Photo via Sustainability Digest
In case you hadn't heard, Earth Day's a-comin'. Which means there will be a slew of fantastic festivals, informational events, green concerts, and volunteer opportunities in cities across the country. Duh. But which cities are the greenest of the green? Which cities are already doing great green things that make for all the more reason to celebrate? Where will the best events in the country be going down? Which towns will have the best opportunities for you to lend a hand? In other words, where should you want to be this Wednesday?
Here are 10 of the greenest cities you could hope to be in on Earth Day.
Boston doesn't get a whole lot of green love from the environmental movement, but it should--it's quietly made its way to the top of greenest city lists with good public transit, an eye on energy efficiency, mandated green building standards, and even a bike share on the way. Sure, it'll be one of the colder locales to ring in Earth Day, but don't let that get you down--there's so much environmentally friendly stuff to do in Boston you'll barely notice. Boston.com has this slideshow featuring a bunch of great Earth Day events going on in the city.
Photo via UNCA
Home to some of the greenest communities in the country, Asheville is a cool green town nestled in mountainous, western North Carolina. It's not nearly the size of most of the other cities on this list, but it edges its way in out of sheer greenness--in addition to those celebrated eco communities, Asheville was named "most vegetarian friendly" small city by PETA, and is surrounded by beautiful nature on all sides. So if you're there on Earth Day, soak in the good green vibes at the Asheville Earth Day all-day concert or the Earth Day Celebration Concert later on--there will be live music, green eats, and Find out how else to be a part of Asheville's Earth Day celebration from Planet Green--there's plenty to do.
Photo via Daily Mail
The Windy City has leaned pretty green in recent years--with good public transit, a tax on bottled water, an ambitious bike plan, and an even more ambitious plan to curb carbon emissions by 75%, the city is making good green progress. So it's fitting that there are tons of Earth Day events in Chicago worth looking into--from green tea parties to Nature Conservancy events, you can celebrate the environment in great, varied ways. A bunch of parks are hosting events too, so you can lend a green helping hand.
Photo via Steven.Buss
7. Los Angeles
LA probably isn't among the greenest cities on anyone's list--the urban sprawl, the abundance of cars, the ubiquitous blanket of smog that's as recognizable a trademark of Los Angeles as the Hollywood sign. All pretty ungreen. But, it's also perhaps the city that best understands the weight of its carbon footprint, and is making some of the most laudable strides to go greener. The mayor is trumpeting green jobs and working on a massive solar power project, and resident celebrities have helped usher in a boom of hybrid cars. And for Earth Day, the city has a calendar packed with green events, volunteer opportunities, and goings on. In other words, it's one of the best cities to be in if you want to help make a difference.
Photo via Improv Everywhere
Over the last few years, Austin has emerged as one of the indisputable leading green cities in the US. Having a progressive, green mayor in Will Wynn, the city has seen a veritable revolution in biodiesel, plug-in hybrid infrastructure, and solar and wind power. Great farmers' markets, organic restaurants, and bike-friendly streets cement Austin's reputation as a green metropolis--all of which make it a prime Earth Day destination. Check out Austin Earth Day to get the scoop on how to celebrate around town.