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Most and least sustainable US travel destinations

Most and least sustainable US travel destinations
Most and least sustainable US travel destinations
Written by Harry Johnson

Global travelers are increasingly conscious of the environmental impact their trips could be having on the planet

As pressure mounts for cities around the world to do their bit when it comes to fighting climate change, travelers are increasingly conscious of the impact they could be having on the planet.

New industry study, released today, analyzed 50 of the most visited cities in the United States on a range of factors such as the percentage of sustainable hotels, public transport usage, pollution levels, and congestion rates. 

So, which are the most sustainable destinations in the US? 

The Top 10 Most Sustainable Cities in the USA 

  1. Portland, OR
  2. Seattle, WA
  3. New York City, NY
  4. Minneapolis, MN
  5. Denver, CO
  6. Boston, MA
  7. Salt Lake City, UT
  8. Buffalo, NY
  9. San Jose, CA
  10. Austin, TX

In first place is Portland, Oregon, which is well known for being a progressive city.  The state of Oregon has the highest rate of renewable energy usage of any on our list (43.1%). Also, it scores highly for its low light pollution (6,590μcd/m2) and the number of sustainable hotels (9% of total hotels). 

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Not too far from Portland is the second-placed city of Seattle, Washington. Like Portland, Seattle scores highly for its usage of renewable energy (38.4%) as well as for its average air pollution (6μg/m³), people who walk or use public transport (44.8%), and sustainable hotels (9.19%).

Despite being one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world, New York takes third place. NYC was the top-scoring city for not one, not two, but three factors: sustainable hotels, people walking or using public transportation, and length of cycle paths.

The research also revealed the least sustainable US cities:

  1. Nashville, TN
  2. Columbus, OH
  3. Dallas, TX
  4. Houston, TX
  5. Indianapolis, IN
  6. Philadelphia, PA
  7. Chicago, IL
  8. Baltimore, MD
  9. Tampa, FL
  10. Cincinnati, OH

Coming bottom of the rankings is Nashville, Tennessee, one of the fastest-growing cities in the country.  Nashville is the lowest-scoring city when it comes to its air pollution (14.3μg/m³) and also scores poorly for its cycle path infrastructure, with just 0.6 miles of protected pathways.

The second-lowest scoring city is Columbus, the most populated city in the state of Ohio. Ohio has a very low rate of renewable energy usage (4.4%) and the city of Columbus has a high level of air pollution, at 13.6μg/m³.

About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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