Victory 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."
America'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.
Five 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 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.
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
Helping 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 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!