“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
Did you know that since the 1990s over 970 million monarch butterflies have disappeared? After their sudden disappearance we have only around 30 million of the unique and exotic black and orange insects left. The decrease in the milkweed plant habitat of the butterflies and the utilization of extensive herbicides is ruining the habitat of the innocent butterflies. A project has been launched by the government which plans to spend $3.2 million to restore the milkweed plant of the monarch butterflies in the United States of America. The plant plays a very important part in the existence of monarch butterflies because it is their main home and their main source of obtaining food. The butterflies have been declared as an endangered or threatened species according to the Endangered Species Act.
Homeowners and farmers living across the country spray a lot of herbicides on the various milkweed plants. By carrying out such an activity, they are doing nothing but giving rise to a massacre of the existence of the monarch butterfly. When they spray the plants and the habitats of the butterflies, they are not only causing the black and orange butterflies to die out, but they are destroying their main source of obtaining food, their habitat, and leaving a number of butterflies without a home to live in.
Since the 1990s, over 970 million of these attractive and colorful creatures have disappeared from the planet and that has resulted in a decline of 90% in the existence of the species. The steps that have been taken by the government to reduce the destruction of the butterflies includes partnerships launched by the Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Wildlife Federation in hope of establishing milkweed in order to do something helpful for the monarchs.
It has been estimated that over $2 million or up to $3.2 million will have to be utilized in order to restore over 200,000 acres of the habitat of the colorful critters by the government. More than seven hundred and fifty pollinator gardens and habitats will have to be restored. This can end up increasing or keep the amount of monarchs in the United States of America stagnant. Every winter, the butterflies migrate thousands of miles from Canada and the United States of America to the forests of central Mexico. The insects migrate back to their native land in the spring. Due to the fact that butterflies live only for approximately four to five weeks, the migration calls for six generations in order to be completed. The butterflies spend a great part of their winters in the mountain forests of Mexico where the climate is not too extreme and they have a greater chance of survival. However, many human societies nearby are known to depend on the same forests that the butterflies dwell in for tourist and agriculture activities.
The food supply of the monarch butterflies of milkweed, which is also considered to be their home across America, is slowly reducing. Homeowners and farmers are using weed killers or herbicides which are resulting in the decrease in the availability of plants.
The changes in the climate end up causing an interruption in the annual migration pattern of the butterflies and affect the conditions in both the summer and winter breading grounds. While the wetter and colder winters prove to be quite lethal to the creatures, the drier and hot summer conditions could result in a shift to habitats located in the northern region.
There are around thirty million butterflies still left in the United States of America. Money will be utilized to start a conservation fund that will offer grants to landowners and farmers to preserve the habitat. The actions taken by the Fish and Wildlife Service have declared the species of the monarch butterfly as an endangered species. This calls for the government to pay more attention to the protection of the butterflies. The protection of the monarch butterfly can only be maintained if the people of the nation work together and do something about it quickly!
When the butterflies migrate to Mexico every spring, they lay their eggs on the plant. The transformation of prairies to become cropland and the extensive utilization of pesticides, resistant crops have decreased milkweed, which is a vital source of food especially in the heartland. The projects for conservation will be more focused on working on the Interstate 35 corridor to Minnesota from Texas in all the areas that offer vital summer and spring habitats along the trail for around 50% of the monarchs that migrate every season.
Other state agencies and federal agencies are being encouraged to become a part of the project by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Threatened animals like lions and elephants all get the chance to make their way to the headlines, but what will happen to monarch butterflies? What is happening to monarch butterflies is nothing less than a massacre. The Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States of America summed up the grim and saddening statistics of over 970 million monarch butterflies disappearing.
The spraying of herbicides by homeowners and farmers on milkweed plants, which play a major role as the food source, home and nursery of the butterflies are destroying the habitat of the innocent creatures. In order to make up for the destruction that has occurred to the nature of the butterflies, the Fish and Wildlife Service started a partnership that had two private conservation teams, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and National Wildlife Federation to basically establish milkweed in the hopes of being able to do something for the monarchs.
Monarch butterflies are a major species that once used to flutter throughout nature and the United States of America by the billions. They moved to Canada from Mexico every spring on a journey that needed six generations of the creature to be completed. After that, the young monarchs come back to their native land, rest, birth, and dine on the milkweed plants. Now the monarchs are found in very few numbers and only, according the Washington post around 30 million of them remain in the world.
The endangerment of the species is something that has become quite famous in the past few days. The Fish and Wildlife Service is observing a petition that was filed by Center for Biological Diversity. This petition listed the monarch butterflies as a threatened species that needs protection in order to survive! This agency is observing whether that is required and is also trying to do everything that it can to restore the monarch population. It has been reported that the agency is offering to pay $2 million for the conservation projects. According to the agreement, the institution will assist in creating awareness about the requirement for milkweed, offer seeds to all those who are willing to do something for the monarch butterflies and plant the seeds and to make sure that they plant the seeds in open space such as parks, forests, patio flower boxes, and other areas. An extra or additional $1.2 million will be provided to the foundation in the form of seed money to produce a larger fundraising match from different organizations.
