Sustainable Cities

It is estimated that by 2050, more than 70 percent of the world's population will be living in a city. It's time for America's largest cities to adopt a sustainable and responsible vision for the future. 

Building the Cities of Tomorrow

Imagine cities that are healthy places to live, where our resources are used responsibly, where the environment is protected, and where citizens are actively engaged in their communities.

U.S. PIRG Education Fund is working to build these cities of tomorrow.

It's estimated that by 2050, more than 70 percent of the world’s population is estimated to be living in a city. More and more Americans are looking to cities to meet their needs in a way that’s sustainable, equitable and beneficial to the world. As more of us live and work in urban areas, we have the opportunity to make them leaders in sustainable development.

We envision cities:

  • With 21st century transportation options. For decades, cities have focused on moving cars, not people. It’s time to focus on getting people where they need to go by giving them more and better options to get around. These options include expanded public transit, better biking alternatives, walkable neighborhoods and high-performance intercity trains.
  • Powered by 100% clean and renewable energy. As the threat of climate change continues to grow, the best way to fight it is to keep fossil fuels in the ground and transition to 100% renewable energy. By encouraging big box stores to switch to solar power, promoting residential solar options, increasing the number of charging stations for electric vehicles, and raising energy efficiency standards for commercial and residential buildings we can easily meet this goal.
  • Where food systems are