The unrelenting drive towards sustainable, eco-friendly living has transformed how we go about our daily lives. Being kinder to the environment has become one of the most important social responsibilities, especially for those of us living in the UK. Over the past 15-20 years, local authorities and councils up and down the country have put in place a multiplicity of eco-friendly schemes and strategies aimed at staving off the untimely demise of our planet. As a result of these noble initiatives, the UK now boasts a rather impressive portfolio of eco-friendly cities. Read on for our guide to the top five.
Newcastle is considered to be one of the greenest cities on these shores. In fact, sustainability tub-thumpers, Forum for the Future, have twice named Newcastle as the UK’s most eco-friendly. It has a low carbon footprint of less than 7 tonnes per year (6.8 to be precise) and has put in place a number of schemes such as the enlargement of its recycling services and the inclusion of power points for electric vehicles in the city centre.
Brighton has built an impressive reputation with regards to green living and was the first to vote in a member of the Green Party. It has the largest collection of energy-efficient houses outside London and has in place an e-bike scheme for locals. Brighton has also improved its carbon footprint over the past few years, which at one point was surprisingly high. It now comes in at about 5.3 tonnes although recycling rates still remain low, compared to other places in the UK.
Also in Forum for the Future’s good books, Bristol also enjoys a lofty position in the eco-friendly league tables, not just for the UK but Europe as well. The city features large swathes of public green spaces and is currently in the midst of a scheme to substantially reduce its carbon footprint. It’s also started to attract substantial interest from the low-carbon technology sector. Recent initiatives such as the human-waste bus also mean that Bristol is at the forefront when it comes to developing innovative approaches to eco-friendly living.
Leeds, like many northern towns, played a significant role in the UK’s industrial past. However, the city has fully embraced the notion of sustainable living and is now a hub for eco-design and sustainability. Its ‘Special Landscape Area’s’ project is the centrepiece of a drive to promote green infrastructure and its recycling rates are among the most impressive in the UK. Efforts to reduce landfill waste have also proved very successful in recent years.
Plymouth, which has one of the South-West’s biggest ports, has in place a far-reaching plan which aims to substantially reduce CO2 emissions over the coming-years. In addition, it’s set aside over 30% of its port area to be used as green space. Couple that with above average recycling rates and a world-class waste management system and you’ve got an extremely eco-friendly city.
We’re doing our bit to help make our favourite city one of the greenest in Britain. If you’d like to contribute to keeping London green, contact Junkwize to dispose of your rubbish in an efficient and responsible way. Smarter. Greener. Safer.