Top 20 Greenest and Cleanest Countries and Cities on the Planet

Green Cities

The results of man’s action on the planet are clearly visible. Different regions are experiencing catastrophic consequences of global warming.

The world is making advancements towards becoming green especially for environmentally conscious nations as they work hard to develop their economies.

In the recent past, the question has been what you, as an individual, can do to ensure minimal damage to the environment and climate. Unfortunately, while there have been massive campaigns advocating for everyone to be more conscious of their actions, the negative impact on the environment is on a steady increase.

While countries always seem to be discussing solutions to curb climate and environmental change, they often go against what was agreed upon. Or in some cases, blatantly disregard these agreements.

You might have stopped using polythene bags, started recycling, and you opt for the paper straw. While this is commendable, more needs to be done. Some countries have gone the extra mile in ensuring a better, greener future both for you and the upcoming generations. Some of these countries include;

1. Iceland

Iceland has been recognized both for its attempts to preserve its environment as well as its efforts to invest in sustainability. Iceland has also been termed as one of the greenest places on earth.

One of the ways the country is keeping green is by using its geothermal landscapes to produce a bulk of its electricity. Moreover, Iceland has placed vital measures to ensure the aquatic scenery is protected.

2. Switzerland

Switzerland boasts of beautiful lakes, fresh air, and breath-taking mountains. These features are not synonymous with the country by chance; the country has measures in place to protect the environment.

An example is the laws put in place to ensure that farmlands develop, and they are not used for infrastructural expansion.
The Swiss also ensure a healthier planet by leveraging renewable energy.

3. Costa Rica

Here’s a country known for its magnificent landscapes and astounding scenery. The country is not only a tourist destination hub, but it is also one of the cleanest places on the planet.

Costa Rica has an ambitious goal of being the first country to go carbon neutral by 2021. The citizens are playing their role by turning to renewable energy to avoid greenhouse gasses production.

4. Sweden

Sweden is another country with an ambitious goal aimed at helping the world. The country is working towards eradicating its dependency on fossil fuel by 2020. They are working towards achieving the goal by turning towards eco-friendly sources of energy.

Sweden has also partnered with neighbouring countries to protect the Baltic Sea and its ecosystem.

5. Norway

It’s one thing to aim at going green. Norway has taken it to the next level. The country is looking to ensure longevity in its plans by investing in the next generation. From a tender age, Norwegian children learn how to co-exist with nature.

The country is also working towards eliminating carbon pollution by 2030. The country has ensured no greenhouse gasses are emitted either through commercial or residential facilities.

6. Kenya

While it seems like the developed countries are at the forefront in mitigating adverse climatic and environmental changes, there’s a lot developing countries are doing. A good example is Kenya.

In 2017, the country banned the use of plastic bags. The country is also working towards reducing its greenhouse gasses by a third by 2030. Moreover, the government is working towards protecting the agricultural economy.

7. New Zealand

New Zealand’s economy heavily relies on agriculture and tourism. As a result, the country is intent on having beautiful sceneries and a green environment. While you won’t see streams clogged with plastic waste or landfills full of plastic, the country is among the top emitters of methane due to their large cattle and sheep farming.

To curb pollution, New Zealand banned plastic bags from their supermarkets and encourages small but impactful acts such as having a reusable water bottle and using paper straws.

8. Portugal

The Portuguese make a strong entrance on the list with a turnkey of solutions to become one of the greenest countries.
Until recently, electric cars charging stations were free. The residents have also moved from conventional modes of power generation to eco-friendly ones, including solar power and wind energy.

It’s not uncommon to see residents harvesting rainwater for various domestic uses, such as watering plants, feeding their pets, showering, and washing clothes.

Aside from countries as a whole, cities are also doing their part in ensuring a greener tomorrow. Some of these cities are;

9. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Often referred to as the city of bikes, Amsterdam is a green utopia. In the city, there are more bicycles than people. The residents advocate for cycling due to its benefits both to the body and to the environment.

If you are not up to riding a bicycle, you can use an electric car and charge it in over the 300 charging stations distributed across the city.
Moreover, the city holds the farmers in high regard as they provide much of the organic food available.

10. Stockholm, Sweden

While Sweden is on the list, Stockholm deserves mention. The city has bio-fuel conversion plants whose main aim is to produce biofuel from sewage waste.

11. Vancouver, Canada

Other than having several waste management projects, Vancouver deserves mention for supporting cyclists and putting up charging ports to encourage electric cars.

12. Curitiba, Brazil

Here, you can exchange your recyclables for snacks, sweets, and money. What makes the city stand out, however, is the ability to recycle over 70% of its waste.

13. Portland, Oregon

From as early as 1991, Portland has continually aimed at reducing its dependence on fossil fuels. The city has continuously lowered its carbon emissions over the years. Additionally, the city recycles about 63% of its total waste.

14. San Francisco, California

The city of San Francisco aims to be ‘waste-free’ by 2020. While it may seem like an overly ambitious goal, in 2011, the city was crowned the Greenest City in North America.

15. Cape Town, South Africa

Arguably one of the greenest cities in Africa, Cape Town, sources 20% of its energy from renewable and eco-friendly sources. The town is also continually innovating ways to manage waste effectively.

16. Helsinki, Finland

The Finnish capital city has become a green haven from advocating for cycling, and recycling and waste management.

17. Reykjavik, Iceland

Sitting over geothermal wells, this Icelandic city converts the water into steam, and later electricity. The city aims at being fossil fuel-free by 2050.

18. Copenhagen, Denmark

Hailed ‘Europe’s Green Capital,’ Copenhagen is the city where there are more bicycles than cars. The city aims at going carbon neutral by 2025.

19. Berlin, Germany

Berlin makes it on the list from its efforts of putting up over 400 electric charging points across the city. The city also endorses the use of public transit.

20. Kigali, Rwanda

Kigali has recently increased efforts in cleaning up the city and conserving the environment. The city is also constructing a green city to integrate urban living and environmental sustainability.

There’s a lot more emission in the world over. At the same time, counties and cities are doing their part to ensure a greener future. As the nations do their part, you too should look for a small part to play to ensure tomorrow will be better.

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