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Our 12 most popular stories of 2019

Tiny homes and food proved to be popular, but a story on sneakers (really?) ran its way to the top.

In 2018, tiny homes, camper vans, book hoarding, and clover lawns stole the show here on TreeHugger. This year, tiny homes once again prevailed, but our readers flocked to other kinds of stories as well – mostly around food, cooking, health, and recycling. Kind of wholesome, right? There were definitely some surprises in there – like, the best way to bake potatoes? So basic! But hey, we think it's a good sign that more people are thinking about eating more vegetables – and that is pretty on-brand for TreeHugger.

It's also interesting to look back at the most popular stories of the decade. There is the ol' missing tortoise – Family cleans house, finds pet tortoise missing since 1982 – the story goes viral a few times a year to make it the most popular TreeHugger post of the last 10 years … and leaves us all scratching our heads in wonder. More appropriately TreeHuggerian is the decade's second most popular story: Build a $300 underground greenhouse for year-round gardening. After that we have snowflakes, salt and sugar scrubs, and how to straighten your hair. A bit of a mishmash, which makes perfect sense given the seesaw that was the decade.

With next year's election-fueled “excitement” who knows which stories will take the prize in 2020, but for now, we have lots of cute tiny homes and many ways to eat your vegetables. Thank you to all who took the time to visit TreeHugger, share our stories, and engage with our lively commenting community. May 2020 bring grace and good fortune … and plenty of perfectly baked potatoes.

12. 4 reasons why you shouldn't buy prefab tiny houses on Amazon

Screen capture of amazon pageAmazon/Screen capture

Is there anything more instant-gratification than buying a house on Amazon? It's peak 2019, and also a really bad idea. Read the story HERE.

11. Beer and pop cans are not being recycled because car and airplane makers don't like recycled aluminum

We go on about how recycling is broken, and have noted that even aluminum recycling was a mess. Now it turns out that used aluminum cans are piling up in scrapyards because the aluminum producers don't want them. Read the story HERE.

10. Avoid these 6 foods linked to cancer

Steering clear of certain foods and beverages may help to lessen your cancer risk, according to a growing body of evidence. Interestingly enough, you may notice that many of these foods come with an environmental cost as well. Read the story HERE.

9. Looking for a spot to park your tiny house? Here's where to find one

One of the biggest and less-talked-about drawbacks of having a tiny home is finding a place to actually park it. Read the story HERE.

8. Some thoughts on owning an Instant Pot

Instant Pot© K Martinko

Katherine thought that an Instant Pot would save her time, but found that mostly it gives her peace of mind. “It is absolutely liberating not to have to hang around the kitchen to keep an eye on a pot,” she says. Read the story HERE.

7. Children glued to screens show alarming developmental delays

A study emphasizes the importance of minimizing young children's exposure to screens; something most parents know, but find hard to implement. Read the story HERE.

6. Glazing roasted vegetables makes them even better

One of the greatest strategies for eating more plants is having really great ways to cook vegetables – so here's a simple trick for elevating already delicious roasted vegetables. Read the story HERE.

5. Thoughtful tiny house in the woods cost under $14K to build

Two undergrads hatched an innovative plan to build a super eco-friendly cabin in the woods of Finland; the result is a marvelous minimalist cabin of 280-square-foot, in which respect for nature was taken into consideration with every decision. Read the story HERE.

4. Big problems with popular turmeric and echinacea supplements

Lead? Aerobic bacteria? Misleading labels? Consumer Reports tested popular brands of the widely used supplements; here's what they found. Read the story HERE.

3. Yep, this is the best way to make baked potatoes

baked poato© Melissa Breyer

There are many ways to bake a potato – microwave, slow-cooker, oven, Instant Pot, grill, air fryer, toaster oven, and, even the dishwasher – but this method results in the perfect mix of fluffy middle and crispy skin. Read the story HERE.

2. This family home is two tiny houses connected by a sunroom

There’s some real magic in the idea of a courtyard house; a house in which the main rooms surround a secret open space. Of course for anyone living tiny, there wouldn’t be enough house to enclose a courtyard – but The Ohana might be the next best thing. Read the story HERE.

1. Adidas unveils running shoes that never have to be thrown away

Adidas© Adidas

And our number one story of the year! We went to the launch of Adidas' Futurecraft Loop performance running shoe and were super impressed by the innovation. Unlike so many “recyclable” things, these single-material shoes close the loop; when your done with them, they can be returned to Adidas, where they will be ground up to make more shoes, again and again. Read the story HERE.

Tiny homes and food proved to be popular, but a story on sneakers (really?) ran its way to the top.