The study assessed the amount of greenhouse-gas emissions per capita to smart-energy policies and initiatives.


From taking public transportation to using reusable shopping bags, there are a number of easy ways to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly existence. If you happen to live in one of the following 25 cities, your carbon footprint may be even less than you previously thought. A new report from WalletHub ranked the greenest cities across America, assessing factors like a locale's greenhouse-gas emission per capita, the number of smart-energy policies and initiatives, and green job opportunities. The top spot went to San Francisco, California, which had the second-highest number of farmers' markets per capita, the second-highest bike score, and the fourth-lowest percentage of commuters who drive.

San Francisco
Credit: Jake Stangel

The study also assessed cities on more than two dozen key indicators across four different categories including air-quality, availability of green spaces, fuel consumption, and smart-energy policies. These metrics included how easy it is to get around sustainably, as well as the number of farmers' markets, community garden plots, and "green" job opportunities.

Nine out of ten of the top 10 greenest cities were on the West Coast, including San Diego, California; Irvine, California; San Jose, California; Seattle, Washington; Fremont, California; Sacramento, California; Portland, Oregon; and Oakland, California. The lowest ranking green cities assessed were Toledo, Ohio; Corpus Christi, Texas; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

WalletHub did not assess recycling in each city. "Although recycling is vital to the sustainability efforts of each city, the types and sizes of recycling facilities vary widely by city. We, therefore, were unable to include—due to the lack of comparable city-level data—metrics that either measure the availability of recycling programs or the amount of waste recycled in each city," researchers wrote in their report.

To read WalletHub's full report on the greenest cities in America, click here.


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