Here at Earth911, we love covering the topics that relate to our readers and inspire an effort to “go green.” While we’ve written more than 200 feature articles this year, there are some that really stuck out, grabbed our attention and generated both positive and negative feedback from our readers.
Here are our top 20 favorite stories from 2009:
Back to the Basics
Whether you’re new to the green scene or an expert of the three Rs, our step-by-step guides and detailed breakdowns are beneficial to even the savviest of greenies.
1. 8 ‘Must Dos’ of Being Green
In the spirit of returning to one’s roots, we present eight lifestyle choices that establish the foundation to being eco-friendly, environmentally aware and resource savvy. Since a lot of other ideas were inspiration for these building blocks, we went the extra mile with all the details so you can dive in deeper to the subjects that really seem to hit home. Enjoy and explore!
2. The Ultimate Plastic Breakdown
You may have seen the plastic resin chart, but what do those numbers actually mean, and why should they be important to you? We break down the system into simple, non-industry terms. Once you have a handle on what materials make up your plastic, you can make better decisions, from purchase to disposal.
3. Green Shopping 101
Living green is much broader than simply disposing of products responsibly. Monitoring what items come into your home and how they arrive is just as important as how they leave. Smart shopping habits are key to decreasing your carbon footprint and are often more gentle on the wallet a well.
4. Cheat Sheet: Organic
Understanding the history of how organic foods came to be, what the main organic regulations entail and the impact organic foods have on food production can help to sort out what the USDA “certified organic” label really means.
5. I Got Worms! Composting & You
Vermicomposting is simple to set up and minimal maintenance is required. Not only is it a great option for your trash bin, but it’s also a perfect way to fertilize your household and garden plants. Sound intimidating? We thought the same thing, so we decided to tackle it – one step at time.
Call us a team of investigators. Earth911.com debunked common recycling myths, found the hottest headlines and navigated the world of green for our readers.
1. The Pizza Box Mystery
Many people assume that pizza boxes are recyclable. In fact, most boxes have recycling symbols on them and are traditionally made from corrugated cardboard. But pizza boxes, or any other paper products, that are tarnished with greasy food are not recyclable – unless you remove the tainted portions. Why?
2. 8 Ways to Not Get Tricked While Going Green
Just like the game of Telephone taught us, information filtered through multiple sources starts to get a little shaky when it comes to reliability. The same concept can be applied to environmentalism. Like any major trend, with mass awareness comes misconception. For this reason, we thought we would dedicate this eight ways to shedding some light on common environmental myths.
3. Recycling Mysteries: Paint
Most people already know that household paint is recyclable. But it’s also important to understand that different paints are disposed of in very different ways. Additionally, choosing low-VOC options is a great way to keep your interior environment healthier as you revamp your home’s look and feel. Try a brand like Behr’s Premium Plus Ultra Interior paints to help you breathe easier during home improvement.
4. Our Top 5 Green Job Picks
In the midst of a recession, almost everyone has been thinking of new ways to create jobs, stimulate the economy and ultimately get America back on its feet. So, what are the hottest jobs right now? Here’s a quick overview of the occupations that make an environmental impact and may provide what every job-seeker in America is looking for: security.
5. Top Ten Green Labels Guide
Green labels validate social and environmental concerns for both businesses and consumers, promising everything from healthier food to better stewardship of land. With nearly 400 certifications worldwide, it can be difficult to understand what each one means and distinguish between legitimate seals of approval and marketing schemes. We decipher the top 10 most recognizable labels you need to know.
Everyone loves a good project or an easy-to-use guide. This year, we embraced everything from common household items and small home makeovers to getting the biggest bang for your buck and the best gifts for everyone on your list.
1. 8 Ways to Reuse Your T-shirt
One-hundred percent cotton and 100 percent fun! The reuse options for that old T-shirt are limitless, but we listed our top eight. From quilts to wedding dresses (seriously), get in touch with your creative side and add a little inspiration to your wardrobe.
2. Making Your Green Dreams a Reality
Earth911 asked its Facebook Fans, “If you had unlimited funds, what would be on your green wish list?” This series breaks down the most popular responses and how to make them a reality. We made simple, step-by-step guides for creating your own organic garden and going off the grid.
3. 8 Ways and Whys to Reuse Plastic
As many people know, reuse is a step up from recycling. In fact, reuse is the middle-man between reduce and recycle, and some would be surprised at how many opportunities for reuse there really are – once you start looking for them.
4. 2009 Holiday Gift Guide
Still haven’t found the perfect present for those hard-to-shop-for recipients? We have compiled 10 must-have gifts for every person on your list. From recycled materials to fair trade practices, you can be sure that your gifts will bring smiles without compromising your earth-friendly aspirations for a green holiday season.
5. 8 Ways to Reuse Your Jeans
It’s safe to say that some of us our pretty attached to our jeans, and almost everyone has a pair. In turn, we will all eventually have to deal with the dreaded decision to move on from that favorite pair, even if it may be barely intact. But what next?
Extras We Loved
We thought we’d thrown in some stand-out articles that spoke volumes in their own ways, from a major environmental crisis to making simple everyday changes that create monumental impacts. (And we threw in some shameless self-promotion as well!)
1. The Big Green Move
A few months ago, Earth911 was on the hunt for a new office space. We wanted an area where we could work creatively, efficiently and effectively without putting a huge strain on the environment. But for the average American business, does the move to a green building make sense where it really counts, economically?
2. Help Solve the Water Crisis
Many of us don’t think about how much water it takes to do everyday household tasks such as washing a load of laundry or taking a quick shower. But what if fresh water wasn’t so easy to get?
3. Stay Simple: Green Acts Add Up
When Henry David Thoreau moved out to Walden Pond in 1845, he helped to start the environmental movement that we all know today. But has something been lost? With all our modern technology and post-industrial revolution issues, we have way more complicated problems than those Thoreau left civilization to ponder. Or do we?
4. The Global Face of Recycling
Many of us are aware of how recycling works here in the U.S., but have we ever taken the time to consider how the world approaches it?
5. Planet Earth’s Eco-Warriors
In its April issue, Glamour magazine featured Earth911’s Vice President Sandra Keil in its “70 New Reasons to Live Green,” a tribute to the women who are saving the world. We’ve created our very own list of our top “Eco-Warriors” from around the world in turn!