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The 11 Greenest Cities in America

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More and more seniors are choosing to live in sustainable, "green"communities. Here's a look at the cities with the best sustainability bona fides.

Greenest Cities

More and more seniors are choosing to live in sustainable, “green” communities, according to the companies that build senior housing complexes and retirement communities.

According to Sarah Stevenson, who writes about senior living for A Place for Mom, “going green” is one of several trends for senior living. Her list also includes cooperative living, and a move toward home-based care, rather than traditional nursing homes. Many seniors see a financial benefit to green living, Stevenson wrote. While the initial investment may be higher than for traditional housing, lower energy bills and other cost savings can offset those up-front costs and lead to long-term savings.

Of course, where one lives can also make a big difference in the affordability of going green. It’s difficult to recycle if one’s city of residence doesn’t have a robust recycling program. Many cities and states also offer rebates and other incentives to encourage people to use renewable energy or buy energy efficient appliances.

So which cities do the best job at living green? The consumer finance website WalletHub recently looked at 13 metrics, ranging from air quality to sustainability policies to the availability of farmers markets, to come up with a list of the Greenest Cities in America. The list spans both coasts and includes major cities like Washington, DC, and smaller areas, like Fremont, CA.

The following are the 11 Greenest Cities, according to WalletHub. Included with each capsule is the state’s overall score (on a scale of 100), along with its ranking in environmental quality (out of 100) and the city’s ranking in the category of “Green Lifestyle and Local Policies,” which includes thinks like local incentive policies and farmers market density.

Greenest Cities

11. Austin, TX

Overall Score: 59.68

Environmental Quality Rank: 9

Green Lifestyle and Local Policies Rank: 9

Greenest Cities

10. Fremont, CA

Overall Score: 60.62

Environmental Quality Rank: 2

Green Lifestyle and Local Policies Rank: 58

Greenest Cities

9. Oakland, CA

Overall Score: 64.32

Environmental Quality Rank: 11

Green Lifestyle and Local Policies Rank: 14

Greenest Cities

8. Boston

Overall Score: 64.97

Environmental Quality Rank: 17

Green Lifestyle and Local Policies Rank: 27

Greenest Cities

7. Minneapolis

Overall Score: 67.74

Environmental Quality Rank: 10

Green Lifestyle and Local Policies Rank: 15

Greenest Cities

6. Seattle

Overall Score: 70.87

Environmental Quality Rank: 15

Green Lifestyle and Local Policies Rank: 13

Greenest Cities

5. Honolulu

Overall Score: 73.15

Environmental Quality Rank: 1

Green Lifestyle and Local Policies Rank: 4

Greenest Cities

4. Washington, DC

Overall Score: 73.87

Environmental Quality Rank: 6

Green Lifestyle and Local Policies Rank: 6

Greenest Cities

3. San Francisco

Overall Score: 73.90

Environmental Quality Rank: 12

Green Lifestyle and Local Policies Rank: 2

Greenest Cities

2. Portland, OR

Overall Score: 74.25

Environmental Quality Rank: 7

Green Lifestyle and Local Policies Rank: 1

Greenest Cities

1. New York City

Overall Score: 77.58

Environmental Quality Rank: 5

Green Lifestyle and Local Policies Rank: 5

To view WalletHub’s full ranking of all 100 cities, click here.

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