Published on August 15th, 2009 | by Derek Markham
TreeHugger Celebrates 5 Years of Bringing the Green Mainstream
When people think about environmental blogs, the name TreeHugger is always one of the first to mind. They’re the 800 pound gorilla of the green world on the web, publishing huge amounts of environmental news and opinion pieces each day, plus slideshows, contests, and quizzes. And now they’ve got longevity, too. TreeHugger just celebrated their first five years of bringing the sustainability movement into the mainstream and is planning big things for the next five.
“Today TreeHugger’s mission is more urgent than ever. We strive to drive awareness and reversal of current environmental issues, and also show that a better world — one where the values, goals, and needs of businesses, governments, individuals, and ecosystems are aligned — is possible. After all, everyone is an environmentalist: Who doesn’t want clean air and water and healthy food?”
According to Technorati, TreeHugger is ranked number 21 out of the top 100 blogs worldwide! That’s very heartening to the rest of us in the green blogosphere, because the audience they reach is so big they can have a great effect on society by bringing environmental issues to the public eye. TreeHugger and its sister site, Planet Green, are both part of the Discovery network, and that affiliation brings credibility to the mainstream reader, and a much larger audience. 50 TreeHugger writers worldwide are putting out 40 posts per day, with an average of 3.5 million monthly visitors to the site. Now that’s exposure!
I got a chance to meet and hang out for a bit with Meaghan O’Neill (@msoeden), editor-in-chief of TreeHugger and PlanetGreen, at a LOHAS conference in Boulder recently, and she shared an idea with me. One thing heard sometimes is that TreeHugger is SO big, it dwarfs or dominates a lot of the other smaller green blogs. But what Meaghan mentioned was the word ‘co-op-etition’, in reference to the huge potential available to all of us working together to bring green to the mainstream. The more the merrier. We all help each other.
“For me, the best thing about TreeHugger has always been working with the passionate people who are the life force behind it. We have chemists, teachers, architects, designers, and other experts in their fields who are truly trying to understand how to live green and help institute environmental progress. For those of us who work behind the scenes, TreeHugger itself is a social network that allows us to explore big, heady issues — such as infrastructure and the population explosion — as well as everyday human problems — like whether or not it’s safe (or necessary) to wear deodorant — with a group of peers from across the globe. That broad perspective not only helps each of us as individuals, it also informs the voice of the site as a whole” – O’Neill
TreeHugger just announced some exciting new features and partnerships to “begin the next five years of fresh information, eco-cheekiness and new experiences”. Content sharing with Boing Boing, Care2, Fast Company, Infrastructurist, Mother Jones, and Tonic.com will bring both old and new readers a lot of great writing and insightful reporting.
A new series of video shorts is also planned, with four originals that will first premiere online before being shown on Planet Green (the channel) this fall. The shorts range from 60 to 90 seconds, and include the animated series Bea Wildered and Twigsy, the interview driven The Elementalists, and the urban focused City Shorts.
TreeHugger doesn’t want to publish information simply for the reading alone. They want us all to take action and make change happen now:
“We never want to be preaching to the choir. After all, everyone is an environmentalist — who doesn’t want clean air and water or a safe home for their kids? Our job for the next five years is to explain to the world that environmentalism touches on every single aspect of culture and society — from economics to healthcare to education. We want to move people from awareness to action.” – O’Neill
Thank you, TreeHugger, for continuing to make sustainability relevant and fun. Here’s hoping for much eco-cheekiness to come in the next five years!