If you’re looking to visit an eco-friendly city this summer, you’ve come to the right place. SaveOnEnergy.com® has searched for and found the top cities promoting a healthy and sustainable environment. When it comes to being eco-friendly, these places are going above and beyond.
1. Copenhagen, Denmark
As a place where almost everyone uses a bicycle to get around, it comes as no surprise that the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) 2014, an organization that advances the installation of renewable energy infrastructure, went to Copenhagen, Denmark, this year. The LAGI invited teams from around the world to submit their creations and ideas for public art that provides utility-scale clean energy to Copenhagen and the grid. The Energy Duck, one of the submissions to the LAGI, is much more than a gigantic duck. It is a renewable energy generator and storehouse that could generate solar and hydro power for the entire city. The Energy Duck is envisioned to be an iconic symbol, tourist attraction, renewable energy generator and a celebration of the common eider duck found in the waters of Copenhagen.
Boston recently replaced some of its park benches with Soofas, smart, solar-powered benches that allow visitors to relax, charge their devices and stay connected to location-based information. Through solar energy, locals and tourists visiting a Soofa bench can charge their cellphones while also checking out how many people have visited the bench throughout the day, what the air quality at their specific park is like and how loud it is in the area, all on the Soofa website. The Soofa team is currently installing the first dozen benches in and around Boston.
3. New Orleans
Did you know that in New Orleans you can recycle your butt? Cigarette butt that is. The cigarette butt recycling initiative in New Orleans is the first citywide tobacco waste recycling initiative launched in the United States. Soon, 50 permanent cigarette butt recycling receptacles will be installed throughout the city center. The New Orleans Downtown Development District is working with TerraCycle to ensure the discarded cellulose acetate stubs are collected regularly and then shipped to the company’s recycling facilities where the materials are recycled and repurposed properly.
4. Sydney, Australia
New reverse vending machines in Sydney offer rewards to those who recycle. The hope is that the vending machines will encourage Sydneysiders to be even better at recycling plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Though the machines are only being tested, they’re offering prizes such as entry into a drawing for two tickets to the 2014 Sydney New Year’s Eve event at the Dawes Point viewing area, two-for-one food truck vouchers or a 10 cent donation to charity.
5. San Francisco
To say San Francisco is improving public transportation is an understatement. The Transbay Transit Center for transportation started construction in 2010 and is expected to be finished in 2017. When completed, the center will connect eight Bay Area counties and the rest of California through 11 transportation systems. The center will feature CityPark, a 5.4-acre rooftop park offering amenities including an outdoor amphitheater, gardens, trails, open grass areas, children’s play space as well as a restaurant and café. The center will also offer retail shopping and dining, a rainwater recycling system and six interchangeable tracks that accommodate Caltrain, Amtrak and high-speed trains.