Wilderness at Its Wildest
Last month, Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune journeyed to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where he experienced wilderness "at its wildest." But when the Refuge was expanded in 1980, proponents of oil and gas drilling mandated an inventory of potential oil and gas resources there. Drilling would devastate wildlife like the Porcupine caribou, and none of the local Inupiat people Brune spoke to were in favor of drilling, either offshore or on the coastal plain. "None of them wanted the oil industry to move into the Refuge," he says.
Read about Brune's journey and find out how you can help protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge once and for all.
Inspiring Connections Outdoors
The Sierra Club's Inner City Outings (ICO) program, which takes some 14,000 participants outdoors every year, has a new name: Inspiring Connections Outdoors. "The acronym ICO and the mission -- to provide opportunities for people (especially youth) with limited access to the outdoors to safely explore, enjoy, and protect the natural world -- remain the same," says Sierra Club Outdoors director Stacy Bare.
So why change the name?
How Much Paper Does One Tree Produce?
The United States produced nearly 21 million tons of paper last year. Recycling is vital, because about a third of new paper comes from recycled stock. But according the American Forest and Paper Association, only a little over half of the paper we produced last year was recycled.
Find out Mr. Green's formula for calculating how many trees go into a ton of paper -- and his advice for keeping more of those trees standing.
The Brune Family Wilderness Tour
The Wilderness Act of 1964 set aside nine million acres of wild lands for the use and enjoyment of the American people, and over the past 50 years, nearly 100 million more acres have been added. "But as we look to the next 50 years of protecting our wild places, the idea of wilderness must grow and evolve," says Dan Chu, director of the Sierra Club's Our Wild America campaign.
To celebrate the Act's 50th anniversary, Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune and his family are heading to the Pacific Northwest to hike, camp, and enjoy some of the beautiful wild places that are the enduring legacy of the Wilderness Act.
Follow their journey.
Sew and Tell
"There are a lot of things we need to do for our environment, like buying less and sharing more," says Michael Swaine, a college professor and founder of the Free Mending Library in San Francisco. "Around a dozen years ago, a friend and I were walking by an abandoned alley, and she asked, 'If you could do anything with this space, what would you do?'"
Find out what Swaine did.
Photo by Lori Eanes
Keep Trade Clean!
Nearly 500 corporations, including Walmart and General Electric Oil & Gas, serve as U.S. trade advisers and are involved in crafting a new trade agreement behind closed doors. An extreme provision known as "investor-state dispute settlement" could be added to the agreement, allowing corporate polluters to challenge safeguards that prevent big oil companies from dumping waste into our oceans. That would open the door for corporations to challenge nearly any environmental protection or conservation law that protects our health.
Tell the U.S. Trade Representative that you reject investor-state dispute settlement.
DIY: Cables Into Coasters
Most of us by now have a stash of old computer cables that are incompatible with our current electronic devices. This stash almost always ends up as trash. But it turns out that when you strip away the outer insulation of an old monitor cable, you may find a rainbow of supple, colorful wires.
Click through our slideshow to see how you can transform e-waste into useful, attractive artifacts.
Photo by Lori Eanes
Get Wild at the National Wilderness Conference
As part of our celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, the Sierra Club is cosponsoring a National Wilderness Conference from October 15-19 in Albuquerque. With presentations, panels, workshops, exhibits, and a "Get Wild" festival, this will be the largest gathering of wilderness activists in 25 years -- highlighting the ongoing benefits of protecting wild places.
Register now to Get Wild!
Big Trouble in Little Yosemite
Gavin Taylor was camped at Little Yosemite Valley, preparing to hike Half Dome the next day and cooking dinner on top of a bear box, when he reached down to pick something up. "A dark shape flashed from under the box, touched my hand, and disappeared," he says. "I pulled back and saw two trickles of blood." Taylor had been bitten by a two-and-a-half-foot-long rattlesnake. Soon his toes, lips, cheek, and scalp started to buzz, and his hand and arm began swelling.
Click through this slide show to find out what Taylor did that enabled him to survive.
Illustration by Koren Shadmi
A New Shade of Green
The second annual Americas Latino Eco Festival will take place September 11-15 in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. The event, themed A New Shade of Green, is produced by Americas for Conservation + the Arts, and is presented in part by the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign. Environmental leader Jean-Michel Cousteau, actor/social activist Edward James Olmos, and artists, scientists, and community and public policy leaders from across the Americas will discuss the environmental and health problems our communities face, propose solutions, and awaken diverse communities to take an active role in the environmental movement.
Learn more about the festival and A New Shade of Green.