10 Greenest Cities in America

On July 15, 2011, in electricity, by admin

Across America, cities, towns and individuals have joined the movement to go green. Environmental awareness has brought some changes in how many of us live, work and consume. Based on criteria such as the percentage of households who recycle, commute via public transportation, and percentage of homes using solar power, let’s take a look at the ten cities whose green efforts lead the way:

  1. New York City – You may be surprised to know that the Big Apple tops the charts, but consider : over 13 million commuters make use of public transportation; NYC has made it the law to recycle, resulting in 68% participation. A plethora of bike lanes, huge strides in greenhouse gas reduction along with its Greener, Greater Buildings Plan.
  2. Las Vegas, NV – Over 30% of residents in Sin City think it’s a sin to ignore the environment, and a healthy 60% of them are recycling. Add to this an increasing use in solar energy, and you’ve got a lot of green among those neon lights.
  3. San Francisco, CA – Traditionally a leader in progressive movements, over one million of San Francisco’s citizenry use public transit and it ranks among the highest in recycling participation, at 75%. San Francisco was also the first U.S. City to ban plastic shopping bags.
  4. Washington, D.C. – Along with a sizable portion of its citizens riding public transportation, the nation’s capital ranks highly based upon its walkability factor: the Brookings Institute rated Washington, D.C. The number one most walkable city; and 96% of its population live within walking distance of public transportation.
  5. Chicago, IL – As a leader in the push for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Chicago has made use of a innovative design feature known as the “green roof”.  A green roof is a landscaped rooftop which cleans and gathers rain water, insulates, increases air quality, and lowers urban heat island effect.
  6. Boston, MA – Leading the way on the East coast, Boston is rapidly developing a lesser dependency on nonrenewable energy sources. Wind energy is now one of Boston’s top three energy sources.
  7. Portland, OR – Portland’s innovations in public transit, such as an aerial tramway and free plug-in parking spaces for electric vehicles are just one part of its decades-long dedication to environmental friendliness. Portland also boasts over 70% recycling participation among its citizens.
  8. Colorado Springs, CO – Its growing use of bio-diesel and solar energy help to make Colorado Springs one of America’s greenest cities. Over 2,000 of its city vehicles are currently fueled by bio-diesel.
  9. Seattle, WA – Like its West Coast cousin city Portland, Seattle has been a long-standing pioneer in environmental awareness and gets 90% of its energy via hydroelectric power, one of the cleanest sources currently available – as well as renewable.
  10. Denver, CO – In 1997, Denver made it their goal to reduce water consumption by 22% by the year 2050. They’ve made so much progress with that initiative that they have moved the target year up to 2016.
 

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