The amount of monarch butterflies that spend their winters in the forests of Mexico has reduced to extremely low levels ever since monitoring started over 20 years ago. This was according to a study that was released by the World Wildlife Fundation, the Natural Protected Areas Commission, and Mexico’s Environment Department. This report has lead many experts to inform everyone that the annual migration of the insects to Canada is at the stake of disappearing completely. The possibility of then end of the migration of the monarch butterflies might prove to be a wakeup call for all Canadians. While the amount has reached an alarming state, one of the most vital remedies is very easy. The monarchs require milkweed in order to survive and the Canadians have to play their role by planting pollinator friendly gardens and plant more milkweed in their gardens in the spring.
The report shows that the population of the monarchs spending their winters in Mexico is very low. The number was estimated to be over 60 million monarchs last year. The monarchs spent their winters in certain mountain forests.
The population has started decreasing since 1993. The amount this year has been estimated to have reduced by half of what it was recorded before. The main dangers to the monarch butterflies has proven to be the endangerment of the milkweed plants which the butterflies consider as their home throughout the entire migratory path of the monarchs, especially in the US Midwest. The milkweed is considered to be the host planet for all monarchs where the mothers lay the eggs on the underside of the leaves and the caterpillar’s main source of obtaining its food is the milkweed.
The increasing prices of corn in the USA have resulted in the conversion of hectares of grassland to corn along with the conservation lands that once used to be full of milkweed for all monarch butterflies. An increase in the utilization of an herbicide known as Roundup has paid a lot to the loss of the plant milkweed. The herbicide is known to kill all the plants except for crops that are modified to be able to withstand the herbicide.
The leading monarch advocacy organization known as the Monarch Watch has approximated that over 60 million hectares of the habitat of the butterflies that have been destroyed due to herbicide resistant cropland in America with an extra six million hectares of the milkweed plant habitat for being lost to residential development and roads. The rates are enough to be compared to the deforestation rates that are prevailing in Indonesia, Brazil, and Malaysia.
Studies have revealed that there are a number of states in which nearly all of the milkweed plants have disappeared. With the near extinction of monarch butterflies, the milkweed plants are also fading from this world.
The Canadians are being urged to do everything they can to bring milkweed back into their gardens so that we can bring the monarch butterflies back into our lives in order to revive the beauty of nature.
The loss of butterflies is very saddening, especially in North America because these beautiful creatures play a vital role in adding beauty to the environment. The population of the monarch butterfly has dropped at an increasing rate over the past few years from 1 billion to approximately 35 million. The conservation groups have been concerned about the decline in the population of the butterflies for a number of years and the FWS has taken great notice.
According to the service agency, the butterflies will be provided with the protection they deserve as stated in the Endangered Species Act. The decision of the FWS came in reply to a petition that the Center for Biological Diversity sent. The monarch butterflies face a number of threats along with their migration route between central Mexico and the US, but their main decline is due to the decrease in the presence of milkweed.
Monarch butterflies are dependent on milkweed as it is the only plant that they eat. They lay their eggs on the leaves of the milkweed during times of summer breeding. However, milkweed is not appreciated by farmers who think of the plant as a type of weed and do everything they can to wipe the plant out of their fields. The loss of milkweed is resulting in the loss of monarch butterflies. You should do everything that you can in order to bring back the required amount of milkweed so that we can give rise to a population of monarch butterflies. Our world would not be as beautiful as it is today if it were not for the presence of monarch butterflies. Their vibrant colors make the environment seem calm and peaceful. We need to prevent the endangerment of monarch butterflies!
NASA initially claimed that according to their readings, 2014 was the warmest year since 1880. There was a video that showed time progression of the recorded temperature changes from 1880. The blue colors indicate cool weather and the red colors indicate the warm weather. As the video finished it can be noted that the blue colors are almost non-existent, while the red colors dominated the globe. This only means that the Earth has indeed gone very warm and 2014 can indeed be the warmest year on record.
The warming estimation was perform by the NASA laboratory under the name GISS or the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The NASA scientists are expecting that the Earth’s temperature are going to continue to fluctuate, which could mean that 2015 may not be as warm as 2014, or it could be warmer. One thing is sure though, the world has surely warmed up since 1880 by up to 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.8 degrees Celsius.
Another fact that cannot be questioned is that the main reason for the global warming is the sad case of non-stop greenhouse gas emission. The phenomenon of the deadly emissions can only be blamed to humanity. And although efforts are being undertaken, the effects have resulted to extreme climate change, which is evident through global warming.
As mentioned in the video description, the analysis given from GISS was gathered from the measurements in temperature from 6,300 weather stations from around the world, as well as temperature readings from buoy-based, ship-based ocean and from the Antarctic research stations.
The NASA Video
The national climate monitoring groups from all over the world have given their readings to the GISS and the result indicated that 2014 was the warmest year on record. The video released by NASA showed that from 1880, the Earth has been suffering from continued warming.
