The Most Sustainable Cities in the U.S.
Imagine getting an extra hour of sleep because traffic does not exist in your city. No exhaust from an engine getting in your way and your lungs. Just clean pure air circulating you at all times. Who wants to live in a city that’s on the verge of becoming a dystopian city pictured in most sci-fi movies? Definitely not me. Thanks to United Nations, a sustainable intergovernmental organization, is setting every sustainable goal you can think of to save the world. They are abating pollution one step at a time.
United Nations found out that 4.2 million people have passed away prematurely merely due to air pollution. No need to panic because other alternatives won’t lead to premature deaths. Below you will find cities that are committed to sustainability and living in a glow-green conscious.
Why Live in a Sustainable City?
There is nothing but benefits in a sustainable city. Your anxiety of dying prematurely because of pollution would be nonexistent once you settled in. Besides, there is more to look forward to than traffic-free roads and less pollution – which is quite an advantage. Some sustainable cities may have traffic with eco-friendly cars. As I go through some sustainable cities, I will point out the traffic-free cities!
A true explorer belongs in a sustainable city since sustainable cities strive to have as many parks and nature as possible. You can find yourself wandering in nature trails on your days off. You’ll also notice fewer crowds which also means little to no viruses and unwanted germs floating around. Besides living in a cleaner environment, there will be more local restaurants and businesses that flourish the economy without leaving that destructive carbon footprint.
The Top Sustainable Cities in the US
- Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu is more than just a vacation spot, of course. It is a sustainable city filled with many jobs in demand in Honolulu. Just check google for job opportunities! Just imagine going straight to the beach to meditate and to breathe air free of pollution.
Sustainability and less CO2 are key in Hawaii for many reasons, but primarily it is imperative for them. The education system in Hawaii implements the importance of sustainability and simple practices. The Univerisity of Hawaii practices growing sustainable foods. They rely on natural resources rather than depending on outside sources because their ancestors have passed down the importance of sustainability.
Constant dependency can cause a threat to their ecosystem, and scientists say climate change could trigger volcanic eruptions. Although, Hawaii’s volcanoes are not so much to worry about it since there is not so much lava in the volcano near the cities. Also, everyone is riding the wave of sustainability to prevent any calamity.
2. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
If you despise traffic, this is the place of your dreams! In South Florida, a simple 25-minute drive can somehow turn into 2 hours. Last year as a former FIU student, I was late to class because the morning rush hour unexpectedly went from the regular 45 minutes to more than 2 hours. During those long traffic hours, cars emit so much CO2 in one place. The longer the car is turned on, the more CO2 is released. In Florida, many cars need to undergo some kind of environmental inspection.
This city is known for its outdoorsy activities and nature trails. People with adventurous souls will feel at home here. Miamians experience a whole other level of oxygen once they step into Central Orland. Undoubtedly, this city will be even richer in oxygen with all the nature.
3. Madison, Wisconsin
Ready for another fact to throw at your next cocktail party? Here it is: the city of Madison, Wisconsin holds more bicycles than cars. Yes, actually it does! This is one of the reasons why this city is one of the most sustainable cities in the US.
The goal for this city is to keep great air quality and to overall reach every sustainable goal. If they haven’t reached every goal, they are definitely close to it. With more than 200 miles of nature trails, they are bound to have fine air quality unless humanity takes a toll on it. Eco-conscious people won’t let that happen. However, we will pick up the careless mess if we have to.
4. Portland, Oregon
Want to chase waterfalls? Oregan is your place! The mountains covered in raw vegetation will leave you purified. On top of the exquisite nature, this executes a plethora of sustainable goals. Most of their energy comes from renewable sources. To add, their homes are consciously built in an eco-friendly way as well.
As a first-time buyer, I am looking for a home that is eco-consciously built or at least a home that has been owned before. Good to know that some of the homes are sustainably built these days!
5. Denver, Colorado
As I casually walk in my community, I see a sign on the grass that interrupts my flow that says, “Caution: Pesticide Application.” I almost hold my breath as I pass by those signs. In Denver, that’s a sign you may never bump into since they don’t use pesticides in their local parks. So, that itch we got from grass may just be pesticide application. That’s my theory. I hope that one day Florida and this whole planet will be pesticide-free.
Denver is also committed to planting one million trees by 2025 to increase air quality. Then by 2050, their goal is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent. United Nations may want this goal by 2030, but all we can do is do our part and hope for the best.
Get Inspired By
During the war Yemen was facing, life seemed far livable. The water sources were scarce and contaminated. Moreover, the lack of sustainable energy was an issue as well. The ongoing war has made the situation worse. With the help of the United Nations, there was an improvement by removing anything that would leave too much of a carbon footprint. “The objective of the intervention was to support displaced marginalized, youths and women to establish decentralized solar energy systems to improve access, employability skills, stable income, and self-confidence. The distinguishing feature of the intervention is to make solar energy accessible and affordable to all,” Arvind Kumar from United Nations.
We must keep moving forward no matter how impossible things look like in your current circumstance or in the world’s circumstance. If we give up, things will exacerbate. If cancer survivors can regain health, I am sure Earth can heal itself. We all must be the caretakers and nurses of Earth. We should all have a part in this.
My Two Cents
The cities above are the top sustainable cities in the US because they have reached more Sustainable Development Goals, but other cities and people are doing what needs to be done. Don’t give up because it all adds up. Do it for you and the planet. For example, if you are a mayor, look into the reasons why the cities above are mentioned here and implement them into your city. For example, New York was one of the first cities in the US to practice sustainability, but it is taking them a while to ace all goals. Without a doubt, they will get there. We all will.
Check out this article if interested in Traveling Sustainably!