As another year comes to an end, we have a perfect opportunity to review our planet's progress as well as our shortcomings. In April, China saw a 6.9 magnitude earthquake, killing at least 2,000 and injuring over 10,000 people. In that same month volcanic ash from an icecap in Iceland devastated air traffic throughout Europe. And the Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico killing eleven workers and resulting in one of the largest oil spills in history. Mind you, these are just three environmental disasters occuring in the month of April alone. A monsoon caused widespread flooding in Pakistan, repeated eruptions of Mt. Merapi in Indonesia killed at least 240 people, a landslide killed seven people in Mexico, and an earthquake and consequent tsunami in Indonesia killed over 400 people. Our planet is at times a rather dangerous place to reside.
However, it hasn't all been bad news for Earth in 2010. On January 15th the longest annular solar eclipse of the 3rd millennium occurred. The first 24-hour, solar-powered flight took place via the European "Solar Impulse." NASA recently announced the discovery of arsenic-based life-form. And early Christmas Eve morning we witnessed the first, total lunar eclipse to coincide with the northern winter solstice/southern summer solstice since 1638.
But what advances have we humans made in regards to the conservation and protection of our planet? In that respect, 2010 has been a very progressive year for green efforts. Thus, I've compiled a list of what I believe are the top 10 eco-trends of 2010.
10. Sustainable Streetlights
Eco-Trend #10: Sustainable Street Lamps
More frequently referred to as "Solar Trees," sustainable streetlamps are growing in popularity around the world. Similar to those pictured here (by Vinaccia Integral Designs), such streetlights charge during the day catching rays from the sun to power the lights by night. What about cloudy days? Well most solar streetlamps of this nature can accumulate enough power to last for several days.
9. Art and Designs From Reused Items
Eco-Trend #9: Art and Design from Resued Items, such as this "Tub Couch"
From this couch made out of a an old, claw-foot tub (by Ruff House Art) to wedding gowns made out of garbage bags, creating the new from the old is becoming not only a trendy but an eco-conscious form of art and design. These commodities can be a fun DIY project that you do or a green purchase you make for yourself or a friend. Many of these innovations can be found on Etsy.com.