Best and Worst of 2009: TreeHugger's Most Popular Stories on Digg


Image: Courtesy of Larry Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution continues to be an important player in the social news world and as such is a good place to find and share stories.

Last year I brought you 75 Stories You Dugg: A Year of TreeHugger on, and 2009 was another big year for the social media site and we saw a bunch of our stories become popular. Here are the 50 most popular TreeHugger stories from 2009 according to

50 Most Visited TreeHugger Posts Via

1. Outraged Cyclists Re-Paint Removed Bike Lane, Guerilla Style (Video)
According to our traffic data, this story received the most traffic from of all the TreeHugger stories that were submitted and became popular on the social news site. Involving Brooklyn, bike culture, street art, religion, cultural conflict, and illustrated with a DIY viral video, this post appeals to a number of web-savvy sub-cultures within the Digg community, which helped make it our most highly-trafficked story on Digg.

2. World's Deepest Living Fish Caught On Camera
2009 was a big year for animal discoveries and a number of the stories on this list highlight amazing new species or incredible video.

Photo via Best Week Ever

3. USDA Classifies PETA as a Terrorist Threat
By making headlines as often as they do, PETA is one organization on which everyone has formed an opinion. There's so much love and hate for PETA online and within the Digg community, that this story sparked heated discussion and many diggs.

4. 10 Coolest Multifunctional Furniture Designs
True to our roots, furniture innovations continue to be popular as more and more people rethink how furniture functions as a tool in their daily lives.

5. The World's Most Lovable Invasive Species
Invasive species can do a lot of damage to local ecosystems, but some are just too fun to get rid of now (read: lolcats).

6. Seven Crazy Things Celebrities Have Said About the Environment
In our celebrity-obsessed culture celebrities are often asked about their political & environmental views or promoting their own involvement in one or more causes. With so many celebrity opinions floating about, it's no surprise some pretty stupid comments are made.

7. The World's Most Impressive Subway Maps
Starting off a series of posts on subway maps, this slide show highlighted some of the most detailed and elegant examples of mass transit infrastructure.

8. Computer Lays the Prettiest Brick Walls Since Eladio Dieste
Robots are a fairly common theme on Digg, so it was no surprise this story was popular. Seeing stories like this generating lots of discussion online demonstrate how eager people are for some smarter and more sustainable construction methods.

9. Cheap 3D Solar Cells Are 6x More Efficient, Work Underground
Go science!

tokyo subway map photo

10. The World's Best Alternative Subway Maps
More subway maps, however, this time though the maps are more artistic, but unofficial, created by designers anxious to fix the flaws in the official maps or artists re-imagining their city.

11. Terrific Treehouse Designs from Baumraum
Just because we grow up and don't fit in the treehouses of our childhoods does not mean we lose our interest in residing amongst the trees.

12. World's Dirtiest Rivers and Lakes
Pictures like these help remind people about the importance of protecting our waterways.

13. Bike Trailer Homes for Sale, Only $1950 O.B.O
Maybe it's the tough economic times that helped make this story so popular.

macro bug photo
Photo via Thomas Shahan

14. Bugs in Pictures: Incredible Insect Macro Photography
We were thrilled to be able to share the amazing photographs of Thomas Shahan with our readers, especially so when the TODAY Show contacted us because they wanted to show off Shahan's pictures on their show too! If you're a photographer and have a collection that you think would fit on TreeHugger, let us know. We are happy to help more people see such great work.

15. Stop Using Toilet Paper; Get a The Blue Bidet
A bidet is a practical and useful device plenty of other cultures have incorporated into their homes and public restrooms, but it remains a mystery to much of America. Having this story go popular on Digg might have had more to do with the Digg community's shock at the idea of not using toilet paper, but hopefully it led to some rethinking the usual two-ply.

