The Coal in Your Life
You live three states away from a coal-fired power plant, so you think coal pollution doesn't have much of an effect on your life, right? Guess again. Eat fish? Then coal's putting you at risk. What other factors bring coal pollution and its risks into your life?
With just a few simple questions, our new "How Much Coal Is in Your Life?" website can give you the answer -- and show you what to do about it.
Five Eco Ice Creams
It's summertime, and the living is easy -- when you have the right ice cream.
Sierra magazine asked five dessert experts (now there's a job for you) to recommend eco ice creams that we can all indulge in with just a little less of a guilty conscience.
So cool off by scooping yourself some chocolate-fudge-macadamia-coconut-soy bliss.
A Yellowstone Spill Bodes Ill
Last weekend, a rupture in an Exxon pipeline dumped 42,000 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River. Local residents are powerless to protect their land, and some have already become ill.
Despite this disaster, the House of Representatives is about to vote on legislation that would speed up the permit process for a new tar-sands oil pipeline, the Keystone XL. This project also would cross the Yellowstone River, in addition to pristine land in six states and the Ogallala Aquifer, and it would put the drinking water of 2 million Americans at risk.
Tell your U.S. representative to oppose the Keystone XL tar-sands oil pipeline.
Help Save Our Mountains
What's wrong with this picture? Already, more than 500 mountains have been blown up and one million acres flattened. Mountaintop-removal mining not only destroys the local landscape but also pollutes nearby water supplies.
The Sierra Club is committed to ending the devastation brought to Appalachia's communities and wildlife by mountaintop-removal mining.
Want to help? Please show your support of the Club's work by making a donation today.
Are Electric Bikes Cheating?
Can a purist bike-lover learn to love an electric bike? Does zipping up hills without breaking a sweat somehow make life just too easy? Lynn Rapoport, who calls herself an "ardent (and probably irritating) proselytizer of cycling as a way of life," jumps on a "cheatercycle" (250 watts of pure battery power) and discovers there's something to be said for doing things the easy way.
(No word yet on whether her purely people-powered bike is getting suspicious.)
How to Use a Light Bulb
How should you screw in a compact-fluorescent light bulb? Well, if you're replacing an old-fashioned incandescent bulb, then do it with gusto! If all incandescent bulbs were replaced by fluorescents, the United States would save the energy equivalent of about 4 billion gallons of gasoline each year.
But once you've got the light on, should you turn it off every time you leave the room? That depends. Sierra's Mr. Green explains why CFLs -- the energy-saving device that Michele Bachmann loves to hate -- can sometimes save even more energy if you don't turn them off.
The Zen of Trail Running
A leisurely hike can inspire, but to experience nature the way your ancestors did, try trail running -- barefoot.
Sierra writer Daniel Duane suggests that wilderness is best appreciated when you're speeding along, "lungs alive, billowing in and out with the very substance of the sky ... our arms and legs alive in a million-year-old motion coded to make us feel fleet, and also to make us feel happy and right when flying along."