Many cities around the world are going green these days, but there are five that have simply outdone the rest. green-citiesThese five cities have very small carbon footprints, have great recycling programs, and use reusable energy in unique and creative ways.

Freiburg, a city in Germany, has been a leader in green community living for quite some time. The city’s central area was actually rebuilt to be green after it was destroyed during World War II. Yes, the city has been green-focused since WWII! Freiburg has a car-free area, a solar village, and more.

Portland, Oregon, in the United States is the first city to be named a platinum-level bicycle community. The city also makes great use of renewable energy, recycling, and mass transportation systems. Portland is a great city for those looking to integrate being green with their lifestyle.

Another city in the US, Austin, Texas, is working very hard to reduce the amount of fossil fuel used. They’ve mandated home energy audits to help people increase the efficiency of their homes, and they focus on locally grown foods and farmer’s markets. Austin also holds several green festivals designed to teach people how to be more eco-friendly.

Zermatt, a town in Switzerland, has become a huge tourist destination. However, you won’t find cars in the town. Streets are for pedestrians and bikes only, and large loads are actually hauled through town on hand carts and small electric carts. If you want anything larger than that, you must have a special permit.

Finally, Montreal, in Quebec, Canada, regulates carbon emissions, has implemented the Bixi bike sharing project, and more. The city is one of the leaders in being green, and many other cities look to Montreal as their guide in reducing waste and recycling.

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