Forty years ago, the environmental awareness and the “green” movement were born; today, as eco-conscious baby boomers prepare to retire, seeking out a retirement destination that is environmentally friendly as well as a fun and affordable place to live, is at the top of the to-do list. While a great many cities and towns across the United States have embraced green living and technology, some stand out for the other attractive features they offer.
Great “green” retirement locations
Long a bastion of environmental consciousness, the northwest region of the US, including cities such as Portland, Oregon, Seattle and Washington, has been popular with environmentalists for years. As a retirement destination, the region offers much to attract an aging population interested in staying active. Hiking and cycling are very popular here and Portland is noteworthy for the its easily-navigable streets, whether by bike or by foot. Seattle powers a large portion of the city with clean hydroelectric power and a smoking ban in the city makes the city an ideal spot for retirees with asthma or other breathing conditions. Eugene, Oregon, also gets a large percentage of its power from green sources (hydroelectric and wind) and has numerous acres of trails, green spaces and wetlands for its residents to enjoy.
California is also home to a number of green communities, ranging from smoke-free Santa Rosa in the north, to the Bay Area, which includes San Francisco and Oakland, all the way south to the beach communities along the coast and beautiful San Diego. Retirees can look forward to having convenient public transportation, plenty of natural beauty in the forests and canyons surrounding major cities and communities, as well as a serious pursuit of clean energy options for powering the homes, rentals and retirement communities located in these and many other California locations.
For many retirees, Florida is the most desired destination when the time comes to enjoy the fruits of their years of labor. A number of wonderful destinations throughout Florida offer green communities and environmentally friendly services for the eco-conscious retiree, most notably Daytona Beach, Florida. Famous for its automobile activities both on and off the beach, Daytona Beach has become noteworthy as a “green” retirement destination due to its incredibly clean and clear air; the city is ranked among the top 25 cities for low ozone and small-particle pollution levels.
Environmentally-friendly living during retirement
Choosing a retirement location close to friends and family will not only save on the expense of long-distance travel, but also will reduce the environmental impact an individual has by saving on gasoline and pollution due to exhaust from both jetliners and cars. A transit-friendly destination, with plenty of public transportation as well as access to greener long-distance travel options, such as trains, will reduce environmental impact substantially.
Retirees can also be conscious of the energy-efficiency of their homes and residency communities and take steps to not only choose green living quarters but also to improve their home’s energy-efficiency in a variety of ways. Installing energy-efficiency appliances in the kitchen, using energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and utilizing energy providers that embrace environmentally-friendly practices are all ways to live green during the retirement years.