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The 5 Greenest Cities In The U.S. To Raise Your Family

By Maria Cook

As more U.S. cities invest in green initiatives, from renewable energy to bans on plastic shopping bags to better, healthier parks, eco-conscious families may feel the urge to pack up and migrate. But a city being green isn't the only important thing to consider. 

Each family has different values and while there are always personal preferences to consider, it can be helpful to explore which cities put an emphasis on sustainability and healthy living. And if your city isn't on the list, or moving isn't on the table for your family right now, don't get discouraged. There are plenty of ways to help make your community green, whether you choose to reach out to your local representatives, start a community green space, or simply volunteer your time with a local farm, garden, or animal shelter. Even starting small can make a big difference in how eco-friendly your home and community are.

5. Rochester, Minnesota

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Rochester, home of the famed Mayo Clinic, is also a green city. Their soon-to-be-opened Mayo Civic Center, near the clinic, will be built with boilers which are powered by steam produced by a county Waste-to-Energy plant. This plant burns trash to create steam power. The Center will be maintained using only eco-friendly cleaning products. The city also publishes an e-zine about it's sustainability efforts, called "The Footprint." 

According to the city's website, Rochester has invested in making all of its facilities more energy-efficient, and 80% percent of Rochester hotels have taken action to conserve energy. As of 2016, Rochester had a population of 109,252 with an annual violent crime rate of 183 per 100,000. The Rochester Public School District was given an A rating by Niche.com. Niche ratings are based on data form the US Department of Education and consumer ratings.