So Long and Thanks for All the Clicks: David DeFranza Shares His Favorite TreeHugger Moments

As a few of my colleagues have pointed out, changes are afoot here at TreeHugger and for several of us, it's time to say our goodbyes—myself included.

Before I sign off, I wanted to share a few of my favorite posts from the past several years. These are all stories I enjoyed writing, and I hope you will enjoy reading or re-reading them as well.

The Story of Sustainable Rum

rum tasting photo
Photo credit: Distillery Serrall├ęs, USA

Perhaps it's no surprise a story that took me to the source of a fine sustainable rum remains one of my favorites. During a trip to Puerto Rico I had the opportunity to learn about the complex process leading to one of the world's favorite spirits. That path, I was surprised to learn, has many environmental pitfalls.

The story of Distillery Serrall├ęs and the company's quest for a more sustainable liquor is interesting, I think, not just for rum enthusiasts. Instead, it provides an insight into the ingenuity and dedication required for established industries to adapt for a more sustainable future.

Read the whole series:
The Story of Sustainable Rum Begins With What's Left Behind
Crafting Sustainable Rum is Largely a Matter of Catch and Release
How Sustainability Could be the Future Standard for all Rum

A Tale of Two Earth Days

climate rally on the national mall polar bear photo
Image credit: David DeFranza

TreeHugger sent me to the National Mall in Washington, DC to document two Earth Day celebrations—and they couldn't have been more different. The first year turned out to be a beautiful spring day, encouraging crowds to swell into the thousands. While there, celebraties and speakers were eager to talk to reporters and those watching the show were exuberant.

Two years later, the celebrations were dampened by a cold rain. Speakers darted from stage, to tent, to cars and the crowd of spectators peaked around a dozen. Indeed, the event felt like a failure but in the end, it led me to some unexpected conclusions about the importance of Earth Day and environmentalism. And I hope I wasn't alone.

Read about two different Earth Days:
Does Earth Day Matter? The Climate Rally on the National Mall Offers an Answer (Video)
Celebrating Earth Day, Rain or Shine

Conservation Wins and Losses

lolcat tiger cub photo
Image credit: TRAFFIC

A regular beat I covered was conservation news. Unfortunately, this is an often dreary topic characterized by assessments of dwindling populations, tragic losses to poachers, and dramatically reduced habitats. Between this bad news, however, is the occasional cause for celebration. The discovery of tiger cub stowed in a smugglers luggage, for example, or the first successful translocation of a tiger in Nepal.

Read some of my favorite conservation stories:
The Problem With 'Shoot to Kill' Conservation
Life on the Endangered Species Waiting List
Taking a Close Look at the "Last Ice Area"
Does Protecting Endangered Rhinos Conflict With Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Slideshows a Plenty

Slideshows can be a great tool for telling a photo-heavy story and during my time at TreeHugger I had a chance to put a lot of them together. In a good slideshow, the photos basically speak for themselves, so I'm going to let a few of my favorites do just that:

The World's Most Lovable Invasive Species


Long Before Banksy, Guerilla Artist John Fekner Tagged Environmental Woes

visual pollution van photo

David Burdeny's Incredible Iceberg Photography

emperor penguins photo

The Unbelievable World of Snowflakes

snowflake closeup photo

Adorable Rockhopper Penguins Shower Just Like Us

rockhopper penguins showering photo

Tree Climbing Team Traverses Oregon Forest in 5 Days...Without Touching the Ground

treeverse zip line photo

Exclusive Look at California's Secret Titan Redwood Trees

valley of the lost groves photo

26 Things We Can All Agree On

David DeFranza was Assistant Editor of TreeHugger from 2009-2012. He was a web producer for Planet Green before that. Read the rest of his archive here: David DeFranza: TreeHugger. You can continue following him on Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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