A lot has changed in the 44 years since the first Earth Day, when 20 million people rallied across the country to bring awareness to environmental issues such as oil spills, pollution, and the extinction of wildlife. Now Earth Day advocates have added climate change to their campaign.
As more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, it’s the environmental initiatives of urban populations that will drive the country toward a more sustainable future. So once again, The Daily Beast is turning to America’s biggest cities to see whose residents care the most about their environment and walk the walk by making environmentally conscious choices.
As in years past, we looked at data from government sources as well as the market research firm Experian Marketing Services, which has tracked the greening of America for half a decade.
We weighed the data below equally to come up with our final rankings:
*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 2013, as recorded by the American Public Transportation Association;
*The number of energy efficient commercial buildings per capita, as recorded by the Environmental Protection Agency.