It is always a surprise, looking at the most popular posts of the year. We never quite know why they draw so much interest, but judging from this year's top ten posts based on the number of times viewed, we can draw a couple of lessons:
- Readers love how-to stories and lists, with information and research about products, like Katherine's posts on perfume and ethical shoes.
- Despite constant complaints about having to change the pages, readers love slideshows.
- Tiny houses still inspire; they are still the most popular design posts.
- Readers love strange animal stories; the most popular post written this year is about bees, and the most popular post of the year by far is a 2013 story about a missing tortoise.
- Managing editor Melissa is really a robot, not only running the show but producing six of the ten stop stories, including the top three. The rest of us just fill out the pages.
So in 2017 readers can look forward to lots more slideshows of strange animals in tiny houses filled with people wearing organic perfume and vegan footwear!
If you live in a climate where cool weather takes a firm grip on the landscape, you may miss greenery. Cool seasons are great for beautifully bleak wintry scenes, not so great for those who thrive on the beauty of vibrant plant life. The formidable absence of green can be a little disconcerting. Solution? Operation Houseplant! More in TreeHugger:
2 beautiful ways to have plants inside
© Ana White
Alaskan blogger, stay-at-home mom and self-taught carpenter Ana White, who's best known for her DIY blog that offers free plans for building furniture, created this lovely tiny home in a remote part of Alaska with her husband, Jacob. Nicknamed Quartz, the home has some interesting design features, all of which can be built by anyone using the free plans. More in TreeHugger: Alaskan mom builds lovely tiny house -- and is offering the plans for free (Video)
© Escape Vista
We have been following the work of architect Kelly Davis and his partner Dan George Dobrowolski trying to solve the problem of the tiny house with their Escape Series. I have started them all with "how a talented architect" addresses the complex mix of tradeoffs of size, rules, cost, complexity, how much of this and how much of that goes into it. The Escape Vista is the third in this series and they have really given us a rare opportunity; this is a talented team, and one can almost see the thought process as they progress through the different designs in a short period of time. More in TreeHugger: How a talented architect keeps refining the tiny house until he gets it right
Zika, West Nile, Malaria, Dengue … the disconcerting catalog of illnesses spread by the flying disease-delivery vehicles known as mosquitoes is an ever expanding thing. And along with vector-borne diseases, mosquitoes and their diabolic hypodermic mouthparts offer no shortage of itchy welts, meanwhile their crazy-making hum can keep the soundest of sleepers swatting at their faces all night. More in TreeHugger: 7 reasons mosquitoes bite some people more than others
Rarely does everyday footwear -- functional shoes built for comfort, not style, like running shoes -- get any attention. They should, however, since a shoe is even longer-lasting and less biodegradable over the long term than a single article of clothing; and many are made of synthetic materials that are meant to be tough and long-lasting -- not exactly what one wants kicking around the planet for centuries. More in TreeHugger: 9 brands that make ethical casual shoes and sneakers
Take it from animals that hibernate in dens surrounded by earth and roots, turf makes for a cozy home in cold climes – a fact not lost on Northern Europeans dating back to at least the Iron Age. Building from turf has been embraced in many places, over many spans of time – Norway, Scotland, Ireland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, the Netherlands and even in the American Great Plains. But while in these areas the practice was used to build dwellings for those with few means, the turf houses in Iceland differ. More in TreeHugger: Icelandic turf houses are old-school green with a Viking twist
© 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
Stop the presses! The best escape fantasy ever is on the market and could be yours for a mere $2.3 million, or about the cost of a Manhattan condo. Tanera Mor is the main island of the Summer Isles, an idyllic archipelago a mile and a half off the northwest coast of Scotland near Ullapool. You want seven miles of rugged cliffs, sheltered coves and beaches? Make an offer! The island is 1.6 miles long and 1.2 miles wide, has spectacular views and sustains itself with generators and wind turbines for 24-hour electricity; plus, a freshwater treatment works. More in TreeHugger: Self-sufficient Scottish island for sale; comes with broadband and post office
The summer solstice isn’t a rare event, a full moon even less so. But they’re both special, and when they just so happen to occur on the same day, as they will this year? That’s once-in-a-lifetime special. More in TreeHugger: The strawberry full moon makes this summer solstice a super rare thing
When Carol Howarth parked her Mitsubishi in the town of Haverfordwest, Wales, to do some shopping, little did she know the mayhem that would ensue. While she attended to her errands, a swarm of 20,000 bees was drawn to her car. A local man, Tom Moses, saw the buzzing hubbub and concerned that the bees might be poorly handled, called in a team of beekeepers. More in TreeHugger: Swarm of bees follows car for 2 days to rescue queen trapped in back