Top 11 Hottest Topics of 2010 from EcoSalon

If you are well acquainted with EcoSalon, you know we don’t shy away from controversial issues. In fact, we welcome them. Rarely is there one right answer, and remaining open-minded in the face of difficult discussions is what EcoSalon strives to achieve.

And 2010 was no exception. It was indeed a stellar year for serious and many-sided environmental discussions. We hope you enjoyed the controversy, I mean year, as much as we did!

Here’s our greatest hits list for 2010:

GINK (Green Inclinations, No Kids) – Want to help the environment? Stop procreating. Turns out, going childless is the greenest choice of all. GINK describes women who decide not to have kids for any number of reasons, but mainly they consider the childless choice a huge gain for the environment. And furthermore, did you know that women can find peace, contentment and even happiness sans baby? Amazing!

Gulf Series – The BP Oil spill last April was tragic and terrifying to witness from afar, but when one of our writers traveled to the Gulf of Mexico and reported back, we got much more than we bargained for, including the devastating details of the aftermath and cleanup.

Gyre Series – Plastic pollution is collecting in the earth’s waters. It’s a catastrophic problem and one that we followed first hand (well, almost) while sailing the South Atlantic Gyre. Actually, Stiv Wilson, one of our editors, went on the adventure and yes, he lived to tell us all about it. In fact, the saga continues.

Politics versus Science – It was a big year for politics and science, with solar panels reappearing on the White House, emails leaking with twisted facts and figures, and a newly elected Republican Congress and the resurgence of climate change denial. One battle after another. We faced the Global Warming deniers and naysayers but in the end it seems, Americans still trust science. Phew!

Fur? Leather? Vegan? Oh yes! – Debate and controversy ran rampant in the fashion arena this year, and no one came out wrong. The fur versus leather discussion continued, while vegans consistently said no to anything animal. But if anything artificial and man-made only adds to the mess we’re in, why not wear fur? So many questions, all sorts of answers. In the end it comes down to personal preference and hopefully, an earnest attempt to pay attention to the planet.

Gender & Sexism – 2010 was also a big year for the ladies, or wait – is it gals or women or dames? It was a big year, as in, we’re still not making as much, still being asked why we’re not married and having babies, and still can’t be both smart and pretty. Further complicating the matter, green itself has been accused of sexism! How’s that for progress, eh?

Apple – One of the most anticipated events of the year was the launch of the iPad. We also saw a plethora of eco-friendly iPhone covers, and others made of rosewood, plants and bamboo. But no matter how green our gadgets, will we always wonder whether we can live without them? Yep, probably.

Food Revolution – 2010 saw schools saying adios to junk food (and Sara Palin getting mad about it), urbanites saying yes to farming, and more discussion about the problem that is the global food system. In other news – the concept of being a foodie rose in our consciousness this year, as people became increasingly fascinated with culinary culture and great cuisine. From food carts to all things pork to urban wineries, the foodie has arrived – your table is ready!

Electric Cars – It was a year to remember for the electric car. With the new EPA fuel efficiency labels meaning business, car manufacturers did the same. It seems everyone who’s anyone had an entry into the electric lineup – Mercedes and BMW, the Nissan Leaf (which was already sold out in the U.S. by July) and the Chevy Volt. And it appears we’ll be seeing more charging stations in the next year as well. Good thing!

Gorgeous Green Living – 2010 was full of talk about prefab, small spaces and McMansions, but EcoSalon saw a subtler, deeper theme at play: how green, vintage and good taste combine to make gorgeous living. We immersed ourselves in all areas of art and design and garnered loads of green lessons from what we found. We researched and scoured the web to bring you design insights, ideas and inspiration. Because in these not-so-stable times – when we can control our spaces, our immediate surroundings, but not much else – a visceral dose of art and color and gorgeous is oh-so-wonderful.

and last, but definitely not least…

We decided that Green Needs to Grow Up – It cannot be coddled nor supported uncritically. We owe it to ourselves and our future generations to insist upon good standards and good products in green. So when things like deodorant and amusement parks announce they are green all over, we investigate. We’re tired of greenwashing and false advertising, and you should be, too.

Images: Deepwater Horizon Response, kevindooley, Stiv Wilson, NASA Goddard Photo and Video, jessjamesjake, xjyxjy, Robert Scoble, bokchoi-snowpea, Lisa Cohen (via Living Inside), CoCreatr.