Readers Pick Their Favorite Stories from 2013

We take our readers' feedback seriously. We recently asked our fans to tell us their favorite EarthShare post of 2013 and we compiled the top choices. Our readers’ responses show that they’re not only learning more about the work our members are doing to protect the planet, but are also putting their knowledge into practice: by retrofitting their homes, by raising kids sustainably, and more. After reading their responses, tell us what inspires you to make sustainable changes in the comments section.


1. Top Ten Benefits of Trees

Ellas Dad Small
Ellas Dad/Flickr


Can you put a price tag on a tree? Those who sell timber for paper and other products certainly do, but what about the worth of a living tree? When you add it all up, a tree’s price is incalculable.

“As a loyal member of the Arbor Day Foundation I am a firm believer in tree planting. There are so many wonderful and beautiful trees that need to be planted or replanted.” – Byron

“I love the outdoors and the trees and it seems the trees are being chopped down to build houses, malls, buildings and other things. Some trees are very old and beautiful and are being torn for these purposes and I think it is a shame. We need the trees to provide oxygen, homes for animals and many other reasons.” – Michelle

“Trees supply medicinal preparations that supersede many modern drugs.” – Abbas


2. Raising a Zero-Footprint Baby


When Keya Chatterjee and her husband Andrew Kravetz decided to have a child, they knew it would test their commitment to sustainable living. Although they had installed solar panels on their home, lowered their energy use, and purchased only recycled or used items, they recognized that having a child would dramatically increase their carbon footprint if they didn’t take action.

“This post had all kinds of great information and really helped me shape the way I think about raising my first child.” - Carly

 “I had a baby in August so figuring out how to reduce our "baby" carbon footprint was of interest to me.” – Carrie

“I have raised one set of children trying to recycle and be thoughtful of environment but was not purposeful in trying to raise a zero footprint child.  Have been blessed with a late child we are trying much harder to be purposeful in our choices of toys, clothes, food, etc.” – Valerie

“If everyone raised their children to be a 'Zero Footprint' person the future of planet earth might stand a chance.” – Carla Jo


3. Wildlife-Friendly Renewable Energy


We need clean energy to combat climate change, but we need to develop it in a responsible manner. We need more than megawatts. We’re thinking outside of the box to find creative and low-impact ways to build renewable energy, whether on or off public lands.

“This article addressed the competing concerns that can make environmental decisions so difficult.   We need renewable energy that allows us to preserve other species as well as ourselves.” – Janice

“Wildlife has to be protected and this is indeed one of the major priorities when it comes to the earth being saved. I truly feel that friendly renewable energy is one of the finest methods to help save the earth.” – Sonali


4. Energy Retrofits: Making It Affordable for Homeowners


One of the best ways to save big money on your electricity bill is to get an energy retrofit for your home. Using special tools, an energy auditor can help you determine where your house needs better insulation, new windows or efficient appliances.

“We made two big changes in our home this year: a new energy efficient patio doors and a new insulated roof.  We are realizing energy savings but mainly our house is more comfortable.  And since our furnace runs less we also have less of the itchy skin common in years past. ” – Janet


5. Weathering the Storm: Building Resilient Communities


If this decade’s major weather events have shown us anything, it’s that our conventional infrastructure is not capable of keeping society humming when shocks happen. But communities are slowly learning be nimble and self-sufficient.

“In 2008 my city, Cedar Rapids, IA, was devastated by what was called a 100 year flood.  We are still recovering from the damage caused and work is to begin in 2014 to put in place flood protection on the NE side of the city.  It was very interesting to read about how other communities are prepared to handle such extreme weather.  I also agree that when disaster strikes communities are pulling together and are learning from the past and each other.” – Kimberlee

“Communities need to be informed about what other communities are doing to allow them to become proactive rather than reactive in the time of a crisis. Sharing information of this sort will enable more communities to become more resilient and not have to reinvent the wheel.” – Betty


In addition to the stories above, these five articles were the most viewed on our website in 2013. Give them a read!

Green on the Go: Mobile Apps for the Environment

Heroes are Zero Waste

Protecting Our Bodies from Pollution

Greening STEM on National Environmental Education Week

Top 10 Funny Environmental Videos


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