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RISMEDIA, April 27, 2010—From recycling to rain barrels to walking and buying second-hand clothes, the 2nd Annual “Nalgene Least Wasteful Cities Study” (NLWC) again puts the nation’s top 25 metro areas under scrutiny for wasteful behavior. For the second-straight year, San Francisco ranked the top city for responsible consumption and eco-friendly behavior. Houston ranked last. Overall, the study suggests that urban Americans have shown slight improvements in curbing wasteful behavior.

Other cities at the top of the list are Seattle (2) New York (3) Portland, OR (4) and Boston (5). Joining Houston (25) at the bottom this year were Cleveland (24) Atlanta (23) Tampa (22) Indianapolis (21) and Miami (20).

Created by the leading BPA-free reusable bottle company, Nalgene, the eco-study is designed to encourage responsible consumption in our nation’s cities. Rankings are compiled through an index that gauges 23 behaviors and habits that range from recycling to using public transportation to shutting off the lights when leaving a room.

“This survey is a fun way to get individuals to think about environmental and financial impacts of everyday actions,” said Eric Hansen, product market director, Nalgene-Outdoor. “The results remind us all that simple steps can make a big difference over time.”

Key findings include:

-When asked to grade the country and their city’s commitment to the environment, most urban Americans (72%) are underwhelmed with the countries commitment as a whole. Similarly, three of five (60%) give their own city a C-grade

-2010 results show that, with the exception of recycling (the 4th top least wasteful behavior), urban Americans more readily embrace small, everyday habits to cut waste including saving leftovers, shutting off lights and using efficient light bulbs

-Best overall city improvements from 2009 include Dallas moving up ten slots from 24th to 14th and Phoenix moving up eight slots from 20th to 12th. NLWC downgrades include Denver, moving down eleven slots from 6th to 17th, and Cleveland, moving down eight slots, from 16th to 24th

-Once again, findings suggest that convenience plays a big role in behavior – those eco-friendly behaviors that require more effort consistently rank at the bottom of the barrel. The least-practiced efforts include walking for short trips, hanging clothes to dry, taking public transportation, composting and using a rain barrel

Highlights from around the U.S.

-64% of Seattle residents do not purchase bottled water and are the best at using a reusable bottle. The reason? 71% refill to be “more environmentally conscious” while 57% are motivated to “save money”

-San Francisco, Portland and Seattle are among the top four in least wasteful behaviors

-For the second straight year, Sacramento comes in first for using energy efficient light bulbs, while Atlanta remained in the dark, landing 25th for energy efficient light bulbs

-When it comes to saving energy and shutting off lights, the nation’s capital is dead last for the second year in a row. In contrast, Detroit moved up 19 spaces, coming in at number one in the category

-San Francisco puts water conservation at the top of their list coming in as number one in the U.S. for using a rain barrel. New York City ranks second and remains the only east coast city to rank in the top five for rain barrels

-Chicago’s eye for used goods dropped eleven spots from 14th in 2009 to 25th in 2010 followed by Philadelphia (24) and Houston (23)

-Los Angeles moves to last place for being the worst at avoiding the purchase of bottled water, while Miami moves from 25th to 18th

-Baltimore loves leftovers, coming in as the best at saving leftovers.

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