The World’s Greenest Cities: 10 Energy Efficient Destinations

From composting our veggie scraps and juicer pulp to using reusable bags and eliminating as much plastic from our home as we possibly can, eco-friendly living is something we put into practice on a daily basis. Here in Ontario most of our cities and towns have a recycling program and the our government has issued various initiatives and tax deductions for those looking to switch to solar panels. These little things do add up and yes in the long run they make a big difference, but I have to say we pale in comparison to so many cities in the world.

In 2010, Global Co2 emission totalled 33.4 billion metric tonnes. Clearly we have a whole lot of changing to do! There are many cities around the world that are making a difference in a really big way and when you read on I can guarantee you’ll walk away inspired!
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  • Eco-Friendly Cities 1 of 11
    Eco-Friendly Cities
    From a city that receives 90% of its energy from renewable sources to another that has 600,000 bicycles, one for every 0.73 people, click through for the 10 most eco-friendly cities in the world.
  • Copenhagen, Denmark 2 of 11
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    As the world-leader in clean technology, Copenhagen was ranked number one in Europe on the Siemens Greenest City Index and for good reason! The capital of Denmark hosted the UN's 2009 Climate Change Conference, over a third of the 1.1 million residents opt to cycle into work rather than start up their car and the city offers tax reducations for those who swtich to electric cars!
    Source: The Ecologist
    Photo credit: Flickr/antonystanley
  • Reykjavik, Iceland 3 of 11
    Reykjavik, Iceland
    We have gas stations around every corner here in North America and although Iceland still uses gasoline, many of the residents use hydrogen, electric and methane cars and the city provides filling stations for these eco-friendly energy sources. Reykjavik also has the world's largest geothermal heating system. ALL the houses in this city are heated with geothermal water! These are just a couple of the various ways this city has gone green.
    Source: Reykjavik Convention Bureau
    Photo credit: Flickr/chrissy575
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands 4 of 11
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    The City of Amsterdam is on a mission to become one of the most sustainable cities in the world by 2020 and by the looks of it they are well on their way. They are the 5th Global Power City in Europe, the most "bicycle friendly" city in Europe, the 3rd Innovative City worldwide, the 5th European Green City and by 2015 all new building projects in Amsterdam will be climate neutral.
    Source: City of Amsterdam
    Photo credit: Flickr/Moyan_Brenn
  • New York City, New York 5 of 11
    New York City, New York
    Surprised? New York City has been working hard on promoting a greener lifestyle thanks to Mayor Bloomberg who's introduced a whole slew of initiatives for residents. The city has added 50 electric vehicles to their municiple fleet, elminiated trans-fat food additives and the most recent - is pushing for a ban on all plastic-foam food packaging, moving towards doubling the city's recycling rate to 30% by 2017 and wants to introduce composting city-wide (he's already started with a program on Staten Island).
    Source: New York Daily News
    Photo credit: Flickr/quintanomedia
  • Vancouver, British Columbia 6 of 11
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    It's Canada's greenest city and the second greenest city in North America with overall best air quality and CO2 levels in North America. You can find out all about their many initiatives by visiting the City of Vancouver's website. Source: CBC
    Photo credit: Flickr/mayanais
  • Stockholm, Sweden 7 of 11
    Stockholm, Sweden
    They beat out 34 European cities and won the very first European Commission Award in 2010. Stockholm has all sorts of green initiatives and has plans to eliminate their dependence on fossil fuels by 2050. Some initiatives include converting waste into biogas for their public transportation system and purifying rain water. Sweden in general is the world' leader in managing household waste (99% is recycled or used to generate energy).
    Sources: City of Sweden & Fodors
    Photo credit: Flickr/mispahn
  • London, England 8 of 11
    London, England
    As of last year all of London's new buses will be hybrid vehicles, cutting emissions in half. The city's RE:LEAF program will increase tree cover by 5% by 2025 (they've already planted 10,000 trees and distributed 11,000 trees to over 50 communities across London. The city is pushing forward to reduce CO2 by 60% by 2025.
    Photo credit: London Government
    Photo credit: Flickr/az1172
  • San Francisco, California 9 of 11
    San Francisco, California
    Did you know that San Francisco put a ban on plastic bags and containers back in 2007? Installation of a wind turbine taller than the Empire State Building will be completed in 2014. San Francisco is also the greenest city in North America, 77% of the city's waste is recycled and most of their restaurants use local and organic ingredients.
    Source: Siemens & Travel and Leisure
    Photo credit: Flickr/jeffgunn
  • Curitiba, Brazil 10 of 11
    Curitiba, Brazil
    70 percent of Curitiba's waste is recycled by the residents. The city has planted 1.5 million trees along their highways and byways and they have a super cool initiative for low income residents living on the outskirts of the city. The "Green Exchange Employment Programme" rewards these residents for cleaning up their city by exchanging their garbage bags for bus tickets and food. Kids can exchange reusable garbage for chocolate, toys, tickets, school supplies and tickets to events.
    Source: Danish Architecture Centre
    Photo credit: Flickr/bentavener
  • Malmö, Sweden 11 of 11
    Malmö, Sweden
    Malmö promotes sustainable travel as much as possible and are very cycle friendly. 40% of the residents who cmmute and 30% of all journeys in the city are made by bike. They have PV and solar thermal systems installed on official buildings throughout the city like hospitals, museums and schools.
    Photo credit: Flickr/bentavener
    Source: PV Upscale

Find more of Nadia’s writing on her site Child Mode. You can also find her on Disney Baby and Hip Baby. Love social media? So does she! Follow her daily on InstagramTwitterFacebookGoogle+ and Pinterest.

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