San Diego Tops ‘Greenest' City List

San Diego narrowly beat San Francisco for the number one spot

America’s Finest City is also the “Greenist,” according to a new WalletHub report.

The study looked at 26 indicators of environmental friendliness and sustainability and found San Diego narrowly beat San Francisco for the number one spot.

Many people around the county are doing their part to help keep San Diego on top.

Over the last six years, one homeowner in Bonita transformed her half-acre yard, ripping out most of the grass and replacing it with drought-tolerant plants and other water-saving features, as well as two butterfly gardens.

Homeowner Barbara Whelan also found creative ways to reuse items. She made a walkway out of chunks of concrete from a friend’s old patio and used old bathtubs and wheelbarrows from estate sales as plant pots.

Reused items were actually used to build a home in Lakeside.

It is made from three 20-foot shipping containers and other recycled construction materials.

“We tried to reuse materials that would normally go to waste, instead of buying new,” said homeowner Michael McConkey.

The home also features radiant heating in the floors and a “cool roof” that reflects the sunlight and helps to reduce cooling costs.

Straw is another great way to keep heating and cooling costs down, and a home in Campo is built from strawbales covered with an adobe plaster.

Builder Rebecca Tasker, co-founder of Simple Construct, said straw is a great insulator.

“One of the most amazing things about this house is how stable it is thermally. We can have huge spikes in heat or cold outside, and it just doesn’t get through those walls. This house stays about 72 degrees all the time, no matter what,” Tasker said.

Strawbale homes are also extremely fire-safe.

“This house, the way it is built, can achieve a 2-hour fire rating. That means that it takes two-hours to destroy that wall. The average house has about a 30- minute fire rating,” Tasker said.

You can learn more about all three of these properties and nine others during the San Diego Green Homes Tour.

It’s taking place this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults. Kids 16 and under get in free.

For more information, visit the tour's website. 

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