Being from the city of Grand Rapids, MI (about the only city left in Michigan that isn’t crumbling from economic downpour and a terrible housing market) I am very familiar with the idea of not only people, whole cities going green.
This is what our country will have to do in order to take steps to preserving our environment. Going green cannot only be targeted at individuals any more, the whole market must be targeted at communities and cities as a hole.
Cities with large populations have a huge effect on the health of our ecosystem. They can play a huge one the improvement of our air and water quality – especially since many big cities are located next to large water sources whether it is a lake or a river.
In the U.S.A., buildings account for 72% of electricity consumption and 39% of all energy use. That is a a very large number. A number so large, that with the right amount of planning and thinking ahead, steps can be taken to have a dramatic effect on the health of our ecosystems.
A green building rating system called LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is used to certify cities in being green and the cities can compete with other cities based on how many green building they have and the overall degree of their “greenness.”
The chart shows the cities that are the leaders in terms of the number of LEED buildings. If you are thinking about moving to one of these cities solely on the “greenness” of the area, consider the following 5 cities. Not only do these cities contain a number of LEED buildings, but they are making substantial strides in other areas to become more green.
|Cities||No. of LEED Buildings|
|San Francisco, CA||50|
|New York City, NY||46|
|Grand Rapids, MI||44|
|Los Angeles, CA||40|
One of the biggest cities in the nation is also one that is trying to make the biggest difference. The windy city has planted over a half a million new trees, and it has over two and a half million square feet of plant life supporting city roofs. When you say “going green,” Chicago takes it literally. Hopefully it will help reduce the smell that you get when walking on the sidewalks and going over sewers!
This is the smallest city on the list by a landslide, making it the greenest city pound for pound on the list. It is recognized as a leader in pursuing renewable energy sources by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Every person in Grand Rapids can make a huge contribution, which makes it a great city for those who are passionate about going green.
Fifty percent of the city is powered by renewable energy – a remarkable number. The city also does a great job of keeping it’s money inside the city walls and its has a thriving local farmers market. It has over 200 miles of bike lanes within it’s city limits, making for less fuel emissions from vehicles.
The city takes recycling to another level – starting with the root of it: Psychology. They have hired artists to do work around the city that inspire recycling. They also ban free plastic grocery bags at shopping centers, and had a plan in effect to cut landfill waste by 75 per cent by the end of 2010. It is also the solar energy leader in the U.S.A.
The Boston Celtics aren’t the only thing green in this city. The city has a “Green by 2015″ plan. In this plan the city will promote motor bikes for use of transportation, replace taxis with hybrid vehicles, and incorporate the use of solar panels. The city also plans to build a power plant that would be capable of turning fifty thousand tons of yard waste (clippings of grass and leaves) into usable power and fertilizer. It does this by using methane produced by anaerobic bacteria to power generators.
This article was written by Laura Zanskey. Laura helps to run and maintain www.youreviewelectronics.com which is a web site that gives Vizio reviews.