Reactions to the NASA Video
The video has received varied reactions from different people. There are some who said that global warming is true and 2014 is indeed the warmest year since 1880. Others though mentioned that the video description is ancient, as global warming is not being used today, climate change is the term in trend today.
Basically though, there is not much difference between global warming and climate change. Global warming just happens to be the more specific term as it refers to the increasing average temperature of the planet due to greenhouse emissions the build up in the atmosphere. Simply put, global warming causes climate change.
As the Earth goes warmer due to global warming, the rainfall patterns will change, there will be rising sea levels and all living things are going to experience all the negative impacts. When scientists discuss climate change, their main concern is generally about global warming being caused by human activities.
One observation is that no one knows for sure what the exact global temperature is. It can only be theorized that the measurements and the algorithms can provide the best estimates. To properly perform thermal surveys though, it is important to utilize advanced technology.
NASA Retracts Original Claim
According to NASA scientists, 2014 was the warmest recorded year since 1880. They were so sure about that before questions were raised. Now, the agency has retracted that claim and they are saying they were actually only 38 percent positive about their initial claim.
The previous title holders for the warmest years were 2005 and 2010. Compared to those years, 2014 was indeed warmer, but does that make it the warmest? The average earth temperature after all, has not significantly changed in the past decade.
Arguments on the NASA Video
Experts differ in their opinions regarding the significance of the NASA claim. However, it was noted that there is some doubt that the rapid warming experienced in the 1980s and 1990s has slowed down. The video was very clear; the red colors have dominated the globe. Thus, it can only mean that global warming is real, and that is one fact that cannot be denied despite the fact that there is an on-going argument if 2014 is indeed the warmest year since 1880.
Many people are not inclined to trust the NASA video and they want accurate facts. But, is it really possible to have the exact measurements. Are the red colors not enough to prove that 2014 was indeed the warmest year since 1880? They may not be any exact measurement and GISS can only provide estimates from gathered data, but it is still a fact that the Earth’s atmosphere is indeed getting warmer and not cooler.
Global warming has not been stopped, and that is despite the continued efforts to save the environment. It is sad to note that the impact has already been there and the Earth’s atmosphere has been overloaded with poisonous emissions caused by humanity.
The NASA video can be taken as it is and can also be questioned. The main idea behind it was to inform the public about global warming and how it looks like. If 2014 is indeed the warmest year, following 2005 and 2010, then it can only be concluded that 2015 may not be the next warmest as 2006 to 2009, and then 2011 to 2013 are slightly cooler years.
With such statement comes hope, that maybe all the efforts to save the environment can indeed save humanity and the world. It is important to keep in mind that NASA and other agencies can only give the measurements and the estimates. They can also only claim that a year is warmest because of the data they have gathered. They cannot save the Earth; this task is for the humans to perform.
The Earth’s atmosphere is significantly getting warmer due to human emissions. That means if humanity can make the earth warm, it can also make it cooler. This is where sustainable living comes in. It is after all, one of the most positive solutions to lessen global warming so that climate change can be avoided.
Top Ten Greenest Cities. The world is slowly turning sustainable and that is a good thing. Many cities are now Going Green. A proof is the continued growing list of the greenest cities in the world. But, what makes a city Green? How does one determine which is Greener than the other? Or how do worldwide organizations come up with the Greenest of them all?
If you are going to travel the world, where would you like to go? Are you going to include the city’s sustainability programs in your criteria for choosing your holiday destination?
If you think of a green city in terms of recycling programs, bike lanes, ample green open and public spaces like community gardens and parks, then the list below is surely going to make you drool. These top ten greenest cities to visit have made it to this list because they have been responsible for fighting the battle against climate change to the highest level. These cities do not just claim that they are Going Green; they do so through large scale efforts to do so, therefore they set good examples to the rest of the world.
These ten cities have been chosen because of their commendable utilization of renewable energy, promotion and support of green lifestyles, endorsement of green laws for the protection of the environment, and their use of innovative strategies to accomplish their goals for greener communities.
10. Oslo, Norway
Oslo, Norway has always made it to the list of the greenest cities in the world and it is not really surprising. This city managed to be the greenest in the Norway despite the fact that it is also one of the most populated. Oslo, is indeed a very commendable city for tourists because despite the continuously increasing number of residents, it still manages to sustain its objective to stay green and make use of innovative sustainable methods.
Oslo was named the world’s second greenest city in 2007, also as one of the most inhabitable. Many other European cities are also adopting true sustainable practices for better quality of life, not just for their local residents but also for their visitors. Long before the other cities decided to join the wagon for sustainable earth, Oslo already made its own mark and thus it was due to its has a long history regarding worldwide environmental concern.
When it comes to greenhouse gas emission, it is a well-known fact that Oslo has the lowest compared to other metropolitan cities in Europe. Thanks to the full cooperation of the population and the incentive given by the government for each new building developed and for the promotion of energy efficiency. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that 85 percent of the school children in Oslo either walk or ride their bikes to and from school. Local commuters use hydroelectric-powered public transportation.
