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

September 27, 2011: In This Issue
º Bike-Hugging Tree
º Beyond Coal with a Beat
º Last Man Standing
º SXSW Eco
º Blazer to Backpack

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Join the Sierra Club for $15 and get a free backpack!

 Russ Roca and Laura Crawford on their bikes
Found in America
Ever thought about selling everything and hitting the road with no goals beyond fun and adventure? This couple did exactly that and, more than two years later, they're still discovering America from their bicycles. Want to try your own bike-touring adventure? We wrote the book!

From Blazer to Backpack
Snip-Snip: From Blazer to Backpack
Our resident crafter overcame her fear of sewing machines to create this one-of-a-kind backpack from an old jacket. Follow our step-by-step instructions to turn your discarded duds into a bag that'll turn heads.

Photo: Lori Eanes

Tell the White House you want clean air
Waiting for Clean Air?
Don't hold your breath!

Sign our petition on the White House website today and make sure President Obama fulfills his promise to fight for clean air.
Utah's red rock country is at risk Don't Let Them Steal Your Wilderness

The "Great Outdoors Giveaway," a public lands bill currently in Congress, would take more than 50 million acres of wildlands that belong to the American people and open them up to oil, gas, mining, and timber companies for drilling, mining, and logging.

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune blogs about this attempt to rob us of our wilderness heritage and what you can do about it.

Visit the Activist Network
biketree.jpg The Bike-Hugging Tree

We've been called treehuggers and bike lovers, but we've never seen anything like this before. Decades ago, a child chained a bicycle to a tree on Washington's Vashon Island, so the legend goes. The tree, unperturbed, simply grew around the bike.

Want a bike of your own to hug? There are still a few days left to enter our commuter-bike giveaway!

Photo: Ethan Welty/Tandem

Pocket Rocket stove Spend a Cheap Night Out(doors)

John Muir used to set off into the mountains with little more than a blanket, some tea, and a loaf of bread (must have been a heckuva blanket). The point is, big adventures don't require a big budget.

Whether you're a starving student or just prefer to keep it simple, here's how to outfit your campsite with top-notch gear that won't break the bank.

Beyond Coal remix Moving Beyond Coal -- with a Beat!

Beating Big Coal just got a whole lot funkier. DJ Steve Porter has "remixed" Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign to put a beat to the message that coal threatens everything we care about.

Coal pollution contributes to four of the five leading causes of death (heart disease, cancer, stroke, and respiratory illness) and emits nearly half of all U.S. mercury pollution, which causes developmental problems in babies and young children.

That's why Beyond Coal is remixing America's energy.

Goldman Environmental Prize winner and activist Hilton Kelley Last Man Standing

He's a modern-day environmental Wyatt Earp in one of the most polluted towns in America, where a quarter of the residents live below the poverty level and downwind from dozens of plants spewing carcinogens such as benzene, 1,3-butadiene, and styrene.

So why does Goldman Environmental Prize winner and activist Hilton Kelley refuse to give up on Port Arthur, Texas? "I really need to be here," he says. Here's why.

Photo: Matthew Turley

Sierra Club Outdoors Youth Ambassador Kokei Otosi Ready for the Best Summer on Earth?

If you're a college student, or if you know a college student, or even if you know someone who knows a college student, watch and bookmark this exuberant final videoblog from Sierra Club Outdoors Youth Ambassador Kokei Otosi.

Unless, of course, you don't think that an all-expenses-paid summer internship filled with rafting, hiking, and backpacking sounds like your cup of cappuccino. Because before you know it, we'll be taking applications for 2012's Best Internship on Earth. (Non-thrill-seekers need not apply.)

Save Money with a New Sierra Club BenefitSave Money with a New Sierra Club Benefit

The Hartford has teamed up with the Sierra Club to launch a new benefit for Sierra Club members and supporters to protect what's important to you.

As a leading insurance provider, The Hartford believes responsible individuals deserve better insurance. The company has designed an auto and homeowners insurance program that rewards Sierra Club members for their sensible lifestyles.

The auto program, for example, has special rates and innovative features like a discount for hybrid cars.
(Program availability and features vary by state.)

Learn more about the program and try the free, online auto quote service.

SXSW Eco We're Proud to Sponsor SXSW Eco

SXSW Eco -- a new event that's happening in Austin, TX, Oct. 4-6 -- will offer diverse programming that takes a fresh look at environmental and sustainability issues.

Attendees can develop new collaborations and contribute to innovative solutions to the challenges facing the environment, the economy, and civil society.

Visit to see the speakers and the schedule, and if you email and mention the Sierra Club, you'll get a coupon for $200 off your registration!