Earth911 celebrates its 20th birthday on October 29, and our staff wanted to take a look back at some of our favorite articles over the years. As managing editor, I have overseen thousands of words and ideas. The ones that stand out are those filled with information that I still use or people whose stories I still think about. Here are the top 20 pieces that you can’t miss on our birthday.
To celebrate our 20th, we’re giving away 20 free Earth911 t-shirts this week! The contest is now closed, thanks to everyone who left a birthday message!
#20: Composting in the City
We write a lot of articles about composting, but millions of people don’t have the ideal setting to start their own pile. I often received emails or comments along the lines of “this is great, but I can’t do this where I live.”
This is because the No. 1 thing that most city-dwellers lack is space – space for their compost, space for the soil that it yields. After all, it seems ridiculous to compost in a studio apartment. But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. We found cool ways to compost without a backyard. Best of all, these programs actually go to better the local community. So you’re not just composting for yourself, you’re composting for your neighbors.
#19: Family Embarks on 365 Days of Local
We love stories about real people doing larger-than-life things. Meet the Levitch family: Four people who dedicated one full year to buying everything from only local businesses in the hopes that their efforts will spark the local economy. No Starbucks, no Wal-Mart, no Walgreens.
“This was my favorite story to write because I got to meet a family that was trying something new and pretty difficult to not only help save the planet, but also to prove a point to themselves and their community,” says Megan Dobransky, the author of the story. “Buying local for one year is admirable and getting an honest, behind-the-scenes look at the process was so much fun.”
#18: There’s Glass and Then There’s…the Other Kind of Glass
When Earth911 started writing stories in 2008, we were pretty new to the “green content” scene. Looking back, some of the memorable pieces we wrote were the ones that went back to our bread and butter: recycling. It’s what we know. It’s what we do, and it’s what you love reading about.
“[This story was one] of the earliest examples of Earth911 explaining the recycling process and how materials are chosen/excluded from the recycling market, which are both important information to know for anyone with a passion for recycling,” says Senior Waste Stream Analyst Trey Granger.
“People see recycling symbols all the time and they buy products made of recycled content, but they rarely think about how and why products go from the recycling bin back on to a shelf.”
#17: 8 Ways to Green Your Move
In 2010, I moved cross country to New York City with Earth911. It was a significant step in expanding the company’s presence. But I had a huge task on hand: whittle down my stuff from a three-bedroom home to a small studio apartment and then transport it across the country, from Phoenix to the Big Apple.
As the managing editor of a green website, of course I wanted to do it in the most eco-friendly way possible. So, I recorded every waste-saving, gas-friendly thing I did and shared it with our readers. Turns out, many of you have had to make some similar moves in this down economy. But I learned that these tips can work with any move, from across town to across the globe.
#16: Get Money For Recycling
Most people would agree that recycling is a good thing to do for the environment, but no one would turn down a great incentive, especially if that incentive is cold, hard cash. Readers have asked us many times if they could turn their waste into money, and the answer is yes.
Learn how to cash in on plastic bottles, glass bottles, e-waste, books and dvds and clothing.
#15: How Kids Are Saving the Planet
Who says there’s a minimum age for making a big difference? We found a handful of students that are doing incredible things, from a 12-year-old environmental educator to two sisters who have started their own pollution prevention group.
“It’s easy to think that one person can’t have an impact. But if these inventive young people can do their part to make the planet a better place, anyone can,” says Earth911 Staff Writer Mary Mazzoni. “Reading the stories of these cool eco kids will leave anyone inspired and ready to lend a helping hand.”