Not all US cities are equally eco-friendly. If you are someone who is passionate about preserving nature and is looking to move to a more sustainable location, then this text is for you. We have come up with a list of some of the greenest and most environmentally-friendly cities in the United States, so read on if you want to find out if your city made it to our list.
Portland is very well-known for being in the top 1% when it comes to its sustainability and eco-friendliness. Most of its power comes from renewable energy sources. One of the largest energy efficiency projects has been converting their 45000 street lights to using LED bulbs. This has resulted in a 66% drop in energy use and their energy expenses have dropped by $1.5 million. Portland recovers more than 80% of its waste products through recycling and is on track to recover up to 90% by the year 2030. Additionally, there is a high level of awareness among its citizens, and locals support thrift stores, vegetarian food truck eats and restaurants that source food locally. To add to that, the majority of Portland’s energy comes from renewable sources, with 60% of the city’s waste being recycled.
Seattle has taken its green initiative very seriously. In 2013, the city initiated a Climate Action Plan with the goal of reducing carbon pollution from the transportation and building sectors. As a result, Seattle is one of the top five cities in the US where more than half of commuters carpool to work. But that is not all, more than half of the city’s waste gets recycled.
St. Paul, Minnesota
Although the state of Minnesota has increased its efforts by committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, St. Paul has taken environmentalism a step further by aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by that time. To achieve its goal, St. Paul has turned towards their biggest energy consumers whose energy use makes up most of its emissions – large buildings. As a result, the city now requires owners of these buildings to track and report their energy and water use.
With its 22.1 acres of city parks per 1000 residents, there is no wonder why Austin is among the greenest cities in the US. One of the best-known green havens in Austin is the Barton Creek Greenbelt, which includes 13 miles of trails and bike lanes. Another town that is emerging as a new contender on our list is Abilene, with its $2.4 billion renewable energy project, dubbed Artemis. This renewable energy data center will create new jobs and opportunities for residents of Abilene. Besides that, Abilene’s local community is very eco-friendly. From farmer’s markets, vegan restaurants, and a walkable downtown Abilene has become a refuge for nature-lovers. If you are someone who loves spending time outdoors, then look into Abilene apartments for rent, since this small town has a lot to offer.
The charming locals may be one of the perks of living in the state’s capital. But Atlanta is also renowned for being eco-friendly. Atlanta has spearheaded initiatives ranging from a program that educates city employees about energy consumption to an ordinance that ensures new buildings funded by the city are silver LEED-certified. It is also dotted with farmer’s markets, placing it third in the number of farmer’s markets per capita.
A biker’s paradise, Washington is well-known for its eco-friendly initiatives. A pioneer in America’s bike share movement – Capital Bikeshare. In this city, thousands of locals regularly choose to commute by bicycle rather than a car. Additionally, D.C. is in the top 2% of the country for LEED-certified buildings, with public schools leading the way in energy-efficient construction. .C has also invested in using wind and solar power to generate energy for residential buildings, which has helped push the city into the top 3% of the country for renewable energy.
Right next to Portland is Honolulu on the list of the greenest US cities. Honolulu’s residents are very eco-friendly, as well. Honolulu boasts numerous beaches, lush vegetation, and incredible volcanic landforms. It’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world. There is no wonder why its citizens want to preserve its natural resources and beauty. Moreover, it’s why many Americans choose to spend their vacation there and forget about their daily troubles.
On this list are just some of the top eco-friendly cities in the United States. If you could not find the name of your town, that does not mean that it is not green. Consider these cities if you are looking to move to a more sustainable location.
Author: Diana Smith