Greenest Cities in America via Wallethub
With October being National Energy Awareness Month and 74 percent of Americans today supporting efforts to protect the environment, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s Greenest Cities in America.
To determine which cities promote an environmentally friendly lifestyle, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 100 largest cities across 20 key indicators of sustainability, ranging from “greenhouse-gas emissions per capita” to “number of smart-energy policies and initiatives.”
Greenest Cities – Best vs. Worst
- Honolulu has the lowest median air-quality index, 34, which is 2.9 times lower than in Riverside and San Bernardino, Calif., the cities with the highest, 97.
- Anchorage, Alaska, has the most green space, 84.2 percent, which is 63 times more than in North Las Vegas, Nev., the city with the least, 1.3 percent.
- Lubbock, Texas, has the lowest annual excess fuel consumption, 4 gallons per auto commuter, which is 9 times lower than in New York, Washington as well as Newark and Jersey City, N.J., the cities with the highest, each at 35 gallons per auto commuter.
- Minneapolis has the highest bike score, 81, which is 2.8 times higher than in Birmingham, Ala., the city with the lowest, 29.
- New York has the highest walk score, 89, which is 4.2 times higher than in Chesapeake, Va., the city with the lowest, 21.
- Honolulu has the most farmers markets per capita, 0.131, which is 69.7 times higher than in Newark, N.J., the city with the lowest, 0.002.
To view the full report and your city’s ranking, please visit:
Tree hugger or not, all humans have a responsibility to protect the planet. Fortunately, 74 percent of Americans agree with that statement today. The rest still worry that “going green” would cost the economy some serious green and result in major employment cuts.
On the contrary, “more jobs are created for each unit of electricity generated from renewable sources than from fossil fuels,” according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Moreover, the UCS points out that fossil-fuel technologies tend to be capital-intensive, whereas the renewable-energy industry is more labor-intensive. In 2015, for instance, the Solar Foundation reported that the solar industry created jobs nearly 20 times faster than the national rate.
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. Recognizing those advantages, cities across the U.S. have aligned their sustainability efforts with their economic goals and in turn have received handsome returns on such investments.
To determine the cities promoting an environmentally friendly lifestyle, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 100 largest cities across 20 key “green” indicators. Our data set ranges from “greenhouse-gas emissions per capita” to “number of smart-energy policies and initiatives.” Continue reading below for our findings, additional expert commentary and a full description of our methodology.