Use an iPhone to Burn Less Gas
High gas prices are a strong incentive to use less gas -- and iPhones and other smartphones can help you save money by doing exactly that. For starters, if you're looking to replace car trips, your phone can help you figure out the best way to get from point A to point B by using transit, ride-sharing, or a bicycle.
But even if you have to drive, your phone can help you drive smarter. A free iPhone app called The Green Gas Saver, for instance, not only helps you monitor your fuel efficiency but also uses your iPhone's accelerometer to warn you if you are prone to jackrabbit starts, turning too hard, and other gas-guzzling behaviors. In other words, it increases the fuel-efficiency of the driver as well as the car.
See our Green Life blog this week for more eco-friendly mobile app suggestions.
What's Really Endangered?
The U.S. Senate declared last Friday to be Endangered Species Day, which doesn't quite make up for passing a budget that strips most Rocky Mountain gray wolves of their endangered status. Still, as Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune writes in his blog, we can be thankful that during the past four decades the Endangered Species Act has kept bald eagles soaring in our skies and gray whales swimming in our waters, to name just a few success stories.
But as hundreds of threatened species face ever greater challenges because of a changing climate and habitats, will the Endangered Species Act be able to keep up? That's up to us.
Speak Out for Mercury Safeguards
Did you see EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson on The Daily Show last week talking about long-overdue mercury standards for power plants and how many lives they will save? We'd all like to sit across from Jon Stewart and make that point, but the rest of us will just have to pipe up as the EPA holds three public hearings -- two today (in Chicago and Philadelphia) and one on Thursday (in Atlanta).
If you can't attend the hearings in person, you can still help by emailing your comment. Let's send a strong message that mercury is toxic and is especially a threat to children, babies, and babies-on-the-way.
E-Books Can Be Green Books
E-books are certainly popular -- Amazon now sells more electronic books than paper versions. Dedicated e-readers, like Kindles and Nooks, can be a sound environmental choice for someone who reads more than 15 books a year -- but people are also turning electronic pages on tablets like iPads and even on their smartphones.
Sierra Club Books recognizes the value of e-books and several of our most popular titles are now available electronically (with more on the way) for Kindle, Nook, and other formats. Look for Shelton Johnson's inspiring novel Gloryland, Michael Brune's clean-energy manifesto Coming Clean, and Raymond Bridge's super-informative guide to Bike Touring in your favorite ebook store.
A Patriot Plugs In
As an Air Force veteran who served in the Middle East, Sierra Club member Tim Goodrich knows all too well the true cost of oil -- both in dollars and American lives.
With the military actively seeking ways to operate without fossil fuels, Tim decided to follow suit personally and bought an all-electric Nissan Leaf. Now the University of Southern California graduate student can drive without worrying about the price of gas or the cost of oil. Read his commentary on why he went electric -- not just for the planet but for the country and the men and women who serve.
Five Reasons to Really Like Us
Facebook's great for following friends, family, and Farmville players, but it's also another easy way to stay in touch with the Sierra Club. Here are just five reasons we think you ought to "like" us:
Water Sentinels 10th Anniversary
The Sierra Club's Water Sentinels Program is celebrating ten years of protecting America's waterways. A brand new website features videos, interactive maps, and lots of information on the program's activities. Take an "on the road" tour with Water Sentinels Director Scott Dye, and check out a new "Meet the Water Sentinels" feature, where you can keep tabs on recent accomplishments and meet some of our awesome volunteers.
"We live on the water planet," Dye says. "All living things -- our weather, the seasons, and our climate -- depend on water. Join us and find out how you can protect your waterways."
An Emerging Explorer
Living in a tool shed, flunking classes, and doing his best to avoid the gangs of south central Los Angeles, Juan Martinez caught a break when a teacher spotted his potential and pushed him to join his school's Eco Club, which led to him volunteering with the Sierra Club's Building Bridges to the Outdoors program.
Once Juan discovered the power of nature, everything changed: "You may be able to see the stars through a computer screen or book, but it's nothing like lying on the grass looking up at the Milky Way," he says.
Nowadays, when Juan isn't attending White House forums or organizing youth conservation groups, he serves as the Sierra Club's National Youth Volunteer Coordinator. And we are proud to say that he was recently named one of National Geographic's Emerging Explorers of 2011.