The environmental movement is rising almost as fast as the rising cost of fossil fuel and the Internet is playing a major role. Environmentally-conscious consumers and the overall population are turning to social networks, online communities, niche-market websites and blogs for green products, hybrids, organically grown food and eco-tourism.

Just look at some of the numbers from Sarah Radwanick’s post, The Internet Goes Green:

TreeHugger.com, a popular green site, has seen visitation reach 515,000 people in March 2008, an 81% increase from March 2007.

Freecycle.org, site connects people in communities to exchange items they no longer need or want for free, gained 15% from the previous year to 322,000 visitors in March 2008.

(Reference: ComScore blog, The Internet Goes Green, by Sarah Radwanick)

Using comScore Marketer, a search intelligence tool, Sarah Radwanich investigated several green search terms and came up with the following:

Terms such as “ecotourism” and “climate change” have experienced large search query increases in the past year, with “ecotourism” growing 574% to 12,864 searches in February 2008 while “climate change” jumped 167% to 9,542 searches.

Searches for “hybrid cars” also gained (up 48% to 68,332 searches), while basic environmental word searches have also seen growth, including “recycle” (up 35% to 72,779 searches) and “pollution” (up 58% to 32,788 searches).

At AIM Custom Media, we’re seeing more interest in the environment as well. One of our new clients, Eco-Gardeners.com (a new blog by The Happy Gardener), provides articles and organic gardening tips for gardening enthusiasts. In addition, they offer a full-line of organic gardening products that are safe for children, kids and your kitchen table. Their business model also includes the opportunity for passionate gardeners, and/or savvy entrepreneurs, to start their own home businesses.

The Happy Gardener, has been featured in Women’s Day, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Prevention Magazine and the Richmond Times Dispatch (among others).

Annette Pelliccio, owner of The Happy Gardener, said,

“Everyone involved with our growing company is committed to helping families learn healthier methods to benefit the future of our communities and the environment.”

Going green to gold isn’t limited to gardening and numerous corporations are helping to drive the environmental moment. One book explains how, Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage (you can read the reviews on Amazon).

There are several articles on this topic. Here are a few more for those interested: