Living Sustainably: What Is The Greenest City In The UK?

Written by Myles Hemingway

Myles is our self-confessed ‘word nerd’ and property geek. You’ll find him mythbusting everything from house repayments to maisonettes, as well as giving you our spin on the latest property news and industry trends.

Everything you need to know about the greenest places to live in the UK for 2020!

As our lifestyles change and we become more eco-conscious, so must our homes. Let’s face it, it was only a matter of time before they caught up.

Today, it’s not uncommon for us as buyers to be meticulous during our property search - not that we haven’t always been. For those of us with electric cars, home charging points are now a 'must have' gadget, while for others the absence of solar panels can be an absolute dealbreaker. And it's not like our green habits stop there.

Inside, efficient appliances are a must too, as well as all the usual tick-box items like a decent layout, big windows and interior design. So, what with us as homebuyers being more eco-conscious than ever before, it’s only natural that our cities are becoming more efficient and sustainable.

Question is though, which city is leading the way? And how can living in a green highly city benefit you? Discover the UK’s top 15 below, or use the menu to skip straight to number one.

What does sustainable mean? And, what is a green city?

In short, sustainable means that something can be maintained at a certain level or rate without any knock on effects.

It’s worth remembering that it's very hard to be one hundred per cent sustainable, and far easier to increase the degree to which something is sustainable. For instance, a way to generate power from the air could be classed as fully sustainable if (and that’s a big if) it didn’t affect the atmosphere in any way. However, if it were to hinder our ability to survive or even have minor affects on the atmosphere, it'd only be sustainable to some degree.

Sustainability is the ultimate goal of a green city. Green cities are areas that are heavily urbanised and take a eco-friendly approach to living. This could be encouraging people to cycle to work or to simply reuse their plastic bags.

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What are the benefits of living in a green city?

As you'd expect, green cities come with a whole host of benefits. Here’s three…

Air quality

For a green city, air quality is high on the agenda. Air quality is a major issue for cities worldwide, and a matter that's likely to get worse as populations rise and demand on transport services increase.

Great ways to reduce this include…

    Cycling – Not only is cycling great exercise, but it's also a effective way to combat co2. At present in the UK, the government's ‘Fix your bike scheme’ has been put in place to encourage those with a broken or damaged bike to get it repaired and take up cycling. With £50 to cover your repairs there really is no excuse.

    Car sharing – If you and a work colleague commute at the same time, sharing your car is an easy way to cut both your fuel costs and co2 in half.

    Electric cars – While electric cars don't reduce levels of congestion like bikes, they do reduce the volume of carbon emissions in the air. London encourages this by making electric cars or those which emit less than 75g/km of Co2 exempt from congestion charge. However, come October 2021, this is due to change - only battery powered electric cars will be exempt.

    For the lowdown on everything congestion charge, click here.

Clean & Tidy

Litter is a plague of most cities, but less so if they're a green city. Green cities use a variety of what’s called soft measures to minimalise waste. This can be anything from packaging free supermarkets and installing more bins in public places, to charging for plastic bags or using posters to shame potential litterers into using a bin. Naughty naughty!

Preserve utilities

Energy efficiency is a focus for any green city, as it has a significant impact on its carbon footprint. Reducing utility consumption allows a city to move closer towards its sustainability goals and operate at optimum efficiency.

Study this on a house by house basis and you’ll soon see how small changes can add up, especially in larger cities. Below you'll see the consumption figures for some of the most common household appliances...

Average Consumption (Watts)
Average Cost Per Hour
Kettle 1800 £0.195
Washing Machine 700 £0.076
Fridge 35 £0.004

*Statistics above supplied by Scottish Power.

Now imagine you live in a city with a population of just over half a million people – Manchester, for instance – and that one day every resident switches to a more energy efficient kettle that only consumes 1500 watts. Yes, that's only a 300 watt saving per person (we can all do far better than that), yet by doing so across the entire city, energy consumption would drop by a whopping 150,000,000 watts! And that's only based on one boil per day. If, as most of us do, you were to boil it two, maybe even three times a day, the saving would continue to magnify.

If you're interested in how much electricity you may be using, you can use this great electricity cost calculator which will break down the cost of popular appliances and devices by the hours of use per day.

If you're after a speedy onward purchase, selling your house direct to us could be a valuable option to you, even if green cities aren't your cup of tea. With the ability to exchange and complete in as little as 7 days, we could also save you a LOT of time and hassle. A deal you'll be hard pushed to get on the open market.

Want to discover what we'll offer you for your property? Reach out to our team today to receive your no obligation cash offer!

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