July, 2009: In This Issue. . .
- Welcome to Our New Email
Sierra Club General Meeting:
- Outings Highlights: Weminuche
Wilderness Bus Trip, etc.
The Outings Corner: To
Stink or Not To Stink
Conservation: Recycling News
- Conservation: Urban
Welcome to the Dallas Sierra
Club's New Email Newsletter
Due to ever increasing printing and postage costs, the
Executive Committee of the Dallas Sierra Club decided to end
publication of our paper newsletter, The Compass,
after the May-June issue. In its place, we will be
publishing this monthly email newsletter. We hope you
To get the ball rolling with this new newsletter, we pulled
email address from our national database and from other
Dallas Sierra Club email lists. We sincerely apologize
if we sent you this email against your wishes. Please
click the unsubscribe link at the top or bottom of this
email or reply with 'unsubscribe' in the subject line and we
will not bother you again.
Sierra Club General Meeting
Tuesday, July 14 at 7 pm
The Anatomy of Green Collar Jobs
There has been a lot of buzz lately about Green Energy, the Green
Economy and Green Jobs. Join us at our monthly General Meeting and hear
about what Green Jobs might mean for us in Texas. Avarita Williams from
the Texas Workforce Commission will provide an overview on green jobs
in Texas and their impact on the environment and the economy. She will
discuss how to recognize a “green” job, how to transition to a green
career, and how to maximize the WorkInTexas.com website as an employer
and/or as a job seeker. There may also be information on stimulus funds
set aside for green job creation and training programs. The meeting
starts at 7:00 pm, but come at 6:30 for snacks and
refreshment while you visit with old friends and make new ones.
Our volunteer leaders will be available to answer all of your questions
about the Sierra Club and its many activities.
website for complete information about our General Meeting,
including a map.
Labor Day Bus Trip to the Weminuche Wilderness in Colorado,
Escape the Texas heat this Labor Day weekend and join us for our trip to
the cool Colorado mountains of the Weminuche Wilderness. This trip has
mountains, lakes, streams, and valleys. Trips will range from car
camping with day hikes to strenuous long hikes. The Weminuche Wilderness
offers a great diversity and all the miles you want to hike. It is a
hidden jewel and one of our most popular trips.
Here are a few pictures that will give you a hint of the wonderful
scenery in the Weminuche.
Complete information is available here (PDF file). To sign up,
download and print the information file, fill in the forms, and send
them with your check to the address provided.
White Rock Lake Cleanup, July 11
Walk and talk while helping to pick up trash and
recyclables at the Sierra Club's adopted section of White
Rock Lake Park. Meet at 8:15 AM at the Love of the Lake
office on the Northeast corner of Garland Rd. and Buckner
Blvd. Look for a crowd of people drinking free juice and
coffee. Gloves, trash bags, etc. provided. Our area includes
one of the wonderful prairie restoration areas, so there are
always birds and wildflowers to enjoy. Brunch afterwards.
Leader: Carol Nash 214-824-0244(H)
For a complete list of our outings,
The Outings Corner
To Stink or Not To Stink . . . . that is the question
by Faith Casale-Mauk
Even in the back country you can be clean, smell clean, keep the
environment clean and avoid gastrointestinal issues. Let me be clear,
you won-t stink and you can avoid diarrhea. Personal hygiene is
important to your health but it does pose a conflict with Leave No
Trace practices. It takes some maneuvering, privacy and a bit of water
to get clean in the back country, but it can be done.
Whether you are hiking, or just hanging out at camp, you should always
practice good hand washing habits each time you use the restroom (in
this case the woods), particularly after a bowel movement. Other than
contaminated water, contact with feces is the main culprit for the
spread of germs and viruses. For a quick wash up carry pre-moistened
unscented cleansing wipes and/or anti-bacterial sanitizing gel; both can
be purchased at any grocery store. Another method for spot cleaning is
to carry a small 6 oz squirt bottle that you can refill throughout the
day. You can use this to squirt your hands after visiting the woods, or
wash your face, clean out a cut and it-s great for cleaning your
toothbrush when you have finished brushing. Always use treated water for
anything that may come in contact with your mouth. Giardia is the last
thing you want on the trail…believe me. I have first hand knowledge of
this creature called Giardia Lamblia.
