America’s Greenest Cities 2012, from New York to San Francisco

The Daily Beast finds America’s Greenest Cities for 2012.

Earth Day—which was founded in 1970 by Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson—is now a one-billion-strong global event that, for one day at least, brings awareness to the oil spills, factory pollution, and wilderness razing that threaten the environment.

Since Earth Day began as an American event, The Daily Beast wondered how green America’s cities are during the rest of the year, with data from market research firm Experian Simmons—which has tracked the greening of America for half a decade—among other sources.

 
To find America’s greenest cities, we weighed the following data:

*The percentage of people who think and act in an eco-conscious way
*The percentage of people who do not think and act in an eco-conscious way and may have a negative attitude toward environmental issues
*The percentage of people who make a conscious effort to recycle
*The number of public-transportation trips per capita for the fourth quarter of 2011, as recorded by the American Public Transportation Association
*The percent of households that that use solar heating, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

Jeff Goldberg / Esto for Ennead Architects / AP Photo

25. Salt Lake City, UT

Eco-conscious residents: 29.1%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
16.0%
Recycling-conscious residents:
64.1%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
37.4
Homes with solar heating:
.01%

David Duprey / AP Photo

24. Buffalo, NY

Eco-conscious residents: 32.3%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
14.5%
Recycling-conscious residents:
62.7%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
26.9
Homes with solar heating:
0%

Phil Sandlin / AP Photo

23. Gainesville, FL

Eco-conscious residents: 34.6%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
13.6%
Recycling-conscious residents:
57.8%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
38.9
Homes with solar heating:
.11%

David Zalubowski / AP Photo

22. Denver, CO

Eco-conscious residents: 33.8%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
16.0%
Recycling-conscious residents:
62.2%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
33.3
Homes with solar heating:
.04%

Wilfredo Lee / AP Photo

21. Miami, FL

Eco-conscious residents: 40.6%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
12.2%
Recycling-conscious residents:
57.5%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
19.2
Homes with solar heating:
.02%

Jake Schoellkopf / AP Photo

20. Albuquerque, NM

Eco-conscious residents: 34.2%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
12.0%
Recycling-conscious residents:
60.1%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
1.8
Homes with solar heating:
.16%

VisionsofAmerica / Joe Sohm / Getty Images

19. Reno, NV

Eco-conscious residents: 41.0%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
20.9%
Recycling-conscious residents:
64.2%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
19.2
Homes with solar heating:
.09%

John Raoux / AP Photo

18. Orlando, FL

Eco-conscious residents: 40.1%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
15.3%
Recycling-conscious residents:
62%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
13.4
Homes with solar heating:
.02%

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

17. Portland, ME

Eco-conscious residents: 37.7%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
16.5%
Recycling-conscious residents:
65.7%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
1.0
Homes with solar heating:
.05%

Mary Altaffer / AP Photo

16. Albany, NY

Eco-conscious residents: 47.4%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
21.9%
Recycling-conscious residents:
64.3%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
16.6
Homes with solar heating:
.04%

Zane Williams / Getty Images

15. Madison, WI

Eco-conscious residents: 42.6%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
21.6%
Recycling-conscious residents:
65.9%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
26.9
Homes with solar heating:
.03%

Andy King / AP Photo

14. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

Eco-conscious residents: 44.0%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
22.3%
Recycling-conscious residents:
66.4%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
24.8
Homes with solar heating:
0%

Kiichiro Sato / AP Photo

13. Chicago, IL

Eco-conscious residents: 38.0%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
14.2%
Recycling-conscious residents:
61.0%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
56.4
Homes with solar heating:
.01%

Tom Mihalek / AP Photo

12. Philadelphia, PA

Eco-conscious residents: 40.0%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
18.2%
Recycling-conscious residents:
63.8%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
57.4
Homes with solar heating:
.02%

Mark J. Terrill / AP Photo

11. Los Angeles, CA

Eco-conscious residents: 42.9%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
15.3%
Recycling-conscious residents:
61.8%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
35.8
Homes with solar heating:
.05%

Ann Heisenfelt / AP Photo

10. Washington, DC

Eco-conscious residents: 37.7%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
16.0%
Recycling-conscious residents:
61.8%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
76.3
Homes with solar heating:
.01%

Rick Bowmer / AP Photo

9. Portland, OR

Eco-conscious residents: 42.3%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
21.0%
Recycling-conscious residents:
66.8%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
46.4
Homes with solar heating:
.01%

Damian Dovarganes / AP Photo

8. Santa Barbara, CA

Eco-conscious residents: 41.8%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
15.7%
Recycling-conscious residents:
63.1%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
18.8
Homes with solar heating:
.16%

Lenny Ignelzi / AP Photo

7. San Diego, CA

Eco-conscious residents: 44.2%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
17.0%
Recycling-conscious residents:
62.8%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
27.6
Homes with solar heating:
.12%

Jordan Siemens / Getty Images

6. Eugene, OR

Eco-conscious residents: 42.4%
Non eco-conscious residents:
19.3%
Recycling-conscious residents:
67.7%
Public transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
33.0
Homes with solar heating:
.02%

Michael Dwyer / AP Photo

5. Boston, MA

Eco-conscious residents: 39.8%
Non-eco-conscious residents: 20.1%
Recycling-conscious residents:
65.0%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
86.2
Homes with solar heating:
.02%

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

4. Seattle, WA

Eco-conscious residents: 45.7%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
19.3%
Recycling-conscious residents:
66.9%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
34.4
Homes with solar heating:
.02%

Eric Risberg / AP Photo

3. San Francisco, CA

Eco-conscious residents: 52.2%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
19.8%
Recycling-conscious residents:
66.9%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
50.5
Homes with solar heating:
.10%

Seth Wenig / AP Photo

2. New York, NY

Eco-conscious residents: 45.1%
Non-eco-conscious residents:
16.3%
Recycling-conscious residents:
61.8%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
175.8
Homes with solar heating:
.01%

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

1. Honolulu, HI

Eco-conscious residents: 40.8%
Non-eco-conscious residents: 23.0%
Recycling-conscious residents:
63.2%
Public-transport trips per capita, 4Q 2011:
75.8
Homes with solar heating:
1.08%