Berkeley, California

Berkeley’s (score 7.285, pop. 102,743) distinguished history as a center of politically progressive thought extends well into the environmental movement, and the city currently boasts the highest number of members of environmental organizations of any city in the U.S.

Located on the gorgeous San Francisco Bay, Berkeley shares the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system with neighboring Oakland and San Francisco, linking all three cities in a community where organic rules.

Berkeley requires that all new city-owned buildings be built to LEED Silver standards and has created a sustainable development fee on all new permits to pay for the creation of green building guidelines for residential, multi-family and commercial buildings. Nineteen percent of Berkeleyites commute on public transport and besides BART and the bus system, residents also may take advantage of the city’s car sharing program.

The green thumbed may work the earth at over 20 community gardens, and their children can get a start at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School’s Edible Schoolyard program where students grow, harvest and prepare organic food.