Top Green Cities in the U.S.
As the ‘go green’ wave hit our country a while back, several cities and eco-conscious citizens started taking green initiatives with the aim of living in eco-friendly America. However, adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle is no easy feat. While many cities are crawling their way to the top, few of them have blazed the trails to rule the green movement.
The local government has shifted its focus on increasing sustainability and maintaining economic balance simultaneously. Reducing plastic pollution, using renewable energy, improving air and water quality, and controlling greenhouse gas emissions have emerged as the primary matters of concern.
Is Your City Eco-friendly?
Based on research conducted by Wallethub, here’s a comparison of 100 cities ranked from most to least eco-friendly (most = 1; least = 100). The findings are based on major green indicators including greenhouse gas emission, smart-energy policy, and green job opportunities offered.
Let’s find out how green is your city.
The Greenest Cities in America
San Diego, CA
Sustainability runs in the DNA of San Diegans. Leading the country at forefront of the eco-friendly campaign, the city aims to cut down its carbon footprint in half by 2035.
San Diego has been ranked #2 as a solar city in the nation and lauded as “Tree City USA” by Arbor Day Foundation. In fact, 307 trees were planted and 17212 trees maintained in 2018. Because there’s no such thing as ‘too many trees’.
With the aim to reduce congestion and encourage commuters to switch to alternative transportation, San Diego introduced FRED (Free Ride Everywhere Downtown) in 2016. The initiative offers free short trips to commuters in the downtown area in electric microtransit vehicles.
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco is hands down the greenest destination across the country. The moment you step into the city, you will get a glimpse of its green initiatives. San Francisco has more than 10,000 eco-friendly hotels and 60% of its taxis run on alternative fuels.
It is the first city in the USA to ban plastic bags and pave the way for its alternative – reusable bags.
When it comes to recycling waste, San Francisco has a record-breaking figure of 77%. Additionally, around 1.6 million tons of waste is diverted from landfills every year (that’s more than double the weight of Golden Gate Bridge).
Turns out Washington is not just the political capital of our country – it’s also the capital of sustainability! The city has received “platinum” certification in August 2018 under an internationally-recognized sustainability program, namely, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The program evaluated performance considering green criteria including energy usage, life quality, water consumption, waste management, and transportation.
In recent years, Washington has impressively managed to reduce carbon emissions to one-third. Moreover, water consumption has decreased by more than 13%, and 50% of the waste is being recycled.
Irvine is not only the wealthiest and safest but also one of the greenest cities in the country. The city offers zero-fee solar permits in order to encourage solar system installations in commercial and residential areas.
The city of Irvine has taken an initiative called ‘Irvine Build Green Program’ to encourage construction of environmentally sensitive buildings. The program involves building healthier developments in residential areas and business sectors. Additionally, it resolves to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and increase the use of renewable energy sources with a powerful 20-year energy plan.
San José, CA
The capital of Silicon Valley has taken notable strides towards building a green city in the past few years. As a matter of fact, the city of San José ranks among the highest in the country with a staggering 73% solid waste diversion rate.
Fostering the green initiative taken by local government, the eco-conscious citizens proudly reside in green buildings which occupy more than 6.7 million square feet area. Moreover, the city recycles around 10.6 million gallons of water on an average to the irrigation and industrial customers.
Honolulu definitely tops the list of fave island getaways. A vacation with endless adventures and living close to nature is almost bewitching for mainlanders. Living in this city even for a few days brings back the tourists on nature’s path.
There are many eco-friendly hotels in Honolulu to stay in. The restaurants, too, are ocean-friendly and support green initiatives like recycling, no plastic bags, and reusable silverware. Moreover, implementing solar panel to conserve renewable energy sources and construction of energy-efficient buildings are also widely promoted.
Did your city make it to the list? Tell us how your city is spearheading the green initiative. We’d love to hear your experience of sustainable living! Share with us in the comments section below.