When you are ready for the big clean up at the end of the day, be sure to
have dry clothing to put on for bed. You may think those socks that you
wore all day are dry but chances are good that they are damp…and they
stink. If water is limited then you can use wipes to clean your entire
body in the privacy of your tent. If water is plentiful then the most
pleasant way to clean up is by taking a mini shower in the woods. Heat a
liter of water hotter than you-d like then pour it back into your water
container (you can add cold when you are ready). Find a secluded place in
the woods where you can take off your hiking clothes. I like to strip
right down so that I can pour the warm water over me. I start at the top
and work my way down. Pour some water over your head and chest just
enough to get you wet. Use a minimal amount of biodegradable soap to
clean the top half of your body, then rinse. The use of soap is where
personal hygiene and the leave no trace theory conflict. Biodegradable
soap is not zero impact but it will eventually break down in the soil.
Dress your top half and repeat for the bottom half of your body. Clean
your feet last and really scrub them so that bacteria won-t grow where
it-s moist all day. You will feel like a million bucks and you-ll smell
so much nicer.
Never wash your dishes directly in the water source. In between the
usual licking of bowl and spoon, a real cleaning is recommended on
occasion, especially if you are on an extended multi-night trip. When
cleaning your dishes always rinse them in hot water to get all the soap
off. Soap residue can cause a bad case of diarrhea. When you are boiling
water for a hot drink sterilize your spoon by dipping it in the boiling
water a few times.
If you need to wash your clothes, thoroughly rinse and wring using
just water - no soap. Then let them hang in the sun to dry. It is difficult
to get all the soap out of clothing, even in a stream. Don-t wash your clothes
directly in the water source if your clothes are contaminated with
insect repellent and sunscreen.
Toilet paper, tampons and pads should always be packed out. For women
menstruating while in the backcountry here is a tip: to minimize odor crush aspirin over tampons/pads and wrap it in foil. This is
particularly important in bear country. Store in zip loc bags along with
your other trash and discard when you are back in civilization.
Although water purification is not a direct hygiene issue, purifying
your water correctly keeps your insides clean from parasites they can
make you very sick. When using water from a stream, lake, reservoir or
any other non potable water source you must either boil, filter, or use
chemical purification. For the boil method, bring water to a rapid boil. Boiling will kill all microorganisms but it doesn-t
help with the taste. For the filter method: choose a filter device that
best suits your needs and follow the directions completely. Filtering
can help with the taste but there is some work involved. Last, and my
preferred method, is chemical purification; it-s easy and safe. Your
choices are chlorine dioxide or iodine. Iodine is an easy two step process but
the iodine can leave an undesirable taste behind and it doesn't kill
everything that can make you sick. Chlorine dioxide tabs are an
easy, quick, one step choice for water purification. They are mostly
tasteless; however, you can smell chlorine on occasion if the water is
used immediately. Follow all directions.
I hope this helps you while you are enjoying our great outdoors.
Practicing good hygiene will make it safer and more fun every time you
are out in the wilderness.
by Rita Raccoon
Turn Phones in Loans!
Each year over 170 million cell phones are retired from
use, however, less than 20% of these are recycled, according
to informinc.org. While some of the remaining 80% of cell
phones are stashed away, many end up in landfills and
contribute to pollution. Cell phones contain at least eight
toxic elements, including arsenic, lead and mercury, and one
cell phone in a landfill can pollute up to 35,000 gallons of
drinking water. A University of North Texas senior has found
a way to recycle the phones and make microfinance loans -
founding a non-profit - Recycle to Eradicate Poverty (RTEP)
to do just that!
"There are 170 million cell phones out there, we just
want 1 million. In the age of the Internet, this is
possible," said founder Weinberg. This Cinderella story
began at University of North Texas in March 2007 and has
raised over 14,000 cell phones to date.
RTEP challenges anyone to join its "free system for
change" by simply visiting www.turnphonesintoloans.org and
requesting prepaid postage bags made of 100% recycled
plastic, FREE of charge. Up to five phones fit in each bag,
which can be mailed from your mailbox. In doing so (beating
the challenge), RTEP can save up to 350 trillion gallons of
water from likely pollution and create opportunities for
100,000 people to rise out of poverty through microfinance
Recycle to Eradicate Poverty (RTEP), a grassroots
movement spearheaded by young professionals and students, is
daring to provoke the good in people. RTEP is an initiative
of The Chiapas Project, an organization dedicated to raising
funds for microfinance institutions in Latin America,
declaring a One Million Cell Phone Challenge; their goal is
to obtain 1 million used cell phones by New Years 2010.
RTEP will use proceeds from recycled cell phones
towards small business loans for poor women throughout Latin
RTEP compliments its environmental stewardship with a
desire to protect humanity with the Nobel prize-winning
concept of microfinance - the process of providing small
loans (US$50-$100 on average) and other services for
impoverished women to establish or expand micro-businesses.
Whether it's buying raw materials to create textiles or a
cow to sell milk, they are able to pay back their loans and
create a better life for themselves and their families with
the profits earned. Typically referred to as "a hand up, not
a hand out," or "teaching one to fish," microfinance yields
a remarkable 97% repayment rate all around the world.
Recycling on College Campuses
Richland College collected a total of 1,952 lbs. of
plastic bottles and aluminum cans were during Dallas Cup and
the Sting Girls Soccer Tournament earlier this year. That
amounts to about 48 large 50-gallon bags of mixed cans and
bottles. This was a joint effort between Richland, the
Classic Soccer League, Dallas Cup Inc., and employees of GCA,
Richland-s custodial contractor.
Colleges are doing their best to recycle and raise awareness
on their campuses.
RecycleMania is a recycling competition among colleges
- 206 competed this year. My alma mater, University of St.
Thomas, was the 2009 State Grand Champion!
Richland came in 2nd and 43rd nationally out of 206
schools. During the ten-week competition, the College
recycled 66.6 tons of recyclables and decreased waste (to
the landfill) by 65.3 tons. Other competing Texas schools
were UTD, Texas A&M, Rice University, University of Houston,
Northlake College, Trinity University, University of North
Texas, UTA and University of St. Thomas.
How Long Does Trash Hang Around?
Ever consider how long it takes the products we use to
decompose? Greenlivingtips.com gives us an estimate of how
long it takes for these common items to break down:
||1 million years
||80- 200 years
||50- 80 years
|Orange or banana peel
Water Agencies Unite in Marketing Campaign
Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) and City of Dallas
Water Utilities (DWU) launched a marketing campaign to
encourage water conservation to help protect the region-s
future water supply. The campaign-s underlying theme is:
Save water. Nothing can replace it. The goal of the radio,
television, newspaper, billboard, and grass-roots campaign
is to reduce outdoor watering and waste.
As part of this campaign, Dallas-Fort Worth water customers
have been receiving “messages” from their sidewalks and
yards in television and radio commercials airing in North
Texas. That-s just one of the creative concepts developed
for the first-ever regional conservation advertising
campaign so Dallas and Tarrant County water customers
receive the same message about saving water this summer.
In the past, TRWD and DWU have had individual campaigns. In
2009, however, officials agreed to regionalize their
messaging to save taxpayer dollars and better communicate
with the entire North Texas water consumer audiences. Also,
the two water agencies pooled each entity-s resources for a
bilingual conservation campaign.
“Water conservation is much more than a Dallas issue, it-s a
regional concern,” said Jody Puckett, director of Dallas
Water Utilities. “We all must conserve to assure adequate
water supply to accommodate future growth and increased
demand. To that end, we anticipate the inclusion of other
area water providers in the coming years.”
TRWD executive director Jim Oliver underlined the importance
of a regional campaign in advertising, planning, at the
Legislature, and in collaborative planning among the key
“We have regional water shortages; droughts are not a Dallas
or Fort Worth problem, and we must work together to protect
all of North Texas,” said Oliver. “This first step in our
advertising is both educational and provocative. We think it
will get your attention. We also want to remind citizens
that in these tough economic times, saving water saves
The television ad begins with ambient sound of a sprinkler
system running with a homeowner in the foreground. Soon the
character gets inundated with text messages, skywriting, and
on mobile billboards urging him to not “over-water” his
lawn. Instead, the ad concludes: Save water. Nothing can
For more information about this campaign or for water saving
tips, visit www.savetarrantwater.com or
Urban Environmentalism: Sharing Sustainable Progress - July 31, Friday,
As we all become more conscious of better using exhaustible resources, there is work being done
and surprising formulas for success to be shared. Bill White, Mayor of Houston and former U.S. Deputy
Secretary of Energy (1993-1995), leads a panel discussion on stories of success and struggle in
incorporating pragmatic green initiatives into civic resources and services. The DFW area began
to shift to more sustainable growth years ago, but we can always use fresh perspectives and solutions
so that our continuing population boom doesn't overwhelm us financially or environmentally. Bring
your questions! Location: The Progressive Center of Texas. South Side on Lamar, 1409 S. Lamar Street,
Dallas, Texas, 75215 South Side is on Lamar Street between Belleview Street and Arnold. Enter South
Side from Belleview Street. The Progressive Center is located on the ground floor artists' quarters
next door to the Janette Kennedy Gallery. Sign up at