Sierra Club
The Insider: The official newsletter of the Sierra Club
Sept 14,2010: In This Issue
  • Walk to School and Win!
  • Serve Outdoors a Success
  • Protect the Western Arctic
  • Water Sentinels + Dentists
  • How Close Are You to Coal Ash?
  • Water is Not Waste
  • Join Now!

    In the News
    The LA Times published a great editorial calling for the end of mountaintop removal mining. Read it here.

    EXPLORE
    Southwest

    The Stunning Southwest
    Looking for ancient history, intense color, and cool desert weather? Then head to the magnificent Southwest on one of many Sierra Club outings.

    We'll dayhike classic trails and soak in hot springs in Texas's Big Bend National Park, raft and remove invasive tamarisk in Utah's most famous red rock canyon, or backpack a unique and rugged backcountry world in the Grand Canyon.

    Check out all our fabulous Sierra Club outings.

    Today's green tip
    Don't count the cafeteria out -- ingredients for school lunches are usually bought in bulk (less packaging) and school chefs are notorious for recycling Monday's green beans into Tuesday's green-bean casserole (less food waste).

    More tips | Subscribe!

    ENJOY
    Latest Best Internship Video

    Why French Cheese Is Better
    Would you trust these middle school kids to take care of your intern? Evan Geary, winner of the Club's Best Internship on Earth contest, hikes and camps with a group of middle schoolers in Colorado's Rocky Mountains.

    On the Radio
    1) Columnist and author Nicholas Kristof on his new book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide 2) Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune talks about toxic coal ash, and what you can do to help make a difference.

    Listen | Subscribe

    PROTECT
    Drinking water

    Don't Frack with our Water
    Hydrofracking has been in the news a lot lately. You may remember it's a rock-shattering natural gas extraction method with harmful consequences for air and water.

    This week in New York the EPA is holding two long-delayed public meetings to discuss its upcoming study about fracking's effects on drinking water. The Hydrofracking Team in the Activist Network is busy promoting the meetings and getting the word out about the threats this controversial process poses to our groundwater.

    Hurry over to find out more about the hearings and how you can join the fight.

    Back to SchoolWalk to School (and Win Big Bucks for Your School!)
    Did you walk to school when you were a kid? Uphill? In both directions? In the rain? October is International Walk to School Month and the Sierra Club is encouraging families to relive this definitive childhood moment -- walking to school.

    Check out our Back to School Headquarters, where we've got a special membership offer, a kids drawing gallery and green tips for everything from school supplies to lunch.

    The Club is also teaming up with the makers of Green Works® and the National Center for Safe Routes to School for the Walk to School Challenge. During October, elementary and middle school students and their families can help their schools win one of five $5,000 grants -- simply by walking (or bicycling) to school. The five schools with the highest levels of participation will be eligible to win a $5,000 grant. Walking uphill not required.
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    Serve OutdoorsServe Outdoors: Fostering Hope on 9/11
    Organizer David Veliz of the Sierra Club's Building Bridges to the Outdoors Program commemorated 9/11 by hauling bags of soil up to the roof garden of a women and children's shelter in the South Bronx as part of the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

    In a poor community with little green space, Building Bridges to the Outdoors, Get Dirty NYC!, the Horticultural Society of NY, and 25 community residents and youth leaders joined forces to renew and revitalize an urban farm to provide fresh vegetables for the community as well as a place to learn about nature and horticulture. Veliz, who was in New York nine years ago on 9/11, said, "we honored and remembered, but we also got something, by giving back -- hope."

    More than 100 Serve Outdoors events took place around the country -- volunteers restored trails, weatherized buildings, planted trees, cleaned up beaches, and more.

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    Join the Activist Network
    CaribouAct Now to Protect the Wildest Place in the Nation
    For decades, the Western Arctic Reserve, one of America's wildest places, has been threatened by coal, oil, and gas development. Birds from around the globe flock to the reserve to nest and breed on the shores of Teshekpuk Lake. Tens of thousands of caribou forage on the nearby hills. America's largest concentration of the rare wolverine roams across the tundra.

    Now the BLM, which oversees the leasing of public lands to energy companies, is developing a management plan for the future of the reserve. Tell the BLM to protect the reserve's special wildlife and wilderness areas

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    Dentist's OfficeWater Sentinels Team Up With Great Outdoor University...at the Dentist's Office
    In Memphis, Tennessee Water Sentinel James Baker had a fortuitous conversation at the dentist's office that led to a new alliance with Great Outdoors University, a conservation education program of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation that serves youth who might not otherwise have the chance to experience nature. The Water Sentinels donated 24 state-of-the-art rods and reels for a mid-August fishing trip, and 18 more to the Army Corps of Engineers for an upcoming event they're sponsoring with Great Outdoors University in Nashville.

    James' teeth got drilled in the process, but now he has a new incentive for going to the dentist.   

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    Do you live near a coal ash site?Kick Some Coal Ash
    There are so many disasters from the dirty energy industry, it's hard to keep track of them all. In 2008, nearly 1 billion tons of coal ash poured across 300 acres in Tennessee. That's one reason why the EPA is holding hearings around the country. On Thursday, a coal hearing will take place in Chicago. Can't make these hearings in person? Send a message to the EPA by clicking here

    Do you know whether you or any of your friends or family live near one of the 2,000 coal ash dumps across the country? Living near an unlined coal ash wet storage pond is more dangerous than smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.

    Even if the coal ash dump is lined, nearby communities still face heightened risks of cancer, learning disabilities, birth defects and other illnesses. That's why we've developed a site locator on Facebook -- find out how many of your friends live near a toxic coal ash dump.

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    Border Wall wasteWater Is Not Waste
    You may recall that in the last Insider we told you about the efforts of the Club's Borderlands Team and its recent visit to the border wall east of San Diego. Now one team member, Dan Millis, an organizer in Arizona, is in the news because the 9th Circuit Court overturned his 2008 conviction for "littering" --  that is, leaving gallon containers of purified water in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge near where he had found the body of a 14-year-old Salvadoran girl.

    The Court ruled that "water is not waste," and that Millis was engaged in giving humanitarian aid. Read more in Club Chairman Carl Pope's blog and learn more about the Borderlands Team in the Activist Network.    

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