The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
San Diegans, pat yourselves on the back. Your city was ranked as 2018's "greenest city" in the U.S., beating out perennially crunchy San Franciscans by less than a point, according to WalletHub's calculations.
In a report released this week, the personal finance website compared the 100 most populated U.S. cities across 26 key "green" indicators, from greenhouse gas emissions per capita to share of electricity from renewable sources. Even the number of farmers markets and green job opportunities were considered.
In fact, six Californian cities made it to the top 10. The world's fifth largest economy has emerged as one of the nation's environmental leaders. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law in September requiring that 100 percent of the state's electricity come from renewable sources by 2045, making it the second state after Hawaii to set such a mandate.
These are the greenest cities in the U.S., according to WalletHub:
1. San Diego, CA
2. San Francisco, CA
3. Washington, DC
4. Irvine, CA
5. San Jose, CA
6. Honolulu, HI
7. Fremont, CA
8. Seattle, WA
9. Sacramento, CA
10. Portland, OR
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer celebrated the No. 1 ranking, tweeting on Thursday that the city stands apart thanks to its Climate Action Plan that calls for eliminating half of all greenhouse gas emissions and aims for all electricity used in the city to be from renewable sources by 2035.
These 10 cities at the ranked at the bottom of the list:
91. Gilbert, AZ
92. Cleveland, OH
93. Mesa, AZ
94. Lexington, KY
95. Detroit, MI
96. Memphis, TN
97. Toledo, OH
98. St. Louis, MO
99. Corpus Christi, TX
100. Baton Rouge, LA
WalletHub said that being environmentally conscious comes with a number of benefits.
"Apart from employing Americans, clean energy and other 'green' practices, such as recycling programs and urban agriculture, benefit the environment and public health, all of which contribute to America's bottom line, according to many experts," the report said. "Recognizing those advantages, cities across the U.S. have increased their sustainability efforts and benefited economically."
Here are some other key findings from the report:
- Lubbock, Texas, has the lowest median air-quality index, 25, which is four times lower than in Riverside and San Bernardino, California, the cities with the highest at 99 (Lowest index = Best).
- Fremont, California, has the most green space, 37.25 percent, which is 24.5 times more than in Hialeah, Florida, the city with the least at 1.52 percent.
- 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), 0.1216, which is 64 times more than in Newark, New Jersey, the city with the fewest at 0.0019.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Simon Evans
During the three months of July, August and September, renewables generated an estimated total of 29.5 terawatt hours (TWh), compared with just 29.1TWh from fossil fuels, the analysis shows.
By Will Sarni
It is far too easy to view scarcity and poor quality of water as issues solely affecting emerging economies. While the images of women and children fetching water in Africa and a lack of access to water in India are deeply disturbing, this is not the complete picture.
- Mice exposed to nicotine-containing e-cigarette vapor developed lung cancer within a year.
- More research is needed to know what this means for people who vape.
- Other research has shown that vaping can cause damage to lung tissue.
A new study found that long-term exposure to nicotine-containing e-cigarette vapor increases the risk of cancer in mice.
Six months: That's how much time Mexico now has to report on its progress to save the critically endangered vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus) from extinction.
It may seem innocuous to flush a Q-tip down the toilet, but those bits of plastic have been washing up on beaches and pose a threat to the birds, turtles and marine life that call those beaches home. The scourge of plastic "nurdles," as they are called, has pushed Scotland to implement a complete ban on the sale and manufacture of plastic-stemmed cotton swabs, as the BBC reported.
By Tim Radford
Scientists in the U.S. have added a new dimension to the growing hazard of extreme heat. As global average temperatures rise, so do the frequency, duration and intensity of heatwaves.