2017 Greenest Cities in America – WalletHub Study

With October being National Energy Awareness Month and New York recently becoming the first city to unveil a plan that upholds the Paris Climate Agreement among nearly 250 cities that pledged to do so, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2017’s Greenest Cities in America.

To determine which cities promote a “green” lifestyle, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 22 key indicators of environmental friendliness and sustainability. The data set ranges from greenhouse-gas emissions per capita to green job opportunities per capita to number of smart-energy policies and initiatives.

Greenest Cities in America
1 San Francisco, CA 
2 San Diego, CA 
3 Fremont, CA 
4 Honolulu, HI
5 San Jose, CA
6 Washington, DC 
7 Sacramento, CA 
8 Irvine, CA 
9 Portland, OR 
10 Oakland, CA 

Least Greenest Cities in America
91 Oklahoma City, OK
92 Cleveland, OH
93 Lexington-Fayette, KY
94 Toledo, OH
95 Tulsa, OK
96 St. Petersburg, FL
97 Louisville, KY
98 Jacksonville, FL
99 Baton Rouge, LA
100 Corpus Christi, TX

Best vs. Worst
Lubbock, Texas, has the lowest median air-quality index, 21, which is 4.3 times lower than in Riverside and San Bernardino, California, the cities with the highest at 90.

Anchorage, Alaska, has the most green space, 84.2 percent, which is 56.1 times more than in Hialeah, Florida, the city with the least at 1.5 percent.

Lubbock, Texas, has the lowest annual excess fuel consumption, 4.1 gallons per auto commuter, which is 8.5 times lower than in New York, Washington, as well as Newark and Jersey City, New Jersey, the cities with the highest, each at 35 gallons per auto commuter.

New York has the highest walk score, 89, which is four times higher than in Chesapeake, Virginia, the city with the lowest at 22.

Honolulu has the most farmers markets (per square root of population), 0.1197, which is 63 times more than in Newark, New Jersey, the city with the fewest at 0.0019.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/most-least-green-cities/16246/

Ensia talks why we MUST protect 600,000 square miles that most people will never see!

WRITERJenny Woodman 

@JennyWoodman

Science writer and educator

October 3, 2017 — Much of what lay beneath the ship was a mystery. The edge of the continental shelf plummets more than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) somewhere in the vicinity of oceanographer Robert Ballard’s Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus, which was making its way to Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of San Francisco.

Photo Courtesy from Ensia and Rick Starr, CBNMS

October 3, 2017 — Much of what lay beneath the ship was a mystery. The edge of the continental shelf plummets more than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) somewhere in the vicinity of oceanographer Robert Ballard’s Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus, which was making its way to Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of San Francisco.

They say there are better maps of the moon and Mars than of Earth — some 70 percent of this planet’s surface is under water, and water disrupts radar signals needed to generate high-resolution maps. Most maps of the ocean floor have a resolution of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles), meaning only objects with about that diameter or larger are discernible.

The E/V Nautilus offers scientists, educators and others a chance to learn and share stories about marine ecosystems. Photo courtesy of OET/Nautilus Live

The 211-foot (64-meter) ship left port at 9 a.m. on August 6 on a nine-day mapping and exploration expedition with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to help resolve some of that mystery by sending remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs, down to identify new habitat areas and ocean floor topography. I joined the team as a science communication fellow funded by Ocean Exploration Trust, which owns and operates the E/V Nautilus.
As Ensia mentions at the beginning of the story:

They say there are better maps of the moon and Mars than of Earth — some 70 percent of this planet’s surface is under water, and water disrupts radar signals needed to generate high-resolution maps. Most maps of the ocean floor have a resolution of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles), meaning only objects with about that diameter or larger are discernible.

