EarthTalk: The Greenest Cities in America


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Boston is the first city in the nation to require a green building standard through municipal zoning requirements. By amending Article 37 of the municipal zoning code, the City requires that all large-scale projects meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification standards, like the North Shore Community College, Health Professions | Student Services Building.

Dear EarthTalk: Which are the greenest American cities, and why? — D. Hansen, Wichita, KS

Which American city is the greenest depends on who you ask. Every year dozens of publications and websites release their own assessments of which cities have the most environmentally conscious citizenry, the highest percentage of recycling or the lowest carbon footprint per capita. Portland, Oregon, Seattle and San Francisco are often top contenders, but some of the other leading choices may be a surprise.


The Daily Beast based a recent round-up of greenest U.S. cities on data collected by market research firm Experian Simmons, which has been tracking the greening of the nation for half a century. Researchers polled thousands of Americans to find out what percentage in different geographic regions think and act in an eco-conscious way versus what percentage do not, as well as what percentage make a conscious effort to recycle. The company also tracked the number of public transit trips per capita and the percentage of households that use solar heating by region. Honolulu, most likely by virtue of the fact that one percent of homes there utilize solar power, came out on top. New York, with more than double the amount of public transit ridership per capita than any other U.S. city, is #2, followed by San Francisco, Seattle and Boston.


Meanwhile, the website Ecosalon looked at similar types of data and drew different conclusions, finding San Francisco to be the greenest. Ecosalon was especially impressed by San Franciscans routinely voting for aggressive green programs (like banning plastic grocery bags and financing renewable energy sources for public facilities) and by the fact that the city diverts 70 percent of its waste, thanks to mandatory recycling and composting. To top it off, nearly half of all San Franciscans bike, walk or take public transit every day — and the city is on track to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels this year. Ecosalon ranks Portland, Oregon second, followed by Seattle, Chicago and New York.


In another ranking, Canadian research company Corporate Knights granted Portland, San Francisco and Seattle a three-way tie for America’s greenest city. Denver ranked #4 while Albuquerque, Charlotte (NC) and Oakland tied at fifth. “Unlike other city-sustainability rankings, this ranking focuses on the effort cities are making rather than on their results, which could take years to achieve,” reported Kent Portney, a Tufts University researcher who participated in the project. “In other words, this ranking is aspirational in nature.” He says that each city was awarded a point for undertaking one of 38 programs or policies listed by Corporate Knights, in categories such as smart growth, land-use planning, pollution prevention, etc.


And in yet another recent round-up, Mother Nature Network (MNN) declared Portland, Oregon — where 200 miles of dedicated bike lanes and legions of supporters of local and sustainable food sources rule — the nation’s greenest city. San Francisco, Boston, Oakland and Eugene (OR) round out MNN’s top five.


Regardless of which city is “greenest,” all U.S. cities are greening up every day because planners now realize the economic advantages of using less energy, recycling more and keeping air and water clean. We can all help by supporting municipal energy savings, recycling and composting programs and community enhancement efforts. Who knows: If you keep it up, maybe your city will top one of next year’s lists.

CONTACTS: The Daily Beast, www.thedailybeast.com; Ecosalon, www.ecosalon.com; Corporate Knights, www.corporateknights.com; Mother Nature Network, www.mnn.com.

EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E—The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to earthtalk@emagazine.com. Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe.

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February 24, 2020

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February 2020

With Kacey O’Donnell  Start Date: February 23, 2020   Come explore the spiritual path of Wicca! Discover more about nature, energy, magick and yourself. This 12-month course...

Cost: $1195 (Early Bird $1095)

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
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The Basics Of Using Essential Oils Presenter: Kay Judge CCA Are you curious about how essential oils work and how to use them safely? This class will provide a basic understanding of the...

Cost: $25

Where:
Center for Inner Wellness
26B Main Street
Chester, MA  01011
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Sponsor: Center for Inner Wellness
Telephone: 413-242-4069
Contact Name: Kay Judge
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Come shine with us! Join us in harmony and in our goal to bring the light of Spiritualism forward to all those who are searching.

Where:
VFW Post 2597
775 Boston Rd, Rt 3A
Billerica, MA
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Sponsor: The Spiritualist Fellowship Church Of New England
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A Fundraiser for Lucy’s Love Bus Monday February 24th at 5:30pm (Snow date: March 2nd) Join us for complimentary appetizers, free door prizes, drinks, fun music, a raffle and auction with...

Where:
Crave Restaurant
10 Water Street
Amesbury, MA
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Telephone: 857-277-1984
Contact Name: Kerry
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With Anna DeWitte Mondays—starts 1/27 Our next new class! Join Anna (one of our recent grads) for her mild heat class! The temperature will hover around 80 degrees which helps to loosen...

Cost: $17

Where:
State of Grace Yoga & Wellness Center
104 East Hartford Ave.
Uxbridge, MA  01569
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Sponsor: State of Grace Yoga and Wellness Center
Telephone: 508-278-2818
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Cost: $15

Where:
Modern Mystery School Boston
132 Charles St
3rd Floor
Auburndale, MA  02466
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Sponsor: Modern Mystery School Boston
Telephone: 617-694-0994
Contact Name: Jordan Bain
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2nd and 4th Monday of every month This psychic message circle is for anyone wishing to raise their connection using their psychic centers known as the “clairs.” Learn how to use...

Cost: $20

Where:
Messages From Heaven Healing and Learning Center
646 Central Street
Suite 3
Leominster, MA
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Automatic & Channel Writing — Class 2 of 3 Discussion of the process of writing and channeling. Continued writing practice and connecting practice and exercises. Discussion of...

Cost: At door $20; online reg. $15

Where:
The Healing Power of Flowers — Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd, Unit A
Salem, NH  03079
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Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey
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Join Life Coach Cheryl Richardson and her husband, Michael Gerrish, a psychotherapist and gifted intuitive, for a special evening designed to help you upgrade your life!  During this event,...

Cost: $35

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street, #1A
Methuen, MA  01844
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Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
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February 27–29 Annie Appleseed Project: all-volunteer cancer nonprofit helps people make informed decisions on lifestyle issues, complementary therapies and holistic treatments....

Where:
West Palm Beach, FL


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15 minutes for only $25 with some of our most popular readers! Plus, all merchandise will be 10% off too! Genevieve Hackett - Tarot or Mediumship Readings Renee Walsh - Destiny Divination...

Cost: $25

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street, #1A
Methuen, MA  01844
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Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
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Kundalini yoga and Naad yoga (the yoga of sound), are powerful tools that help us to cope with challenges, change our state, and lift us into an elevated experience. We all know what it is like...

Cost: $35, $40 at the door

Where:
Yoga At The Ashram
368 Village St.
Millis, MA  02054
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Telephone: 508-376-4525
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Cost: $80

Where:
407 Deans Plaza
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Raynham, MA  02767
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Sponsor: Brother Granite
Telephone: 774-208-6195
Contact Name: Granite
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