GreenBiz's 20 Most Popular Stories of 2010

GreenBiz's 20 Most Popular Stories of 2010

The GreenBiz editorial staff and our hundreds of contributors write a lot of stories every year -- nearly 2,200 in 2010 alone. Inevitably, some of these find a following, fanned by our newslettersTwitter followersRSS feeds, and LinkedIn group members. Sometimes it surprises us which stories take off.

Here are the 20 most popular stories on from 2010 across our five channels -- GreenBiz, ClimateBiz, GreenerBuildings, GreenerComputing and GreenerDesign.

Bad News First

Perhaps it's not a surprise that sometimes a company falling short of success -- or, at times, failing spectacularly -- fires up people's rubbernecking instinct. These were the stories that shined the spotlight on environmental laggards.

20. The Gulf Disaster and the Future of Coal.

If you like the BP oil spill, you're going to love carbon capture and storage...

19. Fiji Water to Leave Fiji in Dispute with Government

Fiji Water, which ships its bottled water thousands of miles, has shut down its bottled water plant in Fiji over a tax hike that would have increased its payments to the government by 45 times.

18. Abercrombie & Fitch, Weight Watchers Land on Worst Companies List

As a companion to its recently released "Best Corporate Citizens," Corporate Responsibility Magazine has named and shamed those firms that are the least transparent.

17. This Stinks: What Perfume Makers Won't Tell You

A new report reveals a slew of popular perfumes on the market include secret ingredients not disclosed on the label. Is it a reason for alarm?

16. Gender-Bending Chemical Detected in 91 Percent of Canadians

The industrial chemical Bisphenol A, which has been linked to developmental and reproductive problems and mimics estrogen, is present in roughly 91 percent of the Canadian population, particularly in teens aged 12 to 19.

15. KFC Lands in Hot Water for its Packaging

In the latest sign of how forestry and paper issues are coming to the fore for companies in almost all industries, the fast food chain is currently under fire from environmental groups for using virgin forests to supply the paper for its packaging.

14. SunChips' Green Packaging Comes Under Fire for Creating a Racket

Laura Scudders, a brand born during the Depression Era, used to claim its potato chips were the "noisiest chips in the world." These days, to hear some consumers tell it, SunChips are breaking the sound barrier with new packaging that is eco-friendly but creates a din when handled.

Business as Unusual

We covered some out-in-left-field news in 2010, and even more stories that simply captured the at-times-unexpected side of corporate sustainability.

13. Tesco Joins Sainsbury's in Embracing Bagged Milk

A second U.K. retailer has started offering Dairy Crest milk in bags, which use 75 percent less packaging than milk in jugs.

12. Majority of Americans Still in the Dark About Federal Phaseout of Traditional Bulbs

More Americans are buying energy efficient lighting and are aware of the energy-saving benefits -- but most are clueless about the phaseout of incandescent bulbs that starts in two years.

11. A Vision for a Commercial-Scale Rooftop 'Farm' Nears Completion

Most people would not consider January an ideal time to plant crops, especially January in Montreal. But for Mohamed Hage, Kurt D. Lynn and Howard Resh, timing is one of the proof points of their project -- a commercial-scale rooftop greenhouse that's designed to yield produce year-round for an urban community.

10. Netbook Processors Create Huge Efficiency Boost In Supercomputers

Academic researchers coupled Intel's Atom chips with solid state disks to increase the amount of data processed per kilowatt hour of electricty by 300 to 400 percent.

9. Can Green IT Be as Simple as Changing Your Font?

The University of Wisconsin is using Century Gothic instead of Arial for its email system; the school says the move will save 30 percent on printer ink.

8. Water-Saving 'No-Mix Toilets' Get Rave Reviews in Europe

An innovative new toilet system that helps to reduce pollution and save water has gotten widespread support in seven European countries, according to a new study.

7. Gen Y's Green Demands for the Workplace

The 18- to 25-year-olds just entering, or poised to enter, the workforce aren't likely to be satisfied with shared "hotel-style" desk assignments, drab cubicles or windowless spaces that have characterized offices in the past, according to new research that could strongly influence space and energy efficiency strategies in the corporate world.

Good News from Leading Green Companies

Even though these stories don't necessarily show off the biggest news or even the biggest commitments or successes from the past year, we obviously can't predict what news will catch fire online. But these stories do all show how companies are making significant progress on reducing their environmental impacts.

6. Can Apple's MobileMe Packaging Get Even Smaller?

Apple has taken steps over the years to reduce its packaging, but is the box and piece of paper that let people download some software still too much?

5. Dell: We May Never Build Another Data Center

At the Fortune Brainstorm Green conference this week, two Dell executives explained how the steady march of technology has made the need for new computing facilities a thing of the past.

4. Puma's 'Clever Little Bag' Slashes Sneaker Packaging

Puma's new shoe packaging replaces the shoebox with a bag, cutting cardboard use by 65 percent along with reducing water, energy and fuel use.

3. Odwalla Juices Switching to Sugarcane-Based PlantBottle

Odwalla, the juice-making Coca-Cola subsidiary, will switch the packaging for all of its single-serve drinks to bottles made almost entirely of plant-based plastic by next March.

2. GE's New 40-Watt LED Bulb Will Last 25,000 Hours

General Electric will start selling a 40-watt LED bulb later this year that will last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs, which are being phased out in the U.S.

1. Climate Corps 2010: A Wealth of Energy Savings at Golden Arches

The EDF Climate Corps fellow assigned to McDonald's calculates that the firm could cut 2,993,000 kWh of electricity usage and avoid 1,799 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually if it were to install occupancy sensors to control lights in non-dining and non-kitchen areas in 775 company-owned restaurants in the U.S.

And there you have it. With stories like these making the rounds in 2010, we can't wait to see what 2011 holds in store.