16. Coolest Environmental Advertising
Brands are spending a lot of money these days to bring attention to their sustainability efforts, while activist organizations do the same to highlight the problems they aim to fix. These ads represent the "in your face" approaches.

17. Seen Google's Crop Circle Logo? Nature Makes a Beautiful Canvas
Google seems to enjoy changing their logo to celebrate historic or calendar events. In the lead-up to a logo change in honor of H.G. Wells' birthday one day's logo incorporated crop circles, reminding us of the beauty of these natural art works and inspiring us to pull together some of the better examples available for viewing online.

Instead of trying to come up with something insightful or clever about each of the many stories that became popular on, I'll simply list the rest below.

A special thanks to all of our readers and Digg users that submit and vote on our stories using Digg. As a reader, it is a fun way to discover interesting stories and as a publisher, it is an important way to share our content and grow readership. We hope 2010 is another big year for Digg!

More Popular TreeHugger Stories on Digg
18. Super Secretive Supercapacitor CEO Tells All in Leaked Phone Call
19. A Bike Helmet That Makes You Look Like Russell Crowe
20. Ford Fusion Hybrid Gets 81.5 MPG in Hypermiling Challenge
21. Edward Burtynsky's "Oil"
22. Solar Powered Skins for iPhones and iPod Touch
23. Luxim Plasma Light Bulb Kicks Some Serious LED Butt

NYC's Dragonfly Vertical Farm

24. 10 Droolworthy Eco Structures
25. New Electric Motor is 50% Smaller but has 2x More Torque (!)
26. The Unusual Metro Systems of the Soviet Union
27. Photos of Strange Deep Sea Creatures from Marine Census Beyond Sunlight
28. 10 Tasty Fish You Don't Want to Eat
29. 9 Best Eco Apocalyptic Science Fiction Films of All Time
30. Bridges are for People: 7 Bridges that People Live and Work On
31. Shrinking Jug Keeps Milk Fresh an Extra Week

mercators projection iceberg photo

Photo via David Burdeny

32. David Burdeny's Incredible Iceberg Photography
33. Rent-a-Goat in Action! Clearing Brush the Way Nature Intended
34. Acacia Trees Could Solve Africa's Soil Problems, Be the Future for Farms
35. Humans Brought Monkeys to St. Kitts and Inadvertently Turned Them Into Alcoholics (Video)
36. Birdfeeders Found to Cause Evolution of New Species
37. Harvest Green: Vertical Farm by Romses Architects wins Competition

Project Nomad

Photo courtesy of Coroflot

38. Play Lone Ranger With Plant-Fueled Horse (Tonto Not Included)
39. Whale Penis Leather Option Dumped by Russian Luxury Armored Car Company
40. Cops Save $3K a Year with Anti-Idling Technology for Police Cruisers
41. Toyota Prius Faces Ban Due to US Patent Suit
42. Would You Live in a House Made of Sh*t?
43. Chinese Fruit Bats Demonstrate Unusual Sexual Behavior Never Before Seen in Adult Animals
44. Amazing! Bike Faster than Helicopters, Running Faster than Car in Sao Paulo
45. Tick Saliva May Cure Skin, Liver and Pancreas Cancer

africa malnutrition snail pie photo

Photo via Great Lakes

46. Giant Snail Pies to Feed the Malnourished in Africa
47. Electric Supercharger Boosts Torque 50% and Reduces CO2 by 20%
48. Google's Custom Solar Technology Will Reduce Costs by 60%
49. Number of the Day: 9% of the World's Fresh Water
50. 300 Million-Year-Old Limestone Houses Ultra Efficient Data Center 22 Stories Underground

That wraps-up the list of the top 50 most popular TreeHugger stories on Digg during 2009. Thanks again to all of our readers for voting on and sharing our stories! If you'd like to see which other stories became popular on the site, here is the full list.

Best and Worst of 2009: TreeHugger's Most Popular Stories on Digg
Last year I brought you 75 Stories You Dugg: A Year of

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