Sustainable living is not a trend that should wane after a few months. It is also not a politically motivated campaign that is only talked about during election season. Sustainable living is a way of life that helps you protect the environment and allows you to give back to nature, which is our source of life.

But have you ever felt like the city you’re living in makes it so hard for you to lead a sustainable life? For instance, you might be making a real effort segregating your trash, but then you find out that the city simply dumps them all in a landfill.

The road to sustainability is paved with baby steps for sure, but if you are serious about making an impactful change, drastic adjustments may be inevitable, too. So if you are serious about going green or living sustainably, consider relocating to these cities that are now gaining praise for being green. 

1. New York

This may come as a surprise but New York has come a long way from the highly polluted city it once was.

The big apple is slowly but surely becoming a sustainable city as seen by the number of reforms that the city government is implementing to increase sustainability within their jurisdiction. New York has a renewable energy initiative that certainly makes its entire community much more sustainable, energy-efficient, and cost-efficient, too. 

2. Reykjavik, Iceland

The capital city of Iceland is one of the most sustainable cities in the world. 90% of its power comes from renewable resources like hydropower and geothermal plants. The Icelandic government is even pushing to make Reykjavik the first city to source its power completely from renewable energy. It also has plans to have no carbon footprint by the year 2040.

3. Portland, Oregon

Portland consistently records the highest percentage of people who bike to work more than any other U.S. city. Its lush green spaces make it so easy to do away with carbon-emitting vehicles since walking or biking is always an attractive option.

The city also has recycling and composting programs that make waste management very easy. In the next ten years, Portland’s target is to recycle 90% of the city’s recyclable trash.

4. Singapore

If you’ve always dreamed about moving east, Singapore is the way to go. The Lion City is currently the most sustainable city in Asia. Their government incentivizes ride-sharing as well as the use of e-vehicles and bicycles. On top of that, the government is also ensuring that mass transportation is cheap, reliable, and efficient enough that people won’t find it necessary to have private cars.

5. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam has one of the most ambitious plans in terms of reducing emissions. They are currently working to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 75% in the year 2040 before completely doing away with fossil fuels.

Owners and drivers of electric cars are also given privileges like public charging outlets right in front of their homes, and permits to deliver goods off-hours. Needless to say, all these efforts have helped turn Amsterdam into the world’s most habitable city.

6. Copenhagen, Denmark

Last, but definitely not the least, why not move the world’s single greenest city? 

Where else can you swim in city harbors, go cruising on a solar-powered boat, and ski down the roof of a clean energy power station? Copenhagen… What about vending machines that give you money for recycling? Copenhagen again!

Even fashion weeks, which are notorious for promoting fast fashion and unsustainable consumerism, take on a different face when you’re in the Denmark capital.

The Copenhagen Fashion Summit is even commended for being a global leader in promoting sustainable options in the fashion industry. No wonder Danes are considered the world’s happiest people.

Before packing your bags and moving to these green cities, you must understand that sustainability is not the only thing to consider if you plan to move. 

Strictly speaking, if you’re trying to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, you don’t really need to leave your own city. But it does help that you are in a community that will allow you to be more conscious of how your actions and decisions impact the environment. 

It’s also better if the community you belong to is already sustainable so that you’ll be influenced to fully embrace this lifestyle.