Sierra Club
The Insider: The official newsletter of the Sierra Club

August 30, 2011: In This Issue
º America's Coolest Schools
º Eco-Friendly Bicycles
º A Tale of Two Whales
º Nutritious Nukeables
º Helping Military Families

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Travel in Comfort with the Sierra Club
Travel in Comfort with the Sierra Club
Looking for outdoor adventure with clean sheets and hot showers? One of our Sierra Club lodge trips might be right up your alley.

Snorkel and paddle the tropical waters of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, hike among California's majestic redwoods, or explore Colorado backcountry in winter by ski, board, or snowshoe.

Visit our homepage for a full list of trips and be sure to sign up for the Explorer newsletter for monthly updates on new and featured trips from Sierra Club Outings!

Photo: Jim Sumrall

NYC street performers celebrate the Sierra Club's latest coal-plant victory
Dancing Beyond Coal
Watch as NYC street performers celebrate the Sierra Club's latest coal-plant victory before it even happens!

Keep the Arctic Wild
Keep the Arctic Refuge Wild!
Once a wilderness is destroyed, it's gone forever. It's time to permanently protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas drilling.

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Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of New York CityVictory on the Potomac!

Just five weeks ago, Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, and Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune stood across from a coal-fired power plant on the Potomac River to announce a new partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies to move America Beyond Coal.

Today, after years of hard work by local activists and concerned residents, GenOn Energy and the City of Alexandria announced that the plant will be permanently retired next year.

"Retiring this major source of pollution in our nation's capital signals a huge symbolic step toward moving the nation beyond coal," said Michael Brune. "Pollution from this plant has been making local residents sick since 1949 -- contributing to heightened asthma rates, respiratory illnesses, and other health problems. Retiring the Potomac River coal plant will mean cleaner air, cleaner water, and healthier children and families."

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Sierra magazine picks America's Coolest SchoolsAmerica's Coolest Schools

How green is your college? Find out in Sierra magazine's annual ranking of American colleges. This year, in addition to rating schools based on their non-polluting practices and environmental curriculum, we took a close look at programs on the fuzzy fringes of nonconformity.

We traveled to Bali to tour the world's most ecofriendly K-12, to Utah to watch future architects build green homes for impoverished Native Americans, and to the Adirondacks, where students spend a semester in the woods -- living in yurts and becoming very familiar with a composting toilet named Clive.

Win a PUBLIC bikeFive Most Eco-Friendly Bicycles

Bicycling is the most eco-friendly transportation technology ever devised, but that doesn't mean some bikes aren't even greener than the rest. We picked five favorite kinds of bicycle -- from traditional to high-tech -- that spin just a little greener than the rest of the peloton.

Want to green your own ride? We're giving away three snazzy commuter bikes that will make it a pleasure to leave the car at home.

A Tale of Two WhalesA Tale of Two Whales

When someone knocked on her door and said two whales were swimming up the Klamath River, Ashala Tylor grabbed her camera and ran. Tylor, a Sierra Club member, has photographed whales all over the world, but this was different.

Forty yards from where she stood, a 45-foot long, 80,000-pound gray whale and her calf were slowly moving upriver: "For eight weeks, I was out there every single day, shooting the mom and the calf."

Her photos capture a series of unusual -- and ultimately poignant -- encounters between human and whale.

Nutritious NukeablesNutritious Nukeables

Yes, fresh is best, but for those nights when your culinary ambitions don't extend beyond pushing buttons, these Earth-friendly, zap-ready, enjoyable entrees -- from pizzas to burritos -- were recommended by a panel of packaged-food experts.

Photo: Lori Eanes

Water SentinelsHelping Military Families

The Sierra Club is committed to helping military families connect with the healing power of our natural heritage. Sierra Club youth ambassador Kokei Otosi spent a day in Colorado Springs at "Celebration of the Military Child" -- an outdoor activity fair and picnic for military children and their families that was cosponsored by the Sierra Club's Military Families Outdoors program.

Meanwhile, 700 more fishing rods and reels will be added to the 1,800 that have already been distributed to families on military installations, thanks to a hugely successful Sierra Club Water Sentinels partnership.

The Official Sock of Planet EarthThe Official Sock of Planet Earth

Tread lightly on the planet in a pair of Sierra Club Socks. Made from recycled, regenerated, organic cotton from high-end garments, these casual and performance socks repurpose fabric that might otherwise go to a landfill.

Available in many styles and colors for men and women, Sierra Club Socks are affordable and responsibly made. Plus, a portion of your purchase goes to help the Sierra Club.

See how they're made and order a pair!