Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Top 10 Greenest Cities in America

Popular
Top 10 Greenest Cities in America
Del Mar, a beach city in San Diego. atramos / CC BY 2.0

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.


Source: WalletHub

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.

Climate Group

Every September for the past 11 years, non-profit the Climate Group has hosted Climate Week NYC, a chance for business, government, activist and community leaders to come together and discuss solutions to the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A field of sunflowers near the Mehrum coal-fired power station, wind turbines and high-voltage lines in the Peine district of Germany on Aug. 3, 2020. Julian Stratenschulte / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Elliot Douglas

The coronavirus pandemic has altered economic priorities for governments around the world. But as wildfires tear up the west coast of the United States and Europe reels after one of its hottest summers on record, tackling climate change remains at the forefront of economic policy.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Monarch butterflies in Mexico's Oyamel forest in Michoacan, Mexico after migrating from Canada. Luis Acosta / AFP / Getty Images

By D. André Green II

One of nature's epic events is underway: Monarch butterflies' fall migration. Departing from all across the United States and Canada, the butterflies travel up to 2,500 miles to cluster at the same locations in Mexico or along the Pacific Coast where their great-grandparents spent the previous winter.

Read More Show Less
The 30th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony on Sept. 17 introduced ten new Ig Nobel Prize winners, each intended to make people "laugh then think." Improbable Research / YouTube

The annual Ig Nobel prizes were awarded Thursday by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research for scientific experiments that seem somewhat absurd, but are also thought-provoking. This was the 30th year the awards have been presented, but the first time they were not presented at Harvard University. Instead, they were delivered in a 75-minute pre-recorded ceremony.

Read More Show Less
Solar geoengineering would involve injecting reflective aerosols from high-altitude planes into the layer of the upper atmosphere known as the stratosphere to reduce the amount of heat trapped by greenhouse gases. namoliang / Pixabay

By Betsy Mason

For decades, climate scientist David Keith of Harvard University has been trying to get people to take his research seriously. He's a pioneer in the field of geoengineering, which aims to combat climate change through a range of technological fixes. Over the years, ideas have included sprinkling iron in the ocean to stimulate plankton to suck up more carbon from the atmosphere or capturing carbon straight out of the air.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch