Few North American cities can match Calgary's green, clean initiatives, which might come as a surprise considering that this Alberta metropolis was basically built around the oil industry. However, both Forbes and consulting firm Mercer have recognized Calgary's efforts, naming it one of the cleanest cities in the world based on air quality, waste removal and water cleanliness among other factors.
A major education-based effort to increase recycling and composting is leading Calgary toward an 80 percent reduction in landfill usage over the next seven years. The city also has steep fines for littering both on the road and on the sidewalk. Throwing your trash on the ground can set you back as much as $1,000. There is also a municipal program that offers free graffiti removal for commercial and residential buildings.