This Norwegian capital aims to effectively and completely phase out fossil fuel use by the year 2020. About 140 city buses are soon going to run using biofuel processed from collected food waste.
9. Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden has always managed to make it on the list of one of the most sustainable cities worth visiting in Europe. In 2010, this Swedish city was named as the European Green Capital due to its high commitment to sustainability.
Stockholm’s very first attempts to be environmentally conscious started during the 1960s when a big campaign to clean the abundant waterways was launched. Today, rivers have been revived and one proof of that is the edible salmons caught in the city river.
Just like Oslo, Stockholm is also one of the European cities with less carbon emissions at a mere 3.4 tons/capita, where the average is 10 tons/capita in other European cities.
Stockholm also has its Environmental Program for 2012-2015 and it is based on the city’s vision to be a growing attractive city, where the people’s and nature’s needs balance off each other in a healthy environment characterized by quality living, functionality and biological diversity.
Stockholm also aims to prioritize other sustainable-inspired programs like encouraging the people to use their bike or walk, to lessen the noise levels, to increase eco-food product purchase, to reduce carbon emissions from 3.4 tons to even less than 3 tons per every resident, and to lessen incorrect recycling processes.
8. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen is already a famous tourist destination because of its stunning sceneries, wonderful castles, and its pride, the Little Mermaid. But this Denmark city is not just all about being a popular tourist destination; it has also successfully made it on the list of one of the greenest cities of the world that is worth visiting.
Just like the other top green cities, Copenhagen was chosen due to its dedication to high standards of quality living in an efficient environmental means. Additionally, this city is also a European Green Capital title holder due to the government’s and the citizens’ efforts to achieve and sustain a very clean and hygienic environment.
Therefore, Copenhagen is indeed can be considered as among the most remarkable tourist destinations to go; after all, it has also been dubbed as one of the most livable city in Europe.
7. Freiburg, Germany
Freiburg in Germany is one of the cleanest cities in the world, giving it the chance to also be on the list of the greenest cities worth visiting. This German city is very unique because it is a car-free city. Amazing, isn’t it? But it is true; in this modern time when almost every city road is congested with heavy traffic due to the increasing number of fossil-fuel powered vehicles, this city has managed to stay medieval and traditional.
What makes Freiburg a very popular destination is that it is beautifully surrounded by lush green hills, making it a prettily fenced city. Who wouldn’t want to spend a good holiday on this city that has ben rebuild to be highly sustainable? It is car-free and highly sustainable.
Freiburg is also proud of its overabundance of solar panels atop of its buildings as varied as schools, local churches, and even the City Hall. One of the city’s main objectives is to continuously cultivate solar energy and to efficiently reduce its carbon emissions by 40 percent by the year 2030.
6. Malmö, Sweden
Malmö is the third largest city in Sweden and it is a good model of metropolitan sustainability because it leads in the promotion of renewable energy solutions and due to its abundant green and fresh space. The city is considered one of the greenest cities in the world because it is home to the world’s third-largest wind-energy park and because it of its great objective to make all of its city operations climate-neutral in five years.
Additionally, the Western Harbor, a district within Malmö, effectively runs on 100-percent renewable energy gathered from the sun, the wind and through hydro power. The neighborhood also uses biofuels that are efficiently produced from organic waste. The buildings here are constructed using sustainable materials and have been designed and planned to be energy-efficient.
Western Harbor is also powered entirely by locally produced renewable energy and it makes use of vacuum waste chutes to keep the streets garbage truck-free. With all the sustainable plans and energy-efficient projects that Malmö is focusing on, the city should be climate neutral by the year 2020.
5. Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver is Canada’s greenest city. This city aims to be called the world’s greenest city by 2020. It is certainly a good option for a sustainable destination because it is a center for clean-technology innovation like solar-powered garbage compactors that can be found within the city. Each of this compactor is measured just like a regular trash can but can hold up to five times the waste. This means fewer emissions-spewing trash trucks, low-carbon emissions and increased generation of renewable resources for up to 90 power.
What’s more enticing about Vancouver is that it has over 200 open clean parks; making it possible for tourists to really enjoy the fresh Canada air.
Vancouver is indeed a good place to visit. It may be densely populated and a bit expensive, but it is a desirable city to live because of its moderate weather and clean environment. It is after Canada’s cleanest city and one of the world’s greenest.
4 San Francisco, California
San Francisco in California has always been voted as one of the cleanest cities in North America and there are plenty of reasons why that is so. First, San Francisco was the first US key city that banned the use of plastic bag. Second, in October of 2009 this city launched its mandatory recycling program enabling it to keep 77 percent discarded waster materials safely away from the landfills — this is the highest diversion rate in the US.
