So what criteria should a city meet to be considered eco-friendly? It could include measuring the quality of the air and water, the way recycling is enforced, the replacement of conventional energy sources with renewal ones like hydraulic, air and solar energies, cleaner modes of transportations that do not leave a carbon footprint. Even farms that produce organic products can put a city on the eco-friendly map.

Here are six cities that meet the criteria.

  1. Austin, Texas is not all about horses and cowboys. They have also devoted a great deal of acres to the creation of parks, preserves and hiking trails. In addition, they are in the process to make their city entirely carbon free by the year 2020 by switching to renewable energy sources. Hybrid and electric cars are rapidly replacing fully gas powered vehicles.
  2. Just because the air in L.A. sucks doesn’t mean that all of California should get a bad rap. Take the city of Berkeley for example. They are known for using an abundant amount of green technology like solar power, wind power, hydro-power, and biofuels to run their city. In addition, they also offer a bunch of options of high quality organic food products at restaurants as well.
  3. What are the advantages of being a port city like Oakland in California? For starters, you are by the ocean, so you can use hydraulics as an energy source. Oakland is also known for having some of the freshest organic food sources available. The tap water is clean so you don’t have to invest in a filter or worry that you’ll suffer from contamination if you need to drink from the tap. Public transportation is hydrogen-powered. By the year 2020, Oakland hopes to be completely independent of oil based energy sources.
  4. Boston, Massachusetts is the place to be in 2015. That’s because they’re implementing a plan called “Green by 2015”, in which they hope to replace gas powered taxi cars, motorcycles and public transportations with hybrid ones. They will also use recycled trash to power the city as well as use solar panels as an energy source.
  5. San Francisco, California may be known for getting a whole lot of fog but it is also considered the country’s largest solar energy user. In addition to encouraging the local residents to recycle through neighborhood programs, the city has also banned the use of plastic bags at grocery stores.
  6. If you hate to drive then ditch that car, buy a bike and move to Portland, Oregon. It has 200 miles worth of bike lanes. This has been instrumental in diminishing the use of gas-powered vehicles, which as we all know really messes with the ozone layer. Plus, the less cars they less of a chance you’ll have of getting hit while bike riding to work.

Some of these cities are bike-friendly, use sustainable sources of energy like solar panels or wind sails, or provide their residents with rich, nutritious organic foods that are free of chemicals and hormones. But however they are accomplishing their environmental-focused efforts, they are succeeding and more cities ought to take their example.