These Are the 10 Greenest Cities in America

April 18, 2019

If you’re looking for an environmentally-friendly area to live, and to celebrate Earth Day, go west!

A recent study has found that nine out of the top ten greenest cities in the United States are on the West Coast, with six of those in California alone.

To obtain the findings, personal finance website WalletHub compared the 100 most populous American metropolitan areas across four main areas: environment, transportation, energy sources and lifestyles.

Those dimensions were further broken down into 26 “green” metrics such as: air quality, greenhouse-gas emissions, overall green space, water quality, commute time to work, walkability, farmers markets and the availability of “green” job opportunities.

Coming in at the top of the list, with its mild year-long weather and pristine beaches, was San Diego. The city was also bolstered by its Climate Action Plan, which looks to eliminate half of all greenhouse gas emissions and have all electricity come from renewable sources by 2035.

With the most farmers markets per capita, San Francisco follows close behind at number two. The lone non-West Coast entry in the top 10 goes to the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., which lands in the third spot.  The Real Housewives of Orange County have something to agree on with Irvine, CA in fourth place. And environmentalists can start singing “Do you Know the Way to San Jose” as the Silicon Valley city is fifth on the list.

The research indicates that living in an environmentally-conscious area has many benefits.

"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, according to many experts," the report said. "Recognizing those advantages, cities across the U.S. have increased their sustainability efforts and benefited economically."

The full top 10 is:

1. San Diego, CA
2. San Francisco, CA
3. Washington, D.C.
4. Irvine, CA
5. San Jose, CA
6. Honolulu, HI
7. Fremont, CA
8. Seattle, WA
9. Sacramento, CA
10. Portland, OR

The country’s largest city didn’t fare so bad considering its concrete jungle reputation, as New York City 21st on the list. In addition to having the lowest percentage of commuters who drive, the Big Apple also had the highest walkability score.

At the bottom of the list were Memphis, TN, Toledo, OH, St. Louis, MO,  Corpus Christi, TX, and in dead last was Baton Rouge, LA. 

For now, those areas will have to settle for being green with envy.