San Francisco is also able to demonstrate that zero waste is a very attainable and environmentally responsible objective. It has been the city’s pride to announce that the trash collection campaigns have been highly successful mainly because the staffs of the city trash collection agencies have effectively reached out to educate the residents and business owners that it is important to recycle and compost for the achievement of a zero-waste city.
Of course, there has never been any question about San Francisco being a highly popular tourist destination. But the fact that it is one of the greenest cities in the world makes it a more appealing choice than some.
3. Portland, Oregon
On the number three spot as the world’s top greenest cities is another US city, Portland in Oregon. This city does not need too much introduction as – time and again – it has continuously beaten all the other US cities. Being Green has been achieved in Portland, now the city is focusing more on embracing nature. Local residents are now making it a popular practice to eat locally produced products, to carpool, to recycle and to make the buildings LEED-certified.
As Oregon’s largest city, Portland has efficiently utilized renewable energy resources for up to 20 percent more than what is being implemented nationally. Just like San Francisco, Portland was also one of the first US cities to ban the use of plastic bags. It also has about 250 miles bike lanes, trails and paths. As a matter of fact, Portland is named as the United State’s most bikeable city.
2. Bristol, South West England
Bristol has been declared as the United Kingdom’s greenest city and it has been announced as Europe’s greenest city, beating Brussels, Glasgow, Lubljana and the current title holder, Nantes.
Some people may not be very much familiar with Bristol as a tourist destination in the UK. But with this latest achievement, it will be no doubt that many people from all over the world are going to see what this city really has to offer. After all, it wouldn’t be Europe’s greenest and the second in the world, if it has nothing unique and truly beautiful offer.
On top of the list as the number one greenest city in the world is Reykjavik in Iceland. Iceland, in itself is a truly unique and magical country. It has a culture all its own. Its people are unique in their own ways. It is no mystery then that one of its cities will make it into the list, and getting the top spot is surely something to be truly proud of.
Reykjavik runs virtually totally on renewable energy. This island state is rich with geothermal activity being effectively converted into renewable clean energy. The city also utilizes only 0.1 percent fossil fuels in providing power for electricity. Now, that is a number that has not been achieved by any other city.
Presently, Reykjavik gathers its energy for electricity, hot water and heat from geothermal resources and hydro power. By 2050, it is estimated that the city will be highly independent from using fossil fuel.
For those who are not familiar with Reykjavik or Iceland it elf, it is worth knowing that being the greenest city in the world, also makes this city one of the most coveted destinations today and for years to come.
The world is undoubtedly a beautiful place to live in. Every single human being is privileged to be a part of all the wonders and beauty of this planet called Earth. Over time though, things happened and slowly, the world as known to mankind has changed. It is not a beautiful and as clean as it was before. Living becomes a drag as everyone needs to fight off pollution and climate change.
The green cities of yesteryears have diminished in number and more and more cities have turned dirty and dusty. The environment everywhere has turned unhygienic and therefore, the demand for cleaner places to live has been increasing day by day. But with the continued improvement of human lifestyles and the innovation of more machines, the dream for a greener world looked somewhat like an impossibility now.
Thanks to the efforts of governments and vigilant individuals and organizations, Going Green has been globally introduced. Due to the increased awareness on the need to have a better world to live in, it has become essential for some to start building a green and sustainable Earth. This prompted countries from all over the world to actively join in the venture to wage a war against climate change and to develop a future that is environmentally friendly for every living being.
Proper planning and the right management, along with the implementation of different sustainable methods, it has become possible for many cities to maintain their green objectives amidst increased population and urbanization.
Many cities have acknowledged the need to keep the environment safe and the air clean and fresh. They have realized that the cleaner they are the healthier their constituents are.
But what does it take for a city to be recognized as a green city? What are the criteria to be on the list of the world’s greenest cities? Are you living in a green city? Would you like to visit a green city, where you will see more bicycles than cars on the streets? Do you want to know and explore the different sustainable means currently being implemented in the green cities? The following are the cities that made it to the most recent list of the top ten greenest cities in the world:
10. Zermatt, Switzerland
The top ten spot is given to the city of Zermatt in Switzerland. It is a picturesque and charming Swiss town located at the foot of Matterhorn Mountain, and it is an ideal place for hiking, mountaineering and skiing. Despite the boost in the Swiss tourism industry, this quaint city has managed to fight back the need for modern infrastructure development and the increasing traffic demands. Up until today, the streets of Zermatt are filled only with pedestrians, people on their bicycles, horse carts, hand carts and a few electric cars (emergency vehicles).
9. Freiburg, Germany
On the number nine position is the city of Freiburg in Germany, which also happens to be on the list of the top cleanest cities in the world. What makes this a highly sustainable green city is it roads that are car-free. As amazing as that may sound in this modern time, this city has managed to maintain its medieval style of living. The city is surrounded by green hills that form a fence. Freiburg is very popular for its breathtaking sceneries, high-standard of living, and its all-year-round warm and sunny weather.
