While I don't think we'd go as far as to say these ten stories are the most important topics we covered this year, according to our traffic data, they are the ten most highly-trafficked, which means for whatever reasons, they struck a chord with our audience.
Readers swarmed to these ten stories via Digg.com, StumbleUpon or simple search engines such as Google and Yahoo, but wherever they originated, they sure did show up en masse. Curious what stories had so many people clicking like crazy? Check out our Top 10 Stories of 2008 below...
image: Vectrix Electric Scooters
10. The 7 Best Electric Scooters: From Prototypes to Production Models -- With gas prices skyrocketing in recent years, reaching new highs this past summer, transportation became a huge financial worry for people in all income brackets. As a result, and hopefully due to their desire to be greener, too, people used search engines to find information on the best electric scooters available, leading this story to be one of our most-popular of the year.
9. How to Make Inexpensive DIY Home-Built Solar Panels with Damaged Solar Cells from Ebay -- Everyone loves some good old human ingenuity, which might explain why this was such a hit. The DIY lifestyle is one that we predict will keep on spreading and it's great to see people taking it to such technical areas as solar panels!
image: vertical wind farm
8. Vertical (Diagonal?) Farm from Work AC in NYC -- Aside from having visually interesting designs, vertical farms are a popular sustainability idea because they ask us to rethink a basic part of our world, traditional horizontal farms. Perhaps going vertical and putting farms where the people are - in dense urban environments - is the answer.
7. Luxim Plasma Light Bulb Kicks Some Serious LED Butt -- These new bulbs may be the 'light of the future'. They are 10x more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, twice as efficient as current high-end LEDs and are even better than CFLs!
image: Nalgene water bottles and BPA
6. Don't Buy A Nalgene Water Bottle Until You Read This -- The dangers of Bisphenol A or as it is commonly known, BPA, became much more apparent in 2008, leading the popular water bottle maker Nalgene to change their product offerings and many stores to pull some products off the shelves. To be clear, Nalgene no longer sells bottles containing BPA.
image: Tesla Roadster electric car
5. 17 Electric Cars You Must Know About -- Another big search term in 2008 was "electric cars". People wanted to know what options were available, how they worked and where or when they could buy one. This article answered all those questions and more.
4. We're The Big Three. We Don't Need to Compete. -- As the economy became the top issue in the media and around kitchen tables everywhere, it should come as no surprise that emotions ran high regarding the bailout of the Big Three automakers. This faux advertisement purporting to show what the Big 3 CEOs are thinking was a hit and went viral.
image: Casulo modular furniture
3. Casulo: An Entire Apartment's Furniture in One Small Box -- Apartment dwellers everywhere can appreciate the ingenuity of this furniture set in a box. With everything you'd need to furnish a small apartment packed together, it's no wonder this was a hot search item.
2. 5 Eco-Cars Faster than the Porsche 911 -- Most everyone loves some nice competition, as well as learning something new, which may explain why this post was so popular. Some people like to think of electric and hybrid cars as being slow and lacking power, but these 5 showed that that is hardly the case when matched with the iconic Porsche 911.
image: Dubai resort with refrigerated sand
1. Chill Out on Dubious Dubai's First Refrigerated Beach -- Topping this list and perhaps the list of All Time Dumbest Ways to Waste Energy is this story on the proposed cooling system for a luxury private beach in Dubai. With refrigerated sand, a chilled swimming pool and fans to blow air across the beach, could there be any more ways to waste energy here? If there are, I'm sure they'll consider implementing them and it might just top our list next year too.