If you have been reading any newspaper, magazine or social media posts over the last few years, you should be familiar with environmental awareness.
Let’s talk about what it means to be environmentally friendly and find out about the top five cities in the world that are exceeding in their efforts.
What does it mean to be environmentally friendly?
Being environmentally friendly simply means that you keep a lifestyle that is not harmful to the environment. It might involve “green living”, where you live with an awareness towards the environment and its well-being.
What makes a city green?
Things like traffic, masses of people and air pollution are associated with cities. Green cities encourage and provide for the most sustainable lifestyles. They have an active approach towards addressing climate change and being environmentally friendly.
These cities might implement things such as recycling programs, bike lanes, community parks, and have water quality standards.
Does your city help you to be environmentally friendly? Below we have listed the top five green cities in the world in 2020.
1) Copenhagen, Denmark
- Clean waterways and leadership in environmental planning won Copenhagen the European Environmental Award in 2006.
- They have a water quality warning system in place to monitor pollution levels.
- In 2015, Denmark’s windmills generated 140% of the city’s electricity and was even able to distribute energy to Norway, Germany and Sweden.
2) Amsterdam, Netherlands
- The main form of transport in Amsterdam is cycling. This reduces pollution from motor vehicles.
- The city uses electric vehicles to reduce unwanted emissions. Many cities have electric vehicles, but Amsterdam takes a step further with its trains, buses and subways running on renewable energy.
- Citizens are turning toward solar panels to generate renewable energy and the city aims for the number of households practising these sustainable lifestyles to grow by 92,000 in 2020. One way the city is doing this is by encouraging construction companies to build greener properties to secure land tenders.
3) Stockholm, Sweden
- This Swedish city depends entirely on renewable resources for its energy.
- Stockholm is the first city in Europe to become sustainable and won the European Green Capital Award in 2010 for its sustainable contributions toward the environment, and for its low impact on the climate.
- Stockholm also won this year’s World Smart City Award out of 450 nominees from 54 countries worldwide. It was awarded this honour for sustainable development in energy usage, transport, and infrastructure.
4) Berlin, Germany
- Germany has an interesting way to persuade citizens to decrease environmentally unfriendly activities – by increasing the tax on things like petroleum.
- Did you know that Berlin runs interactive green tours? These educational and engaging tours teach people about the country’s green initiatives, such as its Natural History Museum tour, which includes information about biodiversity and how to preserve it.
- Berlin’s apartments have a filter system for greywater to be recycled and reused for water rooftop gardens, This is just one of the city’s initiatives in service water recycling.
5) Portland, Oregon
- Portland offers environmentally friendly stores for consumers to do green shopping, by purchasing recyclable goods for example.
- The city also supports bicycling with 188 miles of bike lanes and 77 miles of roads where bikes take priority.
- The city also has 80 bus routes and 97 train stations, which means that there is less need for everyone to use motor vehicles.
Although you might be green with envy after seeing how much these cities have accomplished, you could follow in their footsteps and implement some of their green strategies in your local community. Who knows, your city might show up on the “green list” in the near future!
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