20 of the greenest cities in the nation
- Earning the title as the second city in the country to go entirely renewable, it gets all of its electricityâ€”plus someâ€”from the Greensburg Wind Farm.
- The town rebuilt every building according to LEED-Platinum standards.
- City Hall is a symbol for the townâ€™s green revival, as it incorporates solar panels, energy-efficient lights, and drought-resistant plants, along with various other sustainable elements.
A city surrounded by wildlife, Homer knows the importance of conservation. The city proudly sits along Kachemak Bay State Park, the stateâ€™s only wilderness park, and the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserveâ€”both of which are protected regions.
- Ecotourism is a major draw in this part of the state, from catching sight of grizzlies with a Scenic Bear Viewing guide to taking a wildlife photography tour through AK Adventures.
- In Homer, you can visit the stateâ€™s largest protected wildlife area, the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, and join an educational nature tour with the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies.
- The LEED-Silver-certified Homer Public Library does its part in limiting its stress on the environment by incorporating repurposed local building materials.
Key West, Florida
Itâ€™s easy to lower your carbon footprint in Key West, where practically everything is a short stroll or bike ride away. Tucked in the southernmost region of the U.S., this island city is famous for its sustainable fishing practices and plethora of ecotourism attractions.
- Key West has a number of organizations working together for the betterment of the coastal environment, from Keep Key West Beautiful to Green Living & Energy Education.
- The Green Room, Key West Floridaâ€™s World Famous Local Hub and Eco Pub is a small bar with a big commitment to the planet. Itâ€™s an eco-aware music venue, designed with upcycled resources, that serves organic cocktails, while offering a percentage of proceeds to local initiatives.
- Stay on the green path with reservations at The Banyan Resort, a certified Green Lodging Facility and member of the GLEE Green Business Program. Between its xeriscape that uses little to no irrigation and its energy-efficient appliances, this hotel is a major friend of the environment.
Greenville, South Carolina
Its eco-friendly sounding name may be a coincidence, but Greenville is very much dedicated to environmental activism. The city has more than 400 acres of parkland and a program called Bikeville, which encourages people to ditch their four wheels for two wheels.