What are some of the best online sources of environmental information?

 What are some of the best online sources of environmental information?

—Hip2bGreen, Seattle, WA

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Surfing eco-cyberspace has never been so easy. The Internet is teeming with environmental websites, ‘blogs and social networking portals, offering everything from hard news and in-depth feature articles to green consumer information and lifestyle tips.© Getty Images

One of the best places to start in venturing out into eco-cyberspace is the website of a green group you already know—perhaps one for whom you have donated money or volunteered. Most groups use their websites to keep their supporters updated on the issues they cover, and provide links to many other green websites. Beyond such groups, several independent “third-party” sources also provide useful information on a wide range of environmental topics, from consumer tips to news to action alerts.

One leading green website is Grist (grist.org), which reports environmental news in a witty and engaging manner, billing itself as “gloom and doom with a sense of humor.” Checking out Grist‘s daily rundown of environmental news is de rigueur among eco-activists, and many regular folks keep tabs on it, too. Other excellent news sources include Environment News Service (enn.com), and Environmental News Network (ens-newswire.com). And one new kid on the block is The Daily Green (thedailygreen.com), which bills itself as the “consumer’s guide to the green revolution.” Owned by major magazine publisher Hearst, The Daily Green offers news, green tips and advice, and a plethora of green home, food and lifestyle topics.

The Green Guide (thegreenguide.com), run by National Geographic, is probably the best online source for green consumer information, specializing in green living tips, product reviews and environmental health news. Looking for guidance on saving water around the house, choosing among non-toxic paints or packing greener lunches for your school-age kids? The Green Guide would be a good place to start.

If you’re interested in more comprehensive looks at green issues and topics, emagazine.com posts much of the content of its flagship E — The Environmental Magazine, along with weekly news and commentary. Visitors can also access 18 years worth of in-depth articles—the magazine has been turning out bi-monthly print issues since 1990—on just about every green topic imaginable.

Those interested in social networking and the environment should look to Care2 (care2.com), the world’s largest online environmental community. The site offers its eight million members free e-mail accounts and provides lots of background information on just about every environmental issue.

A handful of green “blogs are starting to get a lot of media attention and web traffic. The king of them all is Treehugger (treehugger.com), which offers several posts each day from a stable of thinkers committed to environmental issues. Its coverage is not comprehensive, but Treehugger excels at tapping into trends in environmental thinking and culture. Another source of environmental tips and culture online is IdealBite (idealbite.com), a blog-style site offering up “bite-sized ideas for light green living.”

And then there are the “click-to-donate” websites, where visitors can read up on a variety of conservation campaigns and then contribute money via credit card. Ecology Fund (ecologyfund.com), the The Rainforest Site (therainforestsite.com) and Red Jellyfish (redjellyfish.com) are some of the leaders in this category.

So cue up that browser and start clicking. You”ll be amazed at what you can learn, let alone accomplish!