One of main reasons why Freiburg has made it on the list is its experimentation on green living, which has being implemented for decades. After the city’s World War II destruction, it was rebuilt on sustainable green principles. It was in the 1980’s when it became a car-free city, making it indeed one of the most sustainable cities in the world.
8. Oslo, Norway
Oslo may be one of the most populous cities in Norway, but is also the greenest. This means that despite the increasing number of people living in this city, it has been able to maintain its objective to keep green and use sustainable methods. In 2007, Oslo was the second greenest city in the world and also one of the most livable. Currently, it is also among the top of the cleanest cities in the world, and for the past several years, it is known also to be among the most expensive cities globally.
While other European cities and destinations like Reykjavik in Iceland and Malmo in Sweden have also adopted true green practices for better quality of living, Oslo made it on the list because of its long history of global environmental concern. Long before other European cities have decided to join the green wagon, Oslo has already made its mark. By 2012, heating oil has been effectively replaced with renewable energy resources and all buses that run on fossil fuel are now using biofuels. When it comes to carbon emission, Oslo is well-known to have the lowest among other European metropolis cities. One of the main reasons why Oslo has been very successful in going green is because of the full cooperation being given by the population as well as the incentives being provided by the government for every building to be developed and built promoting energy efficiency. It is also worthy to mention that 85% of the city’s school children bike, walk or use the hydroelectric powered public transport. Additionally, 94% of household wastes are properly recycled.
If you walk around Oslo, you will be greeted with good air quality and a great view of trash-free streets. Even in winter, you can enjoy walking through the public parks. And if you want to go green all the way, you can easily find an eco-friendly hotel in this city.
7. Portland, Oregon
The greenest city in the United States is Portland in Oregon. It has successfully beaten other more popular cities like San Francisco and New York. So, what makes this city green? Year after year, Portland has been named as one of the cleanest cities in the US, but that did not necessarily mean it is green. Recently though, the city has been focusing more and more on how to properly embrace nature. People of Portland has made it popular to eat local, recycle, carpool and making their building LEED-certified.
Portland is Oregon’s largest city and it has effectively utilizes renewable energy resources; 20% more compared to what’s being implemented on a national level (Portland uses 33%, while national average is only 13%). It was also one of the first US cities to ban the use of plastic bags. It also has around 250 miles of bike lanes, paths and trails.
Just like Oslo, Portland also offers clean fresh air, and its water supply is considered as the cleanest among the largest US cities. When it comes to recycling waste, Portland successfully saves 250,000 tons of CO2 on a yearly basis.
6. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen is that famous city in Denmark for its beautiful sceneries, magnificent castles, and of course, the globally popular Little Mermaid. Aside from the popular tourist attractions, Copenhagen has also made a name for itself for being among the top greenest cities in the world because of its commitment to high standards of living in an environmental way.
Currently, it holds the title as a European Green Capital, because of the citizens’ and the government’s efforts in achieving and sustaining a highly hygienic and clean environment. With that said, Copenhagen is undoubtedly one of the most amazing destinations to go and one of the best places to live at.
Through the years, and with the continued efforts to become and remain sustainable, this city has successfully built a great reputation as a global leader in combating climate change. And just like the cities mentioned above, it is also a city known for bicycles. It has been reported that a third of the city’s residents use their bikes primarily in getting to work and school, and in getting around the city. By next year the numbers of bike users are expected to reach up to 50% of the total number of local residents.
In 2009, this city was host to the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference, proving that the world has been acknowledging its efforts to save the Earth.
5. Dallas, Texas
Another US city has made it to the list, Dallas in Texas because it is one of the first ones that mandatorily implemented the Green Building Standards. As of October last year, all commercial and residential building projects are required to meet the city’s Green Construction Code or to get certified under Green Built Texas, LEED and other sustainable green building codes and standards. And because of the requirements to follow strict city plumbing codes, it is expected that all the succeeding building projects in the city will reduce water usage for up to 20%.
The city recognizes the basic link between the intention of the building codes to safeguard the public’s safety, general welfare and health, and to preserve a healthy and safe natural environment. Dallas also incorporates sustainability through reduction and reuse of resources, water conservation and energy efficiency, efforts that effectively translate to a stronger and better economy.
4. Adelaide, Australia
Adelaide is one of Australia’s most beautiful cities and it is one city where going green rules. It offers 29 parks and green hotels. It also quite well-known as a Cycling City because it offers over 500 bikes that can be hired for free. This is through the effort of the city council’s objective for a greener and cleaner city. There are 14 bike hire locations scattered around the city, including the ones on Pirie Street (where the city council office is located), North Terrace and Waymouth Street.
When it comes to public transport, Adelaide offers Tindo, the very first solar-powered bus in the world, which offers air-conditioning and wireless internet. For those who decide to walk around the city, they will be welcomed by Adelaide’s green buildings.
Recycling is also a big part of Adelaide’s efforts to Go Green. The city’s central market has been effectively recycling over 85% of its waste. Use of renewable resources like the power of the sun has also become a huge part of sustainable living in Adelaide. As proof of this, most of the buildings including the Parliament House, the Art Gallery of South Australia, the Adelaide central Bus Station and the South Australia Museum Art Gallery, boast of solar panel systems.
