventure was at the top of their list. While seeking permission from the indigenous Achuar people to visit their pristine and remote territory, they learned that the Ecuadorian government plans to auction off millions of acres, including Achuar lands, for massive oil drilling -- even though Ecuador's president had campaigned on indigenous peoples' rights and rainforest protection. With the Achuar's permission, Aaron and Nicholas took a tiny prop plane to a village deep in the Amazon.
Read about their journey.
And take action to protect indigenous rainforest lands from Big Oil.
A Win for Wilderness
The White House has announced that President Obama will sign a proclamation tomorrow establishing the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in southwestern New Mexico. It is the eleventh -- and at nearly 500,000 acres, by far the largest -- national monument President Obama has designated using the Antiquities Act. In addition to protecting the area's natural and cultural heritage, the new monument is expected to generate new outdoor recreation and tourism that will give an estimated $7.4 million boost to the local economy.
Find out why future monument designations might be in jeopardy, though.
Another One Bites the Dust
NV Energy has announced that it will close three of its four coal-fired units at the Reid Gardner power plant in southern Nevada by the end of this year, and the fourth by 2019. The Sierra Club has worked for years with the Moapa Band of Paiutes to retire heavily polluting Reid Gardner, which sits next door to the Moapa Paiute reservation. Soon the tribe will build a 200-megawatt solar array -- the first commercial solar project on Native American lands -- from which the city of Los Angeles will be purchasing enough energy to power over 110,000 homes.
Read about this major victory for the climate, clean air, and renewable energy.
New Fridge? Does Efficiency Pencil Out?
Buying a newer energy-efficient refrigerator means you'll use fewer kilowatts -- and maybe never have to look at the color "avocado" again. But how long will it take for the energy you save to offset the energy it took to manufacture your shiny new fridge?
Sierra's Mr. Green has the answer down cold.
Thousands Gather to Say No to Dirty Fuels
Three weeks ago, 5,000 activists gathered in Washington, D.C., to urge the President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline and protect America from tar sands oil. Last Saturday, 5,000 Americans gathered again, this time in over 100 communities in 43 states, to not only say no to KXL, but to all dirty fuels, and to urge their elected officials to support clean energy.
Here are some highlights of the National Day of Action Against Dirty Fuels.
Debby Rudy of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, says her love affair with the environment began when she attended a local Sierra Club meeting and met two members who wanted to start an Inner City Outings program in Harrisburg. "It turned out to be one of those rare moments of fate, when you stumble on something you've been looking for your whole life," she says. "I couldn't say 'Where do I sign up?' fast enough."
Rudy did more than just sign up.
Planet Fitness or Planet Plastic?
For over a year, Sierra Club volunteer Lynn Hartung politely tried -- without success -- to persuade the manager of her Planet Fitness gym in Waterford, Michigan, to recycle. Finally, after digging through the gym's wastebaskets and estimating that between 100 and 200 plastic bottles a day were going to landfill, she called every Planet Fitness gym in the state to find out how many of them recycled. She has now taken the fight national to get fitness clubs to recycle. "Fixing this problem isn't rocket science," she says, "nor is it expensive."
Read more and take action to get your local fitness center to recycle.
Ready for Something Special? You're in the Right Place
Here at Sierra Club Outings, you'll find all sorts of trip types, but cookie-cutter isn't one of them. In fact, many of our trips are one-time only events. Here are a few favorites. Better act quickly, though, because these will fill up fast.
All this and plenty more at sierraclub.org/national-outings
Sock It to Me
This spring, as you gear up for your next outdoor adventure, support the Sierra Club by sporting Sierra Club socks. For the outdoor enthusiast or everyday explorer, Sierra Club socks are made in the U.S. from recycled and organic cotton by Parker Legwear. Working with recycled and organic materials conserves resources and eliminates the need for tons of toxic pesticides. Plus, every pair purchased supports the Sierra Club.
Order yours today!
Out of the Portfolio
When Stanford University announced this month that it would no longer invest in coal companies, it became the 12th and most prominent U.S. college to do so. Stanford's ban on direct coal investments applies to some 100 publicly traded companies.
Learn why divesting from coal makes dollars and sense.
Be Green to See Green
More and more U.S. companies are paying attention to sustainability issues; nearly three-quarters now have a strategy for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. And they're not just being do-gooders. A commitment to sustainability -- whether it's clean energy, clean water, or fair labor practices -- is proving good for the bottom line. A new report from Ceres, a nonprofit corporation that advocates for sustainability leadership, has released a new report examining the sustainability record of more than 600 U.S. companies.
Find out which companies "get it."
Keep Dirty Fuels in the Ground
The race to curb climate change is one we can't afford to lose -- and that means keeping dirty fuels in the ground. An obvious way to start is to stop allowing dirty energy companies to mine, drill, and frack our public lands and seas.
Will you tell President Obama to keep dirty fuels in the ground?
Subscribe to Sierra Club Radio.
Helen Russell the CEO of Equator Coffee, on sustainably grown, fair-trade coffee.
- Michael Sims, author of The Adventures of Henry Thoreau.