Best Eco-Friendly Cities to Visit in North America

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Eco-friendly is the new way to be for cities across North America. Tourists seek out eco-friendly cities as places to see modern, green culture and admire the preserved wildlife and green-space areas. Surprisingly, some of the biggest, most populated cities in North America are also the ones that surpass the rest in environmentally-friendly practices.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco is rated the top environmentally-conscious city in North America. With over 860,000 people living in its city and being one of the top tourist cities in the continent, its dedication to waste management, conservation, and sustainability are remarkable.

Many of the San Francisco buses are zero emissions and, by the year 2020, all will switch to hybrid diesel. Its other public transportation and ride share cars consists of hundreds of cleaner-air vehicles. San Francisco is also attempting to become the first city to live waste-free by 2020, thanks to its laws banning plastic bags, mandating recycling, and strongly recommending composting.

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    Area & Wildlife Conservation

    The San Francisco Bay Area has been protecting its wildlife strongly since 1997 in the face of an expanding population that threatens it. It currently protects 35 endangered species and is focusing its efforts on preserving the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that many of the California fish populations call home.

    The Bay Area’s Open Space Council also oversees the protection of beloved green space in the area. By 2025, the Council hopes to preserve its two million acres of farmlands, parks, and trails for continuous sustainability for the area.

    Austin, Texas

    With close to 950,000 inhabitants, Austin, Texas is not only one of the most populated cities in North America, but also one of the eco-friendliest. Austin is known for its beautiful parks and lakes, bringing in tourists from all over the world. Austin’s founders, fortunately, began conservation tactics from the beginning of its development, leading to its current sustainability.

    Austin developed the Green City Initiative to help protect the city’s beloved environment by conserving energy, reducing vehicle emissions, and placing more trees along streets.

    Area & Wildlife Conservation

    Austin is developing a program that will help homeowners and public land owners create and preserve natural habitats to aid in the preservation of wildlife. The city has also purchased more than 32,000 acres of parks and wildlife areas to ensure no harm to endangered species.

    New York City, New York

    Even though its population is one of the largest in North America, New York City has the lowest percentage of commuters who drive out of any city in North America. NYC’s Green Infrastructure Program helps the city commit to eco-friendly practices, like creating green roofs, rain gardens, and proper water drainage along streets and sidewalks.

    Area & Wildlife Conservation

    The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation created the Forever Wild Program, which protects almost 9,000 acres of wildlife and natural habitats. The initiative seeks to make New York City one of the eco-friendliest areas for nature to thrive, sustainability for its population, and natural green space for its residents and tourists.

    Final Thought

    Although these cities have put excellent practices into place, there’s always room for improvement. The key to eco-friendly excellence is continuing to get residents involved, not because of law, but because of desire for a more sustainable future. Green cities must be dedicated to educating their residents on the importance of going green.

    Other cities in North America should take note, as sustainability is becoming the way for the future. By creating efforts to reduce waste, overhauling public transportation to reduce emissions, and engaging citizens in grass roots efforts, cities all over the continent can commit to going green.