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Bicycle repair, chemical-free house cleaning determines ‘eco-friendliness’

The United States, the world's second largest carbon emitter, had been pressed to make efforts to minimize their climatic impact.

With this, Americans are now becoming more environmentally conscious with their daily living, especially the ones in the urban areas, and this idea leads to the growing need for "green" services across the country.

Internet marketplace Thumbtack made a study that ranks the major cities in the U.S. in terms of per capita availability of these services and the premium costs entailed by some providers.

The eco-friendly services include solar panel installation, bicycle repair, chemical-free house cleaning, organic catering, electronics recycling, chemical-free pest control, chemical-free carpet cleaning, sustainable interior design, green architects and home energy audits.

Based on the set of criteria, the top 10 "greenest" U.S. cities are, on order, San Francisco, California; Oakland California; San Jose, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Raleigh, North Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; Seattle, Washington; Kansas, Missouri; Denver, Colorado; and San Diego, California.

San Francisco topping the list is not quite a surprise, having been recognized as the overall champ of the World Green Building Council's Government Leadership awards for Excellence in City Policy for Green Building in 2011.

Meanwhile, occupying the three top spots, the Bay Area took the title of being the most eco-friendly region in the nation, having the greater accessibility to eco-friendly services among other cities.

Comparing the ratio between bike repair and auto repair shops, Virginia Beach had the highest fraction, with Sacramento as the second best.

In terms of mounting solar panels over the roofs, Los Angeles takes the lead, followed by California cities San Jose and Long Beach.

When it comes to the premium price that comes with the green services, the study found that 14 percent are charged by green architects for their service, while 11 percent of additional cost is charged for green landscaping services. As for the house cleaning agents, chemical-free agents are 20 percent more expensive than chemical cleaning agents.

Nine out of the top 10 green cities are also identified as smarter cities by the advocacy group National Resources Defense Council. – C. Dominguez

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