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Seattle takes sustainability seriously! This city has made it a major priority to maintain eco-friendly practices. Not only does the booming city dedicate much of its land to several parks, forests and green spaces, but it’s also been a leader in creating more sustainable living conditions for its residents for many decades. Here are a few of the reasons why Seattle has become one of the greenest cities in the nation:

Renewable energy: Many people don’t know that Seattle generates nearly the entirety of its electricity through renewable energy. Seattle City Light, the city’s leading utility provider, takes proactive measures to utilize green energy and stays ahead of the game instead of waiting on mandated measures. Fun fact: Seattle is home to 8,000 solar powered buildings! 

Green space: Seattle is home to some of the most beautiful parks, gardens and arboretums. The city has made the creation of green spaces a top priority since the early 1990s. It has even ranked as one of the top 10 places in the world for canopy cover.

Travel tip: Next time you’re in town, stop by the UpGarden. This thriving garden is part of Seattle’s P-Patch Community Garden program and is located on top of a parking garage in the Uptown neighborhood. This hidden treasure is a green sanctuary that offers amazing views of the entire city. The public is welcome to visit during day time hours but are restricted from picking any of its fruits, vegetables and flowers. 

Recycling: The residents of Seattle are committed to recycling: more than 70% of single-family households recycle their waste. Additionally, more than 50% of residents compost their waste. As of 2017, Seattle created a plastic bag policy that prohibits stores from providing plastic carryout bags to customers in order to cut down plastic pollution. If a customer does not provide their own reusable carryout bag, the store may charge the customer a fee to use a plastic bag. Violation of the rules could result in a $250 fine. 

Restaurants: Seattle’s sustainable efforts have even extended to their local eateries. The Volunteer Park Cafe composts all their waste and often sends customers home with china and silverware instead of to-go boxes and plastic utensils. Snoose Junction sources printed menus made with eco-friendly ink, customers sit on basketball bleachers salvaged from Roosevelt High School, and recycled denim insulates the building. Seattle’s Mashiko serves 100% sustainable fish and Local 360 Café & Bar gets the majority of its raw ingredients within 360 miles of the city.

These are just some of the eco-friendly practices that Seattle uses to transform its city into one of the most sustainable places in the country.