Wondering Where to Move After College?

October 31, 2013

Check out 4 of America’s Greenest Cities!

Did you know that living by green spaces can improve your health? According to Washington.edu, parks and other green spaces encourage more physical activity, as people living in communities with an abundance of greenery enjoy improved health, compared to those who don’t.

Beyond the physical benefits environmentally-friendly areas afford to residents, many cities across the U.S. have also implemented green initiatives, ranging from making their communities more bike-friendly, to using eco-friendly energy sources. One consideration today for some movers is whether or not the destination city responds to environmental impact studies with innovative solutions that promote change without increasing costs to taxpayers. No matter where you move, a comparison tool for electric suppliers such ashttp://www.electric.com/energy-prices-and-products.html can show you how to optimize your energy consumption. Here are four green cities to consider if living in an earth-friendly place is important to you:

Boulder, Colo. boulder

According to the official city website, Boulder, Colo. entered an Energy Performance Contract with McKinstry, a building efficiency upgrade company, to reduce water and energy usage at 66 of its city facilities. Boulder is among only five cities to receive the new American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) exceptional energy efficiency program awards, which were announced in January 2013.

The EPC allowed Boulder to implement a two-fold efficiency program that includes lease purchase financing that, without increasing taxpayer burden and guaranteed realized savings, will generate enough to pay for the upgrades. The program also reduces utility maintenance costs and usage bills, city-wide.

Raleigh, N.C.

The Public Technology Institute (PTI) recently recognized Raleigh, North Carolina with six awards for outstanding innovative solutions, according to PTI.org. The projects included collaborative efforts between the Raleigh Police Department and the city’s Office of Sustainability. The city converted 20 patrol cars from gasoline to a propane-hybrid model to reduce carbon emissions. This program increased vehicle efficiency during emergencies while improving cost efficiency, saving the city $80,400 over a 12-month period.

New York City, N.Y.green new york city

NYC’s Zone Green received the 2013 National Planning Excellence Award for Environmental Planning, the American Planning Association (Planning.org) reports. The NYC plan is an initiative for building owners and managers to make sustainable changes in both new and existing buildings, allowing them to generate renewable, clean energy and save on energy costs. It will also help reduce carbon emissions (30 percent by 2030), manage storm water, reduce urban heat island effects, and grow more local, fresh food.

Portland, Ore.

If you love recycling, you’ll love Portland. The city recycles more than 60 percent of their waste, one of the highest percentages in the nation, reports Cereplast. There are also more than 700 miles of bike paths around the city, and Portland, along with all Oregon cities, has a required urban growth boundary, which prevents urban development beyond certain areas. These boundaries preserve all the wondrous greenery Oregon has to offer, while fostering an urban environment conducive to foot and bike transportation.

 

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Welcome to Hark Upon the Green! This blog is a shared space for members of the sustainability community at William & Mary to write about sustainability topics on and beyond. If you would like to contribute to the blog, contact Madeleine Boel, Committee on Sustainability Web Assistant, at mgboel@email.wm.edu.
Make sure to visit Sustainability at W&M for all of W&M's progress on sustainability efforts. Catch up with William & Mary Sustainability on Twitter at WM_GreenisGold
To learn what William & Mary's Environmental Law Society is up to, visit their blog at http://envirols.blogs.wm.edu/.

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