Media happy new year best of 2014

Published on December 30th, 2014 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

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sustainablog’s Best Of 2014: Our Top Ten Posts

happy new year best of 2014

Once again, we’re getting ready to ring in a new year, and while that means getting the tux cleaned and making reservations for many of us, it’s also a good time for looking back on the year past. As I’ve done for a number of years, I wanted to round up our best of 2014 (in terms of page views), share them, and maybe get some ideas about what keeps you coming back to us.

That last point is very clear in this year’s top ten: as we’ve seen in previous years, the curated collections of DIY upcycling projects keep readers returning. In fact, since we’ve built up quite a collection of these posts, I actually had to go to about spot 15 or so to find something from 2014 – posts from earlier years still dominate the top spots. I hear you loud and clear. While we’ve gotten a bit newsier since our shift to tighter focus on waste issues, we’ll start mixing in these project collections more frequently – still an awful lot of materials that go to the landfill that could be reused or repurposed.

So, here’s this year’s list. If there’s a post from 2014 that you really liked that didn’t make the top ten, share it with us! And a very happy New Year to you and yours from all of us here at sustainablog.

10. The DIY Solar Charger: 7 Plans. Sure, you can buy one of these pretty easily these days, but if you’ve got leftover Altoids tins or solar path lights laying around, why not give one of these projects a try.

9. 15 Things You Can Do with Used Tea Bags. It’s the time of year when you’ve probably got lots of tea bags getting used. While they go into the compost bin just fine, why not try one of these DIY projects with them?

8. DIY Laundry Detergent: Make Your Own Liquid or Powder. No real reuse elements to this one, but you’ll likely save some money, and avoid any unnecessary chemicals that might irritate your skin.

7. Upcycling Electronic Waste with the Raspberry Pi Mini-Computer: 5 Projects. Turn old electronics into new ones with a Raspberry Pi as the “brains.” Had a lot of fun pulling this one together…

6. The Human-Powered DIY Washing Machine: 5 Plans. From the simple (a 5-gallon bucket and plunger) to the very advanced (a pedal-powered rig), there are lots of options for clothes washing machines that substitute human power for electricity.

5. The DIY Rain Barrel: 4 More Plans. A follow up to a post from a number of years ago, these projects show you how to start harvesting rainwater with homemade equipment.

4. Slow Cooking without Electricity: DIY Plans for Hay Boxes, Wonderbags, and More. An article from my friends up at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage gave me the idea for this collection of powerless slow cooker projects.

3. Top Loading or Front Loading: Which is the Most Eco-Friendly Washing Machine? This is different from years past – we’ve only got one post from a guest in this year’s top ten. The Home Depot’s Jennifer Tuohy pulled together this fantastic guide on the eco pluses and minuses of top loading and front loading washing machines.

2. 5 Gallon Bucket Gardening: Seven Ways to Reuse Plastic Buckets for Growing Food. One of my favorites from this year, I did some of this in my own garden this year (with great results).

1. How to Build a Wind Turbine for $30. How could a title like that not bring ’em in? Daniel Connell’s DIY wind turbine is a follow up to his Solarflower solar concentrator (another piece of homemade renewable energy technology).

Image credit: Shutterstock


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About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at



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