What makes a TreeHugger story popular? What do our readers want? One can learn a lot from looking at the top stories of the year. Three are about tiny houses; two are how-to's; three, including the top story of the year, are nature stories, two of which appropriately hug trees. Add a tear-jerker dog story and there you are. So from all of us, a Happy New Year, and we look forward to 2016 as Tinypuppygoatsintreehugger.com!
© Tiny House Basics
Be they salvaged trailers, gypsy-style caravans, modernist or Japanese inspired, we've seen a real diversity coming into the once quaint world of tiny homes. Built by tiny housers Shelley and Joshua, here is one 224-square-foot tiny abode that looks almost like a regular-sized house, thanks to a few decisions that they made before starting: like keeping a regular-sized fridge, having a generous countertop, and installing a lovely floating stair instead of a ladder. More in TreeHugger: Hefty 224 sq. ft. little house doesn't feel tiny at all
Flickr/CC BY 2.0
On the Chinese New Year, Mike wrote:
To celebrate the Year of the Goat, we thought we'd take a moment to appreciate these too-often overlooked animals; they might not be quite as iconic as other domesticated animals like horses and cows, or exotic enough to be featured in nature documentaries, but they are nonetheless a pillar of many societies, providing sustenance to hundreds of millions of people. More in TreeHugger: Goats climbing in trees!
"Denali" film by Ben Moon/Screen capture
When several excellent photographers and videographers recommend a short film, you know you’re in for a treat. I was expecting to watch something lovely, but I wasn’t prepared for this short from Ben Moon, titled “Denali,” to be so heartbreaking. More in TreeHugger: Photographer’s tribute to his dog is heartbreakingly beautiful.
7. 12 companies that make luxurious all-natural perfumes© A Perfume Organic
It was some kind of cosmic joke that, while I sat working on this slideshow in a coffee shop, two middle-aged ladies sat down at the table next to me, filling the small space with their overpowering perfumes. Within minutes, my eyes started to water, my throat began to itch, and I couldn’t get a single breath of non-perfumed air.
The good news is that there are lots of companies and customers realizing the importance of avoiding synthetic perfumes. The following list of companies offer perfumes in various forms and strengths – solid, spray, roll-on, eau de toilette, eau de parfum, and perfume oils – that are free from the dangerous ingredients used in conventional perfumes. More in TreeHugger: 12 companies that make luxurious all-natural perfumes
Just off U.S. Highway 20 in Central Oregon there is a lake with a curious fate. Every winter the aptly-named Lost Lake fills up, before slowly draining through a hole, drying up and making way for a meadow. More: Oregon's Lost Lake is disappearing through a strange hole
5. Ecocapsule is the egg-shaped tiny home that can go off-grid and off-pipe
Often when we show tiny homes, readers point out that designers should learn from boats, where people have been organizing small spaces forever. Now Bratislava based Nice Architects introduce the very nice and very boat-like Ecocapsule, " a low-energy house packed into a compact form. It merges an energy efficient shape, compact volume and off-grid capabilities with the luxuries of a warm bed, running water and a hot meal." More in TreeHugger: Ecocapsule is the egg-shaped tiny home that can go off-grid and off-pipe
jspad/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Kids can go through a large amount of art supplies. It's wonderful to see them expressing their creativity, but keeping up with the demand can mean spending lots of money and sending too much disposable packaging into the trash. Fortunately, many art supplies can be made at home using ingredients you already have. From paint to clay, beads to glue, you can whip up some new art materials in no time. More in TreeHugger: 8 art supplies you can make at home
3. How to keep ants out of your house naturally
Sancho McCann/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
This simple nontoxic trick is a little miracle ... and no ants were harmed in the writing of this story. I am a total wuss when it comes to killing things – I don’t eat animals, I can’t squish bugs. But often times co-existing with creatures that want to hang in my home is disconcerting. And even though I live in the city, nature has a way of creeping in. More in TreeHugger: How to keep ants out of your house naturally
2. Grand 280 sq. ft. Oregon tiny home is influenced by Japanese design
© Chris Heininge
For many, tiny homes can represent more financial freedom and a smaller environmental footprint, due to their smaller size, lower maintenance costs and the possibility of towing it onto cheap land (though any kind of mobile living can potentially have some or all of these benefits). While one can build a great tiny home for a few thousand dollars, there will always tiny homes on the other end of the scale, such as this well-appointed and pretty luxurious tiny house measuring 280 square feet in Aurora, Oregon. More in TreeHugger: Grand 280 sq. ft. Oregon tiny home is influenced by Japanese design
1. 10 of the world’s most remarkable trees
Rick Goldwaser/flickr/CC BY 2.0
From oldest to tallest to most sacred and more, in celebration of Arbor Day we present a brief who's-who of arboreal heroes. More in TreeHugger: 10 of the world’s most remarkable trees