3. Abu Dhabi, UAE
Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates managed to get listed because of the city’s efforts to promote waste reduction, water conservation and energy efficiency. It implements the Estidama Pearl Rating System that encourages the implementation of several developments towards Going Green.
One of the most fascinating Green projects of this city is the development of Masdar, the Green City, which is also known as one of the world’s most sustainable communities. Masdar is a model city that offers the best of the financial industries with its entrepreneurial and creative atmosphere. It is a great place to start a business because it is a specifically designed community that has the lowest carbon footprint. Therefore, it is only natural that this community within the city of Abu Dhabi be considered as the core of cleantech corporations in the UAE.
2. Cape Town, South Africa
Due to Cape Town’s effective program on energy efficiency, it has gained the second top position as the greenest cities in the world. The program’s objective is consumption reduction within the municipality. It implements strict rules on energy reduction, as it also improves traffic and street lighting. Years ago, this city has been recognized for its environmentally-friendly efforts and it was good enough to be included in the top ten greenest cities list. In 2010, because of the city’s continued efforts it has become an international sustainability centre.
Cape Town maybe one of the most populous cities in the world, but it has continuously proven through the years that the number of its residents is not a hindrance to its objective to be totally Green and sustainable.
1 Vancouver, Canada
The number one greenest city in the world for 2014 is Vancouver in Canada. It’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan has been responsible for such a high position. As part of the city’s objectives to be the world’s greenest city, the city local council works with the residents in enacting sweeping changes in handling waste, ecosystem and carbon management.
It’s ambitious project for new and carbon neutral buildings by 2020 gave the world the wisdom that being completely Green is possible. Vancouver also aims to totally transform its transport system with the development of a new and innovative Bikeway and the 28 km long Seaside Greenway projects.
Over the years, many cities having been vying for the top spots on the greenest cities list, and the ten mentioned above have made it their obligation to sustain their Green Objectives. Some of these cities may maintain their spots and some may be replaced by other cities. The most important thing here is that the world is now highly aware that there is a great urgency to move towards saving the environment for the future generations.
Being successful in any endeavor or any chosen industry is not an easy achievement; even people that are born rich still need to be very persistent in their chosen careers and paths if they want to excel and to eventually succeed. Success was traditionally measure with the number of homes, cars and businesses an individual possesses. But today, success is measured with how sustainable your business is and how your shareholders and clients view your company and the products or services that you are offering. Read more
Sustainability is all about being able to endure. When it comes to the environment, it becomes something that defines the need to save the planet Earth. If the world becomes highly enabled for sustainability, there is a big chance that our Earth will have the enduring capacity to sustain life.
Thus, the love for the planet is the reason why there is a magnanimous availability of quotable quotes about sustainability.
Inspirational Sustainable Quotes:
“If humans start learning about the environment now, the world is surely going to be a better place tomorrow”
Such quote is very relevant. Today is the day to start saving Mother Earth, there is nothing we can do about yesterday, and tomorrow offers the chance to start anew.
“Sustainable future should start with sustainable objective”
The key to the achievement of anything is through the maintenance of the main goals. Without objectives, no project will ever take off the ground, and if objectives are not sustained, achievement of success is definitely out of reach.
“Pollution is something created, thus it is something that can also be avoided” –
Humans created pollution; it is not something we are born with. Pollution happens because mankind is weak and this weakness prevents us from dealing with what we want to put to trash. If we can create pollution, we should also be able to create a solution that will put an end to this global dilemma.
“Use of plastic is dominant due to functionality and affordability. What we all fail to realize is that the cost we save with plastic is not enough to pay for the cost of eventually losing our planet”
Companies have been manufacturing plastics and people have been using them. Plastics are everywhere, and this is the reason why we are soon going to be deeply drowned in non-biodegradable trash.
“Let us not wait for Earth to surrender, let us give her the support she needs before she eventually let us down”
Sustainability is needed; and that is a fact. If we start using resources that are sustainable, we start to save those that are non-renewable. This means that the world we live in will have a longer life and thus the next generations will be able to enjoy living on a sustained and maintained planet.
“Technology is great, but human lives are precious”
There is nothing wrong with being advanced or with having the ability to use technology for the betterment of the people. But when technology starts to create havoc and damage the world we live in, it is about time to stop, think and re-align our priorities.
“Let us be inspired, let us create a better world to live in. Let us sustain what we have now, before the time comes when there is nothing to sustain anymore” –
It is better to act now than wait for the wait for the time when there is nothing we can do. The will to change should begin now, while there is still something to save. Let us not wait for the planet to disintegrate, because when that happens, no matter how many billions are willing to help, all efforts will be fruitless.
What makes a city “green?” What makes a city “greener” than others? What make 10 cities the “greenest?”