For the entire story on Ensia

Ideal Destinations for Eco-Conscious Adventurers

Millennials are always keen for green, but Earth Month gives added impetus for travelers to put their money where their mouth is and choose accommodations that actively embrace sustainability. With that in mind, here’s a sampling of lodging choices in top city and resort destinations that are perfect for an eco-conscious adventure:

 

In sync with the Adirondacks. From the felled trees used in its construction (all found on property) to its reuse of dying trees as mulch and in landscaping, just in timber Lake Placid’s Whiteface Lodge has demonstrated its environmental cred. The award-winning, all-suite resort is tucked into the High Peaks of Lake Placid, surrounded by the six-million-acre Adirondack Park, the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous U.S. 

In sync with the Adirondacks. From the felled trees used in its construction (all found on property) to its reuse of dying trees as mulch and in landscaping, just in timber Lake Placid’s Whiteface Lodge has demonstrated its environmental cred. The award-winning, all-suite resort is tucked into the High Peaks of Lake Placid, surrounded by the six-million-acre Adirondack Park, the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous U.S. Among the Lodge’s other green measures: eliminating 43,000 water bottles each year by installing water filters on kitchen faucets and filling bedside carafes with filtered water; saving 1,200 gallons of water daily with laundry measures; installing LED lights to save $95,627 over the next 15 years; and recycling soap for distribution to families in need. A partnership with Tesla Motors provides four stations that fully charge vehicles overnight.
Source: Whiteface Lodge

Among the Lodge’s other green measures: eliminating 43,000 water bottles each year by installing water filters on kitchen faucets and filling bedside carafes with filtered water; saving 1,200 gallons of water daily with laundry measures; installing LED lights to save $95,627 over the next 15 years; and recycling soap for distribution to families in need. A partnership with Tesla Motors provides four stations that fully charge vehicles overnight. 

· Green from the ground up at Element Boston Seaport. Located in Boston’s thriving Seaport District, Element Boston Seaport strives to give back to the Earth with sustainable design and amenities. Among the more innovative features: a stationary kinetic bike in the fitness center that challenges guests to power their personal electronics by putting pedal to the metal. Other eco-features include recycled tire flooring, bathroom amenity dispensers and filtered tap water to cut down on plastic waste, energy-efficient kitchen appliances, dual-flush toilets, in-room recycling bins, electric vehicle charging stations, and a complimentary Bikes-to-Borrow program that encourages guests to explore Boston without their vehicle.
Source: Element Boston

· 

Green from the ground up at Element Boston Seaport. Located in Boston’s thriving Seaport District, Element Boston Seaport strives to give back to the Earth with sustainable design and amenities. Among the more innovative features: a stationary kinetic bike in the fitness center that challenges guests to power their personal electronics by putting pedal to the metal. Other eco-features include recycled tire flooring, bathroom amenity dispensers and filtered tap water to cut down on plastic waste, energy-efficient kitchen appliances, dual-flush toilets, in-room recycling bins, electric vehicle charging stations, and a complimentary Bikes-to-Borrow program that encourages guests to explore Boston without their vehicle. 

· Loggerhead love at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa

. With the world’s third largest barrier reef just offshore, this all-suite resort on Florida’s Gold Coast is an eco-adventure destination in itself. Besides energy-saving measures on property (like power- and water-conserving appliances in suites and a water- and energy-saving linens program) the Palm Beach Marriott has focused its attention on protecting Florida’s turtle population. Three different resort initiatives benefit the nearby Loggerhead Marine Life Center. They include:

o Plush turtles in each suite available for purchase, with a percentage of sales going to the center.

o “For the Love of the Si Turtles” program at the award-winning SiSpa, donating 10 percent of sales from a 50-minute Signature Massage or Signature Facial.

o A Little Loggerhead overnight package featuring a private tour of the Loggerhead Marine Life Center, participation in its Adopt a Sea Turtle program, and a percentage of package proceeds donated to the center. 

Source: Sanctuary on the Camelback
Source: Sanctuary on the Camelback
 

A Sanctuary for monarchs and more. One of Scottsdale, Arizona’s leading resorts, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa works to preserve its surrounding desert environment with measures that include the use of low-flow toilets throughout the property, drought-tolerant plants, organic cleaning products and services, and a staff incentive program to encourage positive environmental practices. The resort’s in-room amenities, created exclusively for Sanctuary by Red Flower, are organic, cruelty-free, and made of sustainably sourced ingredients. 

