Most Discussed TreeHugger Stories of 2008

No good blog goes a year without stirring readers up on certain subjects. So, which stories got you talking the most? We looked at all the topics we cover, and while discussion was sparked in every corner, there is one area where it dominated.

Read on to find out which are some of the most discussed posts we’ve published in 2008. While these may not have made it to the most popular list, they were certainly some of the most active when it comes to readers leaving their two cents.

Fact is, while you loved engaging in discussion on a range of topics, it was transportation that got you most riled up, specifically controversial cars. Below are some of the most talked-about stories that hit TreeHugger this year, sorted from least to most comments, with their introductions attached just in case you feel like getting your debate juices flowing again.


In Bike vs Car, The Bike Sometimes Wins

Usually in the bike vs car wars, the guy on the bike loses; here are two cases where the result was different. A woman was driving her Buick (illegally) through Nankai University in China, and bumped into a cyclist, which scratched her car. She got out and demanded an apology and payment for damages, while students gathered. They asked what she was doing on campus without a permit and she responded "If I produce my identification document you should be scared to death."

Where Does all the Carbon Dioxide End Up?
We imagine most of you, upon reading the post's title, will have already (and accurately) guessed the short answer: the atmosphere and the oceans (for the most part). But, to delve further into the matter, where exactly in the atmosphere or the oceans does it all go? How much of an impact do carbon sinks such as forests and the soil have? In what proportions? These are but a few of the questions that have long befuddled leading climate scientists trying to make heads or tails of carbon emissions' final resting place. They themselves will readily admit that they aren't even sure where a significant percentage of global emissions - roughly a quarter - ends up every year

Is Living Off the Grid Right For You?
Like many things in the greater green sphere, living off the grid -- that is, without reliance on public utilities for things like electricity and water -- has jumped into national prominence over the past few years; if Daryl Hannah is doing it, we should all be aware of it. There's an awful lot to like about living off-grid, and it's a little different for everybody, but in many cases it requires a few lifestyle modifications and a different day-to-day routine. So, how do you know if you should live off the grid?


Luxim Plasma Light Bulb Kicks Some Serious LED Butt
At 140 lumens/watt, these pill-sized plasma light bulbs by Luxim are a pretty awesome contender for "light of the future". They are almost 10 times more efficient than traditional incandescent light bulbs, twice as efficient as current high-end LEDs, and they also beat CFLs, most of which are around 50-80 lumens/watt. Only the prototype300 lumens/watt nanocrystal-coated LEDs can hold a candle to them.

GM's Chevy Volt Price Goes Up; Stereo, Wipers to Blame
The GM Volt plug-in hybrid was supposed to hit showrooms in 2010 for $30,000. Well, apparently it's not that easy to redesign wipers, stereos and other electrical accessories so they drain as little juice as possible from the battery. GM has announced that the first generation Volt will be "closer to $35,000". The good news is that the late 2010 deadline hasn't been officially pushed back, though GM says that if it can't make it, the car might be delayed until the Spring of 2011.


Nike Talks Trash With Shoe Made From Manufacturing Waste
Steve Nash, the All-Star Guard for the Phoenix Suns, and Nike have teamed up to create the Nike Trash Talk, the first Nike performance basketball sneaker completely produced from manufacturing waste. Nash, who debuted the shoe last night in the Phoenix versus Dallas Mavericks game, appears to be quite a greenie himself: "Any opportunity to promote the environment and preserve our planet is a step in the right direction," he said in a press release.

Canada Goes Nutso Over Earth Hour
For some reason the entire country has gone a bit crazy over Earth Hour. Earlier this week more people had signed up for it online in Canada than in the entire United States, with ten times the population. The US has slipped ahead by a few thousand right now, but in Canada one in 606 citizens is on board; in the US it is one in 5,347.


Introducing Clorox's Green Works Cleaners
First they acquired Burt's Bees; now, Clorox is throwing its hat into the green cleaning ring with the launch of Green Works, a line of "natural" green cleaners designed to compete with the likes of Seventh Generation and method. Unveiled today, Green Works is the first such effort from a major consumer products company, and there's a pretty interesting story behind it all.

Don’t Buy a Nalgene Bottle Until You Read This
Many Nalgene water bottles and other hard plastic sport water bottles are made of polycarbonate (#7 on the bottom) , which may leach Bisphenol A, an estrogen-like chemical. Canada is considering a ban of products containing Bisphenol A (BPA) and a new American study links it to breast cancer and early puberty, and is particularly concerned about the effect on babies. Others have raised concerns about the effect of feminizing hormones on men, such as breast enlargement or dropping semen counts. At the same time, sport water bottles are ubiquitous and we don't want people going back to buying bottled water. What should you do? Time to nix the Nalgene?


Hypermiling Becoming More Popular as Gas Prices Rise
It's really no surprise that the combination of various gas-saving techniques known collectively as 'hypermiling' are getting more attention these days with oil hitting record highs (though part of it is because of the weakness of the US dollar).

Some hypermilers do it for sport, like that team that achieved 110 mpg, driving 47 hours and 1,397 miles on 12.87 gallons of gasoline, in a regular Toyota Prius. Or theDIY 'AeroCivic' that gets 95 mpg. Others do it to save money, or help the environment, and some are motivated by the 'national security' angle, like Wayne Gerdes who started hypermiling after Sept. 11, 2001. He says he gets 40-70 mpg out of his Ford Ranger pickup truck, about double the EPA rating.
Is This the Most Eco-Friendly Car Innovation Since the Hybrid?


Is This the Most Eco-Friendly Car Innovation Since the Hybrid?
Forget hydrogen. The most eco-friendly thing to happen to cars since the hybrid might just be an after-market device that attaches to your tail pipe and costs a mere $199.

If you don’t bike to work or at least drive a hybrid, chances are you feel a little guilty about your contribution to global warming when you log up the fossil-fueled miles you travel each day. But Blade, a new device that can attach to the tail pipe of pretty much every car on the freeway, might change all that.



Genepax Water Car: Too Good to be True? Yeah
Like clockwork, every time oil prices shoot up journalists scramble for stories about energy, and a few water-powered cars and perpetual motion machines always make it through. That's what happened with the Genepax Water-Powered Car featured on Reuters (and then a bit too uncritically on TreeHugger, but also on many other green sites like Environmental Leader, Celcias, etc).

More 2008 TreeHugger Lists:
Top 10 TreeHugger Stories of 2008
75 Stories You Dugg: A Year of TreeHugger on Digg.com

Best of TreeHugger