Top 5 Eco-Friendly Cities

Going green isn't just a fad anymore, it's a responsible part of living to help cultivate humankind's relationship with nature. If you're looking to visit or perhaps move to a new place that prides itself on eco-friendly living, there are numerous cities throughout the country geared towards reducing their carbon footprint. Here's just a few of the best.

Austin, Texas

The "Live Music Capital of the World" has more than great musical talent. It's also one of the greenest cities in the world. Recently, the city implemented the Green City Initiative, which partners the city government with residents to preserve and protect Austin's environment. This initiative made Austin one of the 15 greenest cities in the world according to the International Council for Local Environment Initiatives. When coupled with the city's extensive park and city beautification acts, Austin is the place to be.

Eugene, Oregon

Also known as the "Green City" because of its natural beauty, Eugene is home to a number of projects to preserve the city's environment. The city started the Green Buildings Program, which provides tax benefits to contractors who create energy efficient buildings, contributes to environmental efforts, and makes healthy indoor living and working areas. The city also has miles of bike routes, allowing people to travel for business or pleasure without contributing to smog. The beauty of the city and its large number of outdoor recreational activities make Eugene one of the best places to live in the country.

Charleston, South Carolina

One of the most beautiful architectural cities in the South, Charleston has done its best to continue to preserve the environment as well. In 2010, Charleston started the Green Plan, which aimed to curb any unnecessary pollution in the city. The plan outlines ideas to create better buildings, which in turn leads to more sustainable communities. It also calls for the use of clean energy such as wind and solar power and improves transportation by creating bike paths, accessible public transportation, and greater walkability.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis has always been a leader in sustainability and city beautification. This is partly due to a statewide act called Minnesota GreenStep Cities, which provides cities with ideas on how to achieve sustainability. The city is widely known for its extensive park system, which also hosts activities such as movie nights and festivals during the summer months. They also have nearly 100 miles of bike trails for people to exercise or get to work without producing carbon emissions.

Savannah, Georgia

The scenic and historic city of Savannah is also one of the greenest in the country, recently ranked number two in a list of the 100 greenest cities in the country by Time Magazine. This is due to its pristine, movie-worthy parks, tree-lined avenues, and clean air initiatives. It also has one of the best farmer's markets in the country, giving residents access to fresh, organic produce.
These are just a few of the green cities throughout the United States. As the need to lessen emissions and improve conservation efforts further, more cities will undoubtedly take the necessary steps to achieve a greener plan for their citizens.

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