In 2015, the resort also became a certified monarch butterfly habitat as a result of the increase in monarch butterflies in the Scottsdale area. 

Plant for the Planet at Sofitel New York. Guests of this midtown Manhattan luxury hotel can rest easy knowing that their stay helps small-scale Vermont farmers protect watershed health through tree plantings, thanks to Accor World Wide’s Plant for the Planet initiative. The hotel donates 50% of the utility and chemical savings from its guest room linen re-use program to the program. In addition, Sofitel New York estimates 600,000 gallons in annual water savings from its new, high-efficiency toilets and has reduced its daily waste by 44 percent with the installation of an innovative ORCA Digestive Machine that turns organic material into waste water, reducing landfill impact. 

Enjoy this view from 800 feet above sea level. The huckleberry-filled hill was enjoyed by both Robert Louis Stevenson and John Steinbeck.
Enjoy this view from 800 feet above sea level. The huckleberry-filled hill was enjoyed by both Robert Louis Stevenson and John Steinbeck.
 

Green on and off the course at Pebble Beach. The world-renowned golf courses of Pebble Beach Resorts are not only home to some of the game’s most legendary tournaments, they are eco gems as well. Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, and The Links at Spanish Bay are Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries, earning Pebble Beach a Green Resort Award from Golf Magazine and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am a Gold Certification for sustainable golf tournaments from the Council for Responsible Sport. Most recently, Pebble Beach Resorts won the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) 2017 Sustainability Award for Resource Efficiency, highlighting its water reclamation project and solar-powered golf maintenance facility. Off the course, the company takes seriously its role as an environmental steward of the Del Monte Forest and Monterey County coastline, sustainably managing its 5,300 acres for the enjoyment of future generations.

Maintained by a full-time staff of ecology, forestry, and native plant nursery workers, its nursery is capable of growing more than 50,000 native plants a year for revegetation and reforestation projects. Extensive retrofits and upgrades in recent years have reduced the resorts’ energy usage by 16% — saving 1.9 million pounds of carbon emissions.

Inviting sustainability home. The eco-travel trend and booming vacation home rental market converge in a pair of guilt-free retreats within InvitedHome’s exceptional luxury portfolio. The first of these two environmental all-stars, Upper East Retreat (Santa Barbara, California) has earned design awards for its redevelopment via deconstruction – salvaging as many pieces as possible from the original structure, and innovative features like operable trellis louvers that control light and air flow. Up to eight travelers can enjoy the four-bedroom home, which is within walking distance of the historic Santa Barbara Mission. White Cap Lodge (Breckenridge, Colorado) is a ski-in, ski-out gem that has been singled out with a “Best Sustainability” award by the Verdigris Group. Located in the sought-after Warriors Mark area, it features four bedrooms sleeping nine guests and modern amenities like a gourmet kitchen, outdoor hot tub, cozy gas fireplace, and sweeping views from every balcony.

Renowned Photographer Joel Sartore Travels the Globe to Create the Photo Ark

PBS' RARE: Creatures of the Photo Ark profiles renowned National Geographic photographer, author and conservationist Joel Sartore as he documents threatened species at zoos, in nature preserves and more for his long-running

PBS’ RARE: Creatures of the Photo Ark profiles renowned National Geographic photographer, author and conservationist Joel Sartore as he documents threatened species at zoos, in nature preserves and more for his long-running “Photo Ark” project. 
PBS' RARE: Creatures of the Photo Ark profiles renowned National Geographic photographer, author and conservationist Joel Sartore as he documents threatened species at zoos, in nature preserves and more for his long-running

Episode 2 – Premieres Tuesday, July 25 at 9/8C
Joel will go anywhere to add another rare species to the Photo Ark. He travels to Spain to photograph the Iberian lynx, once the rarest cat in the world. He gets a rare look inside a breeding center that teaches lynx how to hunt their main food source: rabbits. But scientists working in China might be too late in saving the Yangtze giant softshell turtle. With only three left in the world, Joel witnesses an attempt to artificially inseminate the last known female and keep this species from going extinct.

Joel will go anywhere to add another rare species to the Photo Ark. He travels to Spain to photograph the Iberian lynx, once the rarest cat in the world. He gets a rare look inside a breeding center that teaches lynx how to hunt their main food source: rabbits. But scientists working in China might be too late in saving the Yangtze giant softshell turtle. With only three left in the world, Joel witnesses an attempt to artificially inseminate the last known female and keep this species from going extinct.
Joel hates hiking, but in Cameroon, he has the opportunity to glimpse the Cross River gorilla in the wild. Little is known about the rarest great ape in the world and he gets close enough to nap in its nest. But the highlight of the trek is extracting beetles from cow dung – because every creature counts in the Photo Ark.

Press Release:

BOSTON, MA [June 28, 2017] – Renowned National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore is a natural-born storyteller. His Photo Ark project is a digital “collection” of the world’s mammals, fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles and insects, and the focus of RARE-Creatures of the Photo Ark. This captivating new three-part series, produced by WGBH Boston and premiering on PBS in Summer 2017, follows Sartore as he documents threatened species at zoos, in nature preserves, and more. Throughout RARE, scientists and naturalists reveal surprising and important information about why ensuring the future of these animals is so critical. Follow Sartore’s adventures at #RarePBS.

Author, conservationist and National Geographic Fellow, Sartore has traveled to nearly 40 countries to photograph 6,395 species for the Photo Ark to date, including 576 amphibians, 1,839 birds, 716 fish, 1,123 invertebrates, 896 mammals, and 1,245 reptiles in captivity. When complete the Photo Ark will be one of the most comprehensive records of the world’s biodiversity. Through RARE, audiences can journey with Sartore across the globe—to Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania—to chronicle his experiences
RARE-Creatures of the Photo Ark premieres on consecutive Tuesdays—on July 18, July 25 and August 1—at 9 pm ET/8c on PBS.

Author, conservationist and National Geographic Fellow, Sartore has traveled to nearly 40 countries to photograph 6,395 species for the Photo Ark to date, including 576 amphibians, 1,839 birds, 716 fish, 1,123 invertebrates, 896 mammals, and 1,245 reptiles in captivity. When complete the Photo Ark will be one of the most comprehensive records of the world’s biodiversity. Through RARE, audiences can journey with Sartore across the globe—to Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania—to chronicle his experiences. 

“Viewers will see the spectacular variety and beauty of these animals, large and small, whose lives are intertwined with ours,” said John Bredar, executive producer of RARE and VP of National Programming for WGBH. “The loss of biodiversity exacts a toll on all our lives.” 

But there are also losses: at the Dvur Kralove Zoo near Prague, in one of RARE’s most emotional moments, Sartore’s camera records a northern white rhino—a very old female and, at the time, one of only five left in the world. Now, only three remain.
In the premiere episode of RARE, prankish semi-habituated lemurs playfully crawl over Sartore at Madagascar’s Lemur Island rehab center, during one of his easiest photography shoots. Others are more challenging: as no amount of tasty, tempting raw carrots can persuade a 500-pound, 150-year-old giant tortoise to stand on his mark or get ready for his close-up. Likewise, in Florida, a photo of an elusive bunny taking refuge near an active U.S. Navy airstrip has taken four years to procure for the Photo Ark. It’s all in a day’s work….

Sartore knows he is in a race against time. Sometimes he is able to photograph 30 to 40 species in a few days. Others are disappearing before he can get to them. RARE looks at factors driving extinction, including deforestation, rising sea levels, invasive species, pollution and human development, all impacting creatures essential to the world’s ecosystems.