The word “green” connotes a lot of meaning for a lot of people. A city with the least number of car owners could be deemed a “green” city as well. But the again, one that focuses on tree planting can be considered as the “green” city with objective.
Here are the 10 cities selected as the world’s greenest mainly due to their effective use of renewable energy, green lifestyle promotion, huge numbers of clean-tech companies, implementation of laws protecting the environment and employment of fresh and innovative strategies for better and green communities.
Top 10 Greenest Cities in the World
1. Reykjavik, Iceland
- On top of the list is this sizable city in Iceland that effectively manages to run on completely immaculate renewable energy. Reykjavik has capitalized mostly on its natural abundance of geothermal energy and volcanoes and just a mere 0.1 percent of the electricity used in this city is from fossil fuels. The buses in the city are considered as among the world’s greenest public transportation systems because they run on zero-emission hydrogen power.
2. San Francisco, California
This famous California city has always managed to be among the top cities, both in the US and the world. This is not surprising as San Francisco has become very famous for implementing environment-friendly laws like; banning the use of plastic shopping bags, waste reduction, emission reduction and recycling.
3. Malmö, Sweden
Malmö is the third largest city in Sweden and it is a good example of urban sustainability, because it leads in providing renewable energy solutions and it offers rich green space. This Swedish city has the world’s third-largest wind energy park whose main objective for 2020 is for all the city operations to be climate-neutral.
4. Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver is Canada’s greenest city and it is North America’s second-greenest next to San Francisco. The city’s main goal is to be named the world’s greenest city by 2020. The city effectively promotes low-carbon emissions and implements clean technology innovations. An amazing 90% of the city’s power run through renewable resources and most of it are hydroelectric power.
5. Portland, Oregon
This Oregon city is known as the first in America to implement an effective climate action scheme. It has more LEED-certified suburban towers when compared to other cities in the US. A lot of its workforce bike to work or use carpooling and public transportation to work everyday.
6. Curitiba, Brazil
The sixth place goes to Curitiba, Brazil’s undisputed green capital and the greenest city in Latin America. It has 14 forests, over a thousand of public green spaces and 16 parks. Seventy percent of the city’s wastes are recycled and about 1.5 million new trees have been planted along byways and highways.
7. Copenhagen, Denmark
This is one city in the world that is renowned for almost a third of resident relying primarily on daily commuting on their bicycles. Its cost is nicely speckled wind turbines and it is widely acknowledged as a leader when it comes to fighting climate change.
8. Stockholm, Sweden
Another Swedish city made it on the list and this time it is Stockholm, which happens to be the one of the most environmentally conscious European cities.
9. Hamburg, Germany
On the number 9 spot is the Hamburg, which has the 2011 European Green Capital designation for the redevelopment of most of the city’s urban core to support its own sustainability principles.
10. Bogotá, Colombia
This Colombian capital is one of the cities in the world with the highest improved reputation. It offers an efficient public transportation system, over a thousand of city green spaces and bike trails that go for hundreds of miles.
Once again, what makes a city “Top 10 Greenest Cities in the World” of all the “green” cities? It is the one that stands out when it comes to fighting the dreadful climate change in a big way. It is one that sets an example for the rest of the world to follow.
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ustainability is something that is taking the world by storm. That is one fact that cannot be denied. Sustainable buildings are being planned and constructed almost anywhere because more and more people have realized the benefits they can enjoy from such structures.
Construction of green buildings requires the cooperation of contractors, engineers and architect in co-creating these structures with the environment. When you look closer into the idea of building sustainable structures you will realize as well that it is a way of respecting nature and its natural resources. The entire process is focused on making use of sustainable materials and renewable energy, as well in ensuring proper site development, water conservation and overall indoor and outdoor environmental quality. The benefits provided by a sustainable building are generally categorized into three divisions: environmental, economical and social.
The main purpose behind construction of sustainable building is to effectively preserve the environment in order to avoid the exhaustion of Earth’s natural resources. If sustainable substitutions are created throughout every segment of the project’s development it provides the following environmental benefits:
Protection of the Ecosystem
Use of renewable energy sources and initiatives on efficiency lessen the anthropogenic contributions to damaging global climate change; as well reduce emissions that put human health and air quality into compromise.
Reduction of hazardous emissions are achieved in building green buildings through utilization less environmentally destructive materials and reduced fossil fueled electricity dependence.
This is achieved effectively through recycling rainwater that can yield significant water supplies. Sustainable building promotes storm water management that includes the processes of harvesting and redirection that eventually can reduce flooding and erosion.
Conservation and Restoration of Natural Resources
Without the need for usage of fossil energy resources, natural resources are effectively conserved and restored.
The growing efforts to use the deconstruction method, instead of the demolition method allows for more people to massively reduce waste production. It has been proven that if buildings are deconstructed million tons of debris will be effectively diverted from landfills. Deconstruction means doing a selective dismantlement of the components of the buildings, for recycling, re-use, and proper waste management. Deconstruction significantly differs from demolition, wherein a site is totally cleared of the building by the most convenient methods.