Quantcast

Top 10 Greenest Cities in America

Popular
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.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

orientalizing / Flickr

The Parties to CITES agreed to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today at the World Wildlife Conference or CoP18 in Geneva. Such protections will ensure that all giraffe parts trade were legally acquired and not sourced from the poached giraffes trade and will require countries to make non-detriment findings before allowing giraffe exports. The listing will also enable the collection of international trade data for giraffes that might justify greater protections at both CITES and other venues in the future.

Read More Show Less

The WHO stressed that more research is needed on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion. luchschen / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The UN's health agency on Thursday said that microplastics contained in drinking water posed a "low" risk at their current levels.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) — in its first report on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion — also stressed more research was needed to reassure consumers.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro is giving President Trump a run for his money in the alternative facts department.

Read More Show Less
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee delivered his 2019 State of the State address on Jan. 15. Governor Jay and First Lady Trudi Inslee / Flickr

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who made solving the climate crisis the center of his presidential campaign, is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic primary race.

Read More Show Less
Earthjustice

By Robert Valencia

In April 2018, Afro-Colombian activist Francia Márquez won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, thanks to her work to retake her community's ancestral territories from illegal gold mining. However, her international recognition comes at a very risky price.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Stuart Braun

A year after activist Greta Thunberg first stood in the rain outside the Swedish parliament with her now iconic "Skolstrejk för klimatet" — school strike for the climate — placard, the movement she spawned has set the tone for environmental protest action around the world.

Read More Show Less
Bruno Vincent / Staff / Getty Images

Toy maker Hasbro wants to play in the eco-packaging game. The board game giant will ditch its plastic packaging by 2022. The move means that games like Monopoly, Scrabble and Operation will no longer have shrink wrap, window sheets, plastic bags or elastic bands, as the Associated Press reported.

Read More Show Less
Vaping impaired the circulatory systems of people in a new study. bulentumut / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Vaping one time — even without nicotine — can damage blood vessels, reduce blood flow and create dangerous toxins, according to a new study published in the journal Radiology.

Read More Show Less