“RARE provides audiences the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of an exceptional photographer with an extraordinary mission. We share Joel’s goal that through his photography and these films, people will be inspired to care while there is time,” says Laurie Donnelly, executive producer of RARE and director of Lifestyle Programming at WGBH, where she has overseen series such as I’ll Have What Phil’s Having and Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler. 

In the second hour, Sartore travels around the globe in pursuit of some of the rarest and most vulnerable creatures on earth—trying to capture these species for the Photo Ark before they go extinct. In China, he goes in search of the Yangtze giant softshell turtle, with just three left on the planet, and the South China tiger, which has not been seen in the wild for more than 30 years. In Spain, he photographs one of the rarest small cats, the Iberian lynx, whose numbers fell to fewer than a hundred 15 years ago, then he heads to Africa to the mountain rainforest of Cameroon to accompany scientists working on the frontlines to save the cross river gorilla, the rarest gorilla on earth.

In RARE’s final episode, Sartore treks up a mountain in New Zealand to photograph the rowi kiwi, accompanying a naturalist to rescue its egg successfully. Without this intervention, there is only a five percent chance of survivability for this rare flightless bird. 

But there are also losses: at the Dvur Kralove Zoo near Prague, in one of RARE’s most emotional moments, Sartore’s camera records a northern white rhino—a very old female and, at the time, one of only five left in the world. Now, only three remain.

Sartore likes photographing the smallest creatures for the Photo Ark because they’re often more important to the health of an ecosystem than the big ones, like the naked mole rat: blind, buck-toothed and hairless, it is also cancer-resistant—and scientists are researching why. And he has seen how photos can lead to change. His images of parrots in South America and koalas in Australia prompted local governments to protect them. In the U.S., coverage of the Photo Ark has helped to save the Florida grasshopper sparrow and the Salt Creek tiger beetle.  “Fifty percent of all animals are threatened with extinction, and it’s folly to think we can drive half of everything else to extinction but that people will be just fine,” says Sartore. “That’s why I created what’s now called the National Geographic Photo Ark. I hope seeing the images fills people with wonder and inspires them to want to protect these species.”
Sartore likes photographing the smallest creatures for the Photo Ark because they’re often more important to the health of an ecosystem than the big ones, like the naked mole rat: blind, buck-toothed and hairless, it is also cancer-resistant—and scientists are researching why. And he has seen how photos can lead to change. His images of parrots in South America and koalas in Australia prompted local governments to protect them. In the U.S., coverage of the Photo Ark has helped to save the Florida grasshopper sparrow and the Salt Creek tiger beetle.

“Fifty percent of all animals are threatened with extinction, and it’s folly to think we can drive half of everything else to extinction but that people will be just fine,” says Sartore. “That’s why I created what’s now called the National Geographic Photo Ark. I hope seeing the images fills people with wonder and inspires them to want to protect these species.”

RARE is premiering in conjunction with an ongoing initiative by National Geographic, which is showcasing the Photo Ark project throughout 2017 on multiple platforms, including exhibitions around the world, two new books and digital features. Learn more at NatGeoPhotoArk.org.

RARE—Creatures of the Photo Ark is a production of WGBH Boston and So World Media, LLC in association with National Geographic Channels. Executive producers are John Bredar and Laurie Donnelly. Series producer/writer: Stella Cha. Producer/director: Chun-Wei Yi. RARE is made possible with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Kendeda Fund, the Candis J. Stern Foundation and public television viewers.
RARE – Creatures of the Photo Ark is part of “PBS Summer of Adventure,” taking viewers and their families on an adventure around the world this season. The lineup of history, science and natural history programming includes the six-part series THE STORY OF CHINA, an exploration of China’s 4,000-year history featuring Michael Wood beginning June 20. The five-part program BIG PACIFIC, starting June 21, reveals the Pacific Ocean’s most guarded secrets. Following BIG PACIFIC on June 21, GREAT YELLOWSTONE THAW is a three-part series showcasing the stories of different animal families as they attempt to survive the toughest spring on Earth. On July 12, the three-part NATURE’S GREAT RACE explores the most astounding migrations on earth. WEEKEND IN HAVANA is a one-hour walking tour through Cuba on July 18. In WILD ALASKA LIVE, airing live over three nights beginning July 23, witness a must-see natural spectacle as thousands of the world’s wildest animals gather to take part in Alaska’s amazing summer feast. 

