It will take you about five minutes to read this article. Before you finish, about 400 people will launch new blogs. It's possible a few of those will have something to do with sustainability and the environment. If not, wait a few more minutes — the next great green blog will be along soon.

So many websites, so little time

With more than 120,000 new weblogs a day (at Technorati's last count), it's no surprise that the green blogosphere is expanding. That's great news for those of us trying to adopt lighter, more sustainable lifestyles — but it's also a lot to keep up with.

Just ask any of our writers: We read lots of other sites — probably too many. But our pain is your gain.

Up-and-comers

We've rounded up what we think are the nine best up-and-coming green websites. These are the blogs and portals we consider to be the immediate online "neighborhood." A few, we work with closely — others are friends or acquaintances — but all nine are unique sites we read regularly and recommend highly.

Before moving on to the list, a word on how we chose these sites. We were looking beyond obvious leaders, such as Treehugger (hipster greenery);  EcoGeek (green technology); AutoblogGreen (cars); or Inhabitat (green architecture and design).

See? You're probably already thinking of names missing from this short list. That's how it went as we evaluated our first cull of about 30 sites. In the end, we decided to restrict our picks to websites with a Google PageRank of five or less. PageRank is a 10-point scale by which Google ranks the influence of a website, so choosing from the first half of the scale seemed a fair way to restrict ourselves to web publishers just beginning to attract wide attention.

On to the list, in alphabetical order:

Daily Fuel Tips

Daily Fuel Economy Tip

What could be more relevant than "tips that help you increase your gas mileage and save money at the pump"? That's the mission statement of the Daily Fuel Economy Tip, a thoughtful, sharply focused deigned to help its readers navigate today's high fuels costs.

Blogger Brian Carr defers to the practical in his tips — most of which you'll locate in his Categories archive. You'll also find a steady diet of news about gas prices to help you spot future trends. Brian was among the few green bloggers to appreciate the silliness of last month's e-mail-driven gasoline boycott and to suggest some effective alternatives.

Happy motoring!

Eco Chick

Eco Chick

Start with Eco Chick's self-described Raison d’Etre:

For too long environmental blogs have catered to men and moms. It was either diatribes about peak oil or recipes on how to make organic baby food. When all the rest of us want to know is: Where can I get a fair trade spanking paddle? Eco Chick can fill you in!

Eco Chick is a women's blog — but primarily in the sense that it's a smart, sassy green blog which happens to be written by smart and sassy women. There's a city vibe to the articles, and you're as likely to find something on alternative medicine as alternative energy.

A great read, with plenty of gyrl attitude.

ecorazzi

ecorazzi

ecorazzi describes itself as "the latest in green gossip," and that's just what you get.

Who are the celebrity environmental heroes? Who are the villains? Track every stray pronouncement on the environment by the likes of Leo DiCaprio, Daryl Hannah, Ed Begley Jr., and Al Gore. Fawn over George Clooney's newest all-electric vehicle. Cringe as John Travolta lectures average families about green living while he logs 30,000 hours a year in his personal fleet of private jets. It's all on ecorazzi.

It's People magazine for the green set — without all the wasted trees. A guilty pleasure you needn't feel too guilty about.

Frugal for Life

Frugal for Life

Of the Three Rs — reducereuse, and recycle — it's probably "reduce" that gets the least attention.

Enter Frugal for Life, your guide to simpler living. You'll find helpful hints on everything from cooking cheaply to tracking down free entertainment. We really appreciate Frugal for Life's emphasis on the practical.

Squash your junk mail. Make better brownies. Fix your cracked dishes. Drop Frugal for Life into your daily reading list — and simplify, simplify, simplify.

Green Options

Green Options
Green Options is a well-written, well-run "big box" green site that tries to cover all the bases.

With veteran Treehugger/Sustainablog blogger Jeff McIntire-Strasburg at the editorial helm, Green Options is a good place to keep track of what's going on in the green community. With assignment writers covering beats such as biofuels, green transportation, sustainable building practices, and alternative energy, you won't be missing important stories.

Green Options has a strong staff, a lot of passion for what they do, and a good sense for what's hot. A real winner, and a Lighter Footstep favorite.

Jetson Green

Jetson Green

Jetson Green is the best green building blog on the planet.

Preston Koerner was tracking eco-friendly, energy-saving construction techniques long before the mainstream press discovered green roofs and LEED certification. If you're interested in how homes and businesses are going to look five years from now, start following Jetson Green.

Preston's site is bursting with great resources: links, feature articles, videos and news. Whether you're interested in green skyscrapers or finding some way of trimming a little off your home energy bills, Jetson Green is a good place to start. Always informed, freshly updated and well-written.

Maria Energia

Maria Energia

If you follow Green Options, you're probably already acquainted with Maria Surma Manka.

She's GO's energy guru. From the hydrogen economy to solar power, Maria follows the path to clean, renewable power while demonstrating ample energy of her own.

You'll find more of Maria's work on Maria Energia, her personal site. Maria Energia highlights companies and innovations are moving us to a more secure energy future. In the best blogging tradition, Maria's writing is informed and concise. If you're interested in energy issues, you owe yourself a visit.

No Impact Man

No Impact Man

He's the guy who gave up toilet paper.

Ah — now you know him. Colin Beavan and his family live in the heart of New York City. Last February, they began a year-long quest to radically reduce their net environmental impact. Trying to live "off the grid" as much as possible — right in the middle of the city — Colin and family began to scale back their lives in stages. One of those stages jettisoned disposable paper products, including ... well, you know.

And that's what eventually caught the media's interest. Being the no-toilet paper guy is probably frustrating for Colin, but it draws eyeballs to his site, No Impact Man. The Beavan family is actually pushing the sustainability envelope pretty hard, and their successes and failures can help guide our own experiments.

The Sietch Blog

The Sietch Blog

First, a refresher on the vocabulary of Frank Herbert's Dune books: A sietch is a settlement on the desert planet Arrakis. Water is wealth there, and the communities are self-sufficient havens in a hostile world. A naib is a leader of the sietch. There — we've explained the title of the Sietch Blog and the pen name of its primary author.

Here's what is different about the Sietch Blog: The writing is substantial. Articles are really articles, not blog-length blurbs. There's thought and depth. The Naib conducts some great interviews with people who actually have something to say. There are very few fluffy pieces, product reviews or one-liners. The Sietch is quality stuff, even if you never managed to wade through the Dune trilogy.

Fabulous — and a great way to round out our list of nine green websites your should be reading.

Copyright Lighter Footstep 2009