“Green” living simply means to choose to take part in more sustainable, cleaner, habits to help to preserve our planet as much as possible. While the world’s greenest cities tend to be outside the North American continent in places like Stockholm, Copenhagen and Amsterdam, there are some U.S. cities that are making great efforts to change all that.
If you’re looking to make a move to a more eco-conscious city, these are some of the best for green living.
Real estate in Pittsburgh might be a great choice, as it’s not only more affordable than many areas, it’s often named among the top “livable cities,” with a commitment to bring awareness and change to an urban environment that was extensively damaged by neglect and irresponsible actions. Despite its history of air pollution, including smog and soot, it rebounded big time with the creation of its climate action plan. Today, nearly half the working population either carpools, bikes, walks, takes public transit or works from home.
Portland has long been near or at the top of lists of America’s greenest cities. The majority of the city’s energy comes from renewable sources and most of its waste is recycled too. There are strict eco-friendly standards new construction must meet, and it’s also one of the country’s most bike-friendly cities.
San Francisco, California
The Golden Gate City is right up there with Portland. It’s a hub of innovation when it comes to green building practices and it’s the place where one of the first environmental grass movements began. San Francisco is home to the Sierra Club and gave birth to the eating local trend.
In the East Bay of California, Fremont may be lesser-known but it’s often among the top rankings of green cities for its very high percentage of green parkland and its adoption of code in 2017 that requires solar panels on all new residential construction. It also boasts a high rate of electric vehicles with some of the most registered of any city in the state. This was one of the first places in the country to launch a “green challenge” as a beta platform so residents can figure out how to reduce energy use, through various efforts like switching out light bulbs to the best ways to cut carbon emissions.
Not only does Honolulu offer a wonderful tropical locale for enjoying the sand and the waves, it has the highest percentage of green space of any major city in the U.S. It produces more solar energy per capita than any other, while business owners have been creating advanced recycling programs and doing things like eliminating styrofoam and plastic bags.
If mountains are what you’re dreaming of, consider the Mile High City. Denver’s efficient energy policies have made a significant difference in creating a greener city. That includes an extended program that helps businesses plan a greener future as well as strong public participation in a green action plan that reduces energy use and costs.