Yahoo! Names Winner of the ‘Greenest City in America’ Challenge
Yahoo!Â today announced that Hastings, Nebraska, has won its “Be a Better Planet” Greenest City in America challenge. The birthplace of Kool-Aid, Hastings will receive a grand prize of $250,000 to be dedicated toward city greening projects, developed in conjunction with Global Green USA. More than 350 cities participated in the “Be a Better Planet” program, which challenged Americans to take action against climate change and use tools such as Yahoo! Green, Yahoo! Answers and Yahoo! oneSearch to become better planetarians. Yahoo! also announced the challenge’s top ten cities, which ranged from Mill Valley, Calif., to Fairfax, Va.
Yahoo! will declare Hastings the “Greenest City in America” at a Yahoo!-hosted Nebraska-style BBQ and celebration this evening at 6:00pm at Hastings’ Chautauqua Park. Residents of Hastings are invited to join Mayor Matt Rossen as he accepts the award on behalf of the city. Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy will also be in attendance, as well as other state government officials and surrounding city mayors.
Following the month-long campaign, the top ten Greenest Cities in America were determined as:
1. Hastings, Nebraska
2. Pelzer, South Carolina
3. San Carlos, California
4. Mill Valley, California
5. Topeka, Kansas
6. Dover, Delaware
7. Spring, Texas
8. Lawrence, Kansas
9. Walnut Creek, California
10. Fairfax, Virginia
In addition to the top prize awarded to Hastings, the top five cities are being rewarded today with deliveries of thousands of energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), compliments of Yahoo!.
Green-minded citizens participated in the “Be a Better Planet” Greenest City in America challenge by earning participation credits in the following ways:
Yahoo! Answers: Helping save the planet by earnings the best answer for an environmental question and contributing to the growing body of knowledge and advice on Yahoo! Answers;
Yahoo! oneSearch: Learning more about living a greener life by conducting “eco-friendly” mobile searches (“organic food,” “public transport,” “recycle center,” “bike,” “ride share”) on Yahoo! oneSearch, a new search service with results optimized for the mobile phone;
Yahoo! Green Pledge: Visiting Yahoo! Green and committing to lowering their carbon diet by pledging such actions as changing light bulbs, taking public transportation, using reusable shopping bags, properly inflating tires, and recycling more.
The winning city was offered the choice of either a fleet of hybrid taxi cabs, similar to those donated to New York City during the campaign’s kickoff on May 14th, or the equivalent cash donation. Hastings, which has signed the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement, selected the latter in order to further its city environmental programs. Current initiatives include conversion of methane to energy at its pollution control center, local production of Ethanol E85, extensive networks of parks and hiking and biking trails, and installation of energy-efficient street lighting. Global Green USA will help Hastings identify potential city greening projects, such as expansion of renewable energy programs and energy-efficient renovations for city buildings.