Sierra Club
The Insider: The official newsletter of the Sierra Club
August 31, 2010: In This Issue
  • A Great Outdoors Movement
  • A Visit to the Border Wall
  • How Green Is Your Pet?
  • Thank a Water Sentinel Today
  • ReEnergize the Vote!
  • The Flight of the Plastic Bag
  • Join Now!

    In the News
    A new study, co-sponsored by the Sierra Club, Earthjustice, and the Environmental Integrity Project, found heavy metal levels exceeding federal drinking water standards at 39 additional coal-ash dump sites in 21 states — at every site that had monitoring wells.

    Serve Outdoors

    Serve Outdoors 9/11
    Get outside, give back, and honor those who serve. September 11 is the National Day of Service, and the Sierra Club is joining groups across the country to give back through volunteering. The Club's Serve Outdoors initiative makes it easy for you to find an event or host your own.

    See what's happening near you and sign up today

    Today's green tip
    Did your alma mater make Sierra Magazine's Cool Schools 2010? Find out here!

    More tips | Subscribe!

    Latest Best Internship Video

    If You Give a Moose a Closeup
    Catch the latest video from Evan Geary, winner of the Club's Best Internship on Earth contest, as he joins a volunteer vacation, a.k.a. service outing, in Wyoming's Wind River Range. Hauling rocks in the hot sun, chopping wood, repairing trails -- it looks like hard work, but everyone seems to be having fun.

    And then there's the moose hearing the call of nature....

    On the Radio
    1) Colin Beavan, author of No Impact Man, on his year-long experiment of living simply and how you can try it at home 2) Evan Geary, who has spent his summer doing "The Best Internship on Earth" talks with us about his adventures 3) Chef Annie Somerville gives green cuisine tips for summer.

    Listen | Subscribe


    Not King Coal
    Yesterday in Arlington, Virginia, the EPA hosted the first of seven coal ash hearings around the country. Ahead are hearings in Denver, Dallas, Charlotte, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Louisville.

    Stand up to King Coal and tell the EPA that unregulated coal ash dumps are contaminating drinking water and surface water with arsenic and other heavy metals

    Great OutdoorsInsider Readers Turn the Tide
    Last month, we told you how the Obama administration's Great Outdoors Initiative was collecting ideas for conserving outdoor spaces in an online forum that allowed people to "promote" and "demote" others' suggestions. Well, when Nancy Dess, a psychology professor from Occidental College in Los Angeles, shared her idea about the health, cognitive, and social benefits of the outdoors, she found that it was quickly demoted because the forum was dominated by off-road enthusiasts pushing for more off-road access on public lands, and limiting wilderness protections.

    So she wrote about her experience in Sierra Club Trails, urging people to vote on the site. After we shared her story in the Insider, the tide turned as thousands of you visited the Great Outdoors site and tipped the balance toward the pro-conservation side.

    "I couldn't be more pleased," said Dess in a note to us. "Thank you!" And thanks to all of you who voted. (You can still vote on the more than 50 pages of suggestions.) 
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    Border WallSee the Border Wall Up Close
    If you haven't seen the border wall in person, the next best thing might be looking at the photos and blog posts from the Sierra Club Borderlands Team, which recently toured the wall in the Otay Mountain Wilderness east of San Diego.

    At a cost of $16 million per mile, the 3.6 mile Otay wall curves and climbs the rugged desert landscape like the Great Wall of China, cutting through wilderness areas and wildlife corridors. Learn more about the environmental impacts of the wall in the video Wild v. Wall and the Google Earth tour. Learn more about how you can take action to keep the border wild.

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    Photo courtesy: John Barry

    Join the Activist Network

    How Green is Your Pet?How Green Is Your Pet?
    Are you a pet owner who cares about the planet?

    Have you been yearning for another one of our popular "How Green" quizzes?

    You've come to the right place!

    Take our quick 10-question "How Green is My Pet?" quiz and find out if you're best in show

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    Photo courtesy: Lori Eanes

    Water Sentinal Lou SiegelHave You Thanked a Water Sentinel Today?
    The Club's Water Sentinels program keeps racking up the victories. The latest came when New York Governor David Paterson signed into law tough new phosphorous standards championed by the Long Island Water Sentinels, who collected water samples in five waterways on Long Island's south shore to buttress their case.

    The bill clamps down on phosphate pollution from dish detergents and lawn fertilizers.
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    Photo: Water Sentinels volunteer Lou Siegel with a water sample.

    ReEnergize the VoteReEnergize the Vote
    As Americans, it is our civic duty to vote. We have the right to choose the people who make decisions about the issues that matter most to us. We should exercise that right.

    Last week the Sierra Club launched ReEnergize the Vote to register and mobilize young people to vote again in 2010.

    You can join the effort by registering to vote and pledging to make your voice heard on November 2. 
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    Plastic Bag StarsPlastic Bag Stars in New Video
    We've all seen images of birds and fish caught in plastic grocery bags. But how do the bags find their way into our waterways -- don't most people throw them away or reuse them?

    Check out the video "The Plastic Bag" at Sierra Club Green Home -- it's more entertaining than it sounds, with plastic bags floating like kites above landfills and seagulls spearing them for the food scraps inside. 

    Meanwhile California is poised to join Ireland, Switzerland, South Africa, and China in either banning or taxing plastic grocrey bags. That is, if supporters can beat back the heavy lobbying from the chemical industry.

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