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mass transit systems
curbside recycling
recyclable items
Green Cities: Who Lives The Greenest In The US?
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When it comes to green living, some cities just do it better than others. Some places have excellent recycling programs and incentives to use them. Some cities make mass transit or alternative transportation easier to use. And some cities just make good eco-choices seem like second nature.

From the schools, to restaurants and other businesses, these cities don’t just tout green living, they encourage and live it. The governments lead by example, and everyone does there part. But where are the greenest cities and what earns them this title?

To qualify as a green city, an area must actively involve its citizenry in ecological concerns from the small to the large, from the bottom to the top. Check for some of these programs in your area:

1. Curbside recycling/single stream recycling. Areas that are going green offer recycling bins that are clearly marked for recycling. Single stream recycling takes the process and makes it that much easier to do by eliminating the need to sort and separate your recyclable items.

2. Mass transit systems, carpool lanes and advantages and alternative transport encouragement. A green city will not only have a well maintained, well scheduled bus line, but other forms of mass transit as well. They will also offer discounts for drivers who participate in carpools, and make sure that bike rakes are available in multiple locations. Having a bike lane or path that is handy to major areas of the city is also a welcome idea.

3. Business level recycling. It is disheartening for the average green family to go to a restaurant and find that nothing is ever recycled there and that even the most basic eco-friendly concepts are not put into place. A green city is one that promotes conservation at every level throughout.

4. Finally, a green city should promote ecological education throughout every level of its schools. Kindergartners can learn the easiest of eco-tips, from turning off lights when they are not in the room to turning off the water when they brush their teeth. If you teach them while they are young, they will grow up being more eco-conscious.

And now, the top ten green cities as defined by Country Home in 2008:

1. Corvalis, OR

2.Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR

3. Bellingham, WA

4.Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA

5. Boulder, CO

6. Eugene-Springfield, OR

7. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA

8. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN

9. Bend, OR

10. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria, CA

Street Talk


I just read a report that said Seattle has plans to be 100% carbon neutral by 2050. Hopefully more cities follow suit.

  about 1 decade ago
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