On August 2, IRELAND’S WILD COAST takes viewers on a one-hour journey along the island’s rugged Atlantic coast. Summer of Adventure will also include PBS KIDS programming, featuring three new one-hour specials: NATURE CAT: OCEAN COMMOTION (premieres June 19), WILD KRATTS ALASKA: HERO’S JOURNEY (premieres Monday, July 24.) and READY JET GO!: BACK TO BORTRON 7 (premieres August 14).

Sources: WGBH Boston  hearing or visual impairments. More info at , PBS

Previews & Scenes/Animals & Locations in episode: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/rare/episode/episode-2/

Episode 3 (series finale)- Premieres Tuesday, August 1 at 9/8c
In his 25 years as a National Geographic photographer, Joel Sartore has learned to never ignore the smaller creatures in our midst. Joel gets us up close with colorful and charismatic insects with faces and features usually found in sci-fi flicks, because “they help make the world go ‘round.” Joel also goes in search of larger animals. In the Czech Republic and in one of the series’ most poignant moments, Joel boards the rarest rhinoceros in the world onto the Photo Ark. Nabiré is one of only five of northern white rhinos left on the planet and it may be too late for her kind.

Joel’s got one more hike-he’d-rather-not-hike in him, this time in New Zealand where he tags along on a Rowi kiwi egg rescue. By taking and hatching these enormous kiwi eggs, scientists give these birds a fighting chance against unnatural predators. If they didn’t rescue the eggs, the species would go extinct.

Previews & Scenes/Animals & Locations in episode: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/rare/episode/episode-3/

How to Select a Green Lodge when Traveling, Part 1

You are a person who puts active thought into eco-practices at home, but what happens when you go on vacation? Do you ever wonder “Where Can I Find a ‘Green’ Hotel or B&B?” or “How Can I Tell the Difference Between an Authentic Eco Lodge and One That Is Not?” or “Is There a Reliable Directory I Can Use?” If you have asked those questions, you’re in good company. But the answers are surprisingly complicated.

Here’s the reality: there is no one universal authority or definitive tool that eco-conscious consumers can turn to for sourcing “green” vacation accommodations.


With hundreds of countries around the world – all with different government agencies, infrastructure, politics, regulations, and living standards – it is a most difficult task to devise a uniform platform.

In a pinch, that’s the bad news.

The good news is that the ecotourism industry is relatively young and evolving quickly. More consumers are demanding “eco-friendly” travel options, so there will be a response in kind from the industry. More information will become available via online directories and useful apps ready to download to your smart phone or tablet.——————————————————————————————————

Costa Rica is a top-ranked destination for “green” vacations. Click here to learn more about a jungle lodge and rafting adventures down the Pacuare River in Costa Rica – https://www.ecotourlinq.com/blog/spotlight-interview-with-rios-tropicales

Photo: Rafting on the Pacuare River  Photo credit: Rios Tropicales
Photo: Rafting on the Pacuare River Photo credit: Rios Tropicales

What does a green lodge look like? Well the facility can be any number of things – a working ranch or farm, a seaside hotel, a mountain inn, a jungle lodge (on the ground or in the trees), a small village B&B, a desert bunker, a campground, or a dormitory-style hostel. Frequently these accommodations will be located inside or near a national park or possibly a World Heritage Site.
Coming up in Part 2 – Tourism Bureaus and Ecotourism Associations

Guest Writer Bio: Deborah Regen is the publisher of a website directory and blog dedicated to consumer information about ecotourism and sustainable travel. She also sends out a free monthly e-newsletter to subscribers including notices of giveaways. https://www.EcoTourLinQ.com and her email = admin@ecotourlinq.com