Sierra Club
The Insider: The official newsletter of the Sierra Club
Dec. 6, 2011: In This Issue
º Make a Reindeer Bike
º The Sierra Club at COP17
º A Mother Speaks Out
º The Christmas Tree Curse
º Wild Place Sponsorships
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Sponsor a Wild Place for the Holidays

Sierra Club Outings
The 2012 Trips Are Coming

Already thinking about next year's vacation plans? So are we! In just a few days, we'll announce our full 2012 lineup, featuring more than 300 trips spanning the Lower 48, Alaska, Hawaii, and around the globe.

All trips will be available for reservations on Friday, December 9, at 8:30 am PST. Insider readers can be among the first to secure their spots at or call (415) 977-5522 to reserve by phone.

Until then, visit us online to browse our current trips, and be sure to sign up for our Explorer newsletter for monthly updates on new and featured trips from Sierra Club Outings!

Make a Reindeer Bike
Make a Reindeer Bike
Spread some holiday cheer (and cut down on the plastic kitsch) by decorating your yard with a red-nosed two-wheeler.

Photo: Lori Eanes and iStockphoto/ michieldb

Bryce Canyon
Strip-Mining Next to Bryce Canyon?

A proposed 3,500-acre coal strip mine right next to Bryce Canyon National Park would turn southern Utah into an industrial zone.

Tell the Bureau of Land Management to stop this dirty, dangerous proposal and protect the Bryce Canyon region for future generations.

Free at Last from Toxic Mercury?

Pollution from Coal-Fired Power PlantMore than 20 years after being asked to do so by Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to issue new rules that establish limits on mercury and other toxic air pollutants from coal-fired power plants.

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune has called this "the single biggest measure to save American lives in a generation." Still, although each year more than 300,000 babies are born at risk of mercury poisoning, industry special interests are trying to block this critical safeguard.

Please let the Obama administration know how important it is that these rules are put in place to protect us from mercury and other toxic pollutants.
Climate Solutions in South Africa

Sierra Club at COP17COP17, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, is underway right now in Durban, South Africa. The Sierra Club delegation, which includes some fired-up members of the Sierra Student Coalition, has been blogging about not just the conference but also the accompanying whirlwind of organizing, actions, and demonstrations in support of solutions to climate disruption.

From presenting a "Coal, the Dirty Truth" workshop to staging mock funerals for dirty energy, our delegation is connecting with activists from other countries and making sure that the conference delegates know what's at stake.
A Mother Speaks Out

Peter WassermanKim Wasserman is the mother of Peter (pictured right), a boy with asthma who appears in the Sierra Club's advertising campaign about how air pollution from coal-fired power plants hurts kids.

She wrote a powerful op-ed piece for the Chicago Tribune about how the toxic emissions from nearby coal plants have affected her children and their neighborhood: "All you see is white smoke coming out of the stacks. It turns out that the coal for the plant comes from Wyoming, the power is sold out of state, and the profits go to a company in California. The only thing we get is asthma attacks."

The Christmas Tree Curse

The Christmas Tree CurseFragrant, strong-limbed, and long-lasting when cut, the Fraser fir is a popular choice for a Christmas tree. It is also a common carrier (and victim) of Phytophthora cinnamomi, a deadly water mold that attacks hundreds of plant and tree species, from oaks to avocados. No cure exists, and climate change could allow the fungus to steadily march northward.

If your Christmas tree is a Fraser fir, be sure you know what not to do.

Photo: Courtesy of Linda Haugen/USDA Forest Service/
Visit the Activist Network
Two-Day Sale on Wild Place Sponsorships

Sponsor a Wild PlaceLooking for a special holiday gift? Give someone you love a Sierra Club Wild Place sponsorship today!

And, as a special offer to Insider readers, get 20 percent off your entire order for the next two days -- just use your special discount code: INSIDER20. You can select any of 12 iconic wild places, from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to new additions like Rocky Mountain National Park. Each sponsorship comes with your choice of a cuddly plush animal or a commemorative 1892 rucksack, all starting at only $25.

Shipping is free, but you must order by December 11 -- that's only four days away -- to make sure everything arrives in time for the holidays.
From Adventure Club to Sierra Club

Giao TranBefore joining her high school's Sierra Club-sponsored Wilderness Adventure Club, Giao Tran had never experienced the outdoors. "We went everywhere with the club -- kayaking, backpacking, overnight camping," says Giao, who eventually became its president.

Now that she's in college, Giao returns the favor as a certified Sierra Club Inner City Outings leader by taking kids on the same trips that she used to enjoy as a teenager.

Thanks to volunteers like Giao, each year our Inner City Outings groups help 14,000 young people learn how to enjoy the outdoors safely and responsibly.
Sierra Club socksStuff a Stocking with Our Socks

Just in time for the holidays, you can fill some stockings with Sierra Club socks, the "official socks of planet Earth."

Made from recycled, regenerated cotton, these stylish and comfortable socks for both men and women are affordable, responsibly made, and benefit the Sierra Club.