ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - It is pegged as the first "green" city in the state, but St. Petersburg may not be as eco-friendly as you think - just yet. A new study says ranked among top 100 most populated U.S. cities, with one being the greenest and 100 being the least green, St. Pete ranked 96th.
The St. Pete Eco Village is Emmanuel Roux's favorite place to be
"You need a farmer Every day, three times a day, because you need to eat," Roux said, saying buying and eating local produce is the way to a healthy community.
"There’s a huge demand for local organic produce but right now there is not the incentive to produce it," said Chris Kenrick, the co-director for St. Pete Eco village.
Kenrick says there's a lot of work to be done in the city.
The WalletHub.com study shows St. Pete is one of the least green cities in the country based on numerous things like the environment, transportation, green space, and energy.
Kenrick says one thing the city is missing out on is allowing its residents to grow their own produce and sell it. Right now, that is not allowed. He says city and county leaders agree the law needs to go.
"It’s ridiculous law that needs to be changed and a lot of people agree but the law hasn't been changed," Kenrick said.
In the study, St. Pete fared slightly better when it comes to transportation options, but not so good in other departments.
The city says it is making sustainability and resiliency a priority.
"Mayor Rick Kriseman used some of the BP settlement money on common sense -- and innocative ideas like the Crosstown ferry," said Ben Kirby, the mayors office communications director.
He says it is the main reason the Mayor created a Sustainability Office, addressing some of the issues raised in the study.
Kenrick says there are ways you can be more green without spending extra money like turning the lights off when you're not in a room, bike and walk more to save on fuel consumption, and reduce your water usage by installing a dual flush or low flow toilet (something the city offers a rebate for doing)..