Ranking

America’s Greenest Cities 2014: From Portland to New York City (PHOTOS)

Forty-four years after the first Earth Day, which metropolitan areas make the environmental grade? From Florida’s finest (Miami, West Palm) to the best overall (Honolulu), see the list.

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.

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24) Miami, FL

Eco-conscious residents: 57.4%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 14.1%

Recycling-conscious residents: 61.4%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 268

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.13

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23) West Palm Beach, FL

Eco-conscious residents: 58.0%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 14.6%

Recycling-conscious residents: 64.1%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 116.9

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.16

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22) Phoenix, AZ

Eco-conscious residents: 59.1%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 13.0%

Recycling-conscious residents: 63.6%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 45.9

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.14

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21) Albuquerque, NM

Eco-conscious residents: 59.0%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 13.0%

Recycling-conscious residents: 63.3%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 2.5

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.23

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20) Minneapolis, MN

Eco-conscious residents: 55.6%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 13.8%

Recycling-conscious residents: 66.0%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 207.1

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.15

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19) Albany, NY

Eco-conscious residents: 56.8%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 15.4%

Recycling-conscious residents: 64.7%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 166.2

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.37

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18) New York, NY

Eco-conscious residents: 57.9%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 14.8%

Recycling-conscious residents: 64.3%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 441.3

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.03

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17) Denver, CO

Eco-conscious residents: 58.3%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 13.7%

Recycling-conscious residents: 65.3%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 138.5

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.2

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16) Los Angeles, CA

Eco-conscious residents: 60.5%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 12.2%

Recycling-conscious residents: 64.8%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 127.7

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.06

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15) Santa Barbara, CA

Eco-conscious residents: 61.3%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 11.9%

Recycling-conscious residents: 66.1%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 86.5

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.01

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14) Reno, NV

Eco-conscious residents: 60.6%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 11.7%

Recycling-conscious residents: 66.9%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 35

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.05

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13) Anchorage, AK

Eco-conscious residents: 59.8%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 10.5%

Recycling-conscious residents: 67.8%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 0.5

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.01

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12) Spokane, WA

Eco-conscious residents: 60.5%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 11.8%

Recycling-conscious residents: 66.9%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 56.4

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.1

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11) Boston, MA

Eco-conscious residents: 55.4%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 15.5%

Recycling-conscious residents: 66.9%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 618.3

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.14

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10) San Diego, CA

Eco-conscious residents: 59.9%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 11.9%

Recycling-conscious residents: 65.9%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 64.7

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.26

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9) Atlanta, GA

Eco-conscious residents: 58.1%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 14.6%

Recycling-conscious residents: 63.0%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 294.7

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.49

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8) Grand Junction, CO

Eco-conscious residents: 57.8%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 13.0%

Recycling-conscious residents: 63.9%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 16.5

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.72

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7) Salt Lake City, UT

Eco-conscious residents: 61.4%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 12.7%

Recycling-conscious residents: 66.1%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 233

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.29

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6) Sacramento, CA

Eco-conscious residents: 61.4%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 11.4%

Recycling-conscious residents: 66.7%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 58.1

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.37

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5) Portland, OR

Eco-conscious residents: 62.7%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 10.9%

Recycling-conscious residents: 68.9%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 163.9

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.17

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4) Washington, DC

Eco-conscious residents: 57.2%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 14.5%

Recycling-conscious residents: 66.0%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 645.5

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.4

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3) Seattle, WA

Eco-conscious residents: 62.3%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 10.8%

Recycling-conscious residents: 69.4%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 277.4

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.18

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2) San Francisco, CA

Eco-conscious residents: 64.0%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 10.1%

Recycling-conscious residents: 69.2%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 429.8

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.28

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1) Honolulu, HI

Eco-conscious residents: 66.1%

Non-eco-conscious residents: 5.2%

Recycling-conscious residents: 71.6%

Public transportation trips per capita in 2013: 209.9

Energy efficient buildings per 1,000 residents: 0.15