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Top 10 Greenest Cities in the US

The green lifestyle has been a concept for generations. With global warming and climate change being key issues in today’s world, the prospect of sustainable and eco-friendly living has been thrust to

The green lifestyle has been a concept for generations. With global warming and climate change being key issues in today’s world, the prospect of sustainable and eco-friendly living has been thrust to the forefront of many city’s goals and plans. Numerous initiatives and agencies have been implemented to reduce the carbon footprint of the United States’ towns and suburbs. Hopefully (sooner, rather than later) every city will be environmentally conscious some day, because the way that today’s society is living is simply not sustainable in the long run.

Many lists will have different results when comparing the greenness of America’s cities, but some places are consistently on every list because they are the innovative leaders in sustainable living, research and education. The goal is for cities to extract and use their resources in the most sustainable way, without creating waste, and without impacting the earth’s environment.

Although there is no specific, “official” ranking of America’s greenest cities, there are some key factors to consider when measuring the environmental sustainability of a given city. Some of these include: The efficiency of waste-management and recycling, the number of LEED-certified buildings in a city, the amount of green and open space, the use of wind, solar and hydrogen power, the access to organic, sustainable food and produce, clean transit, greenhouse gas emissions, and air and water quality. These are cities that score highly in all of these categories.

10 Austin, Texas

9 Cambridge, Massachusetts

8 Berkeley, California

7 Denver, Colorado

6 Eugene, Oregon

5 Boston, Massachusetts

4 Oakland, California

3 Seattle, Washington

2 San Francisco, California

1 Portland, Oregon

The beautiful city of Portland earns our top spot. The city’s recycling rates are at a country-high 60%, and Portland has the largest wooden park (within city limits) in the nation. Portland is the most sustainable city in the country. The city is constantly on the forefront of environmental technology, recently studying how to generate electricity through wave-power and buoys off their coast. With almost 200 miles of bike lanes and paths, a quarter of the city’s workforce commutes by bike or public transit. With its eco-friendly city design and development of green buildings, its supply of local food, reduction of waste, programs to fight climate change and pollution, and environmental and sustainable research, it is no wonder that Portland is the greenest city in the US.

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Top 10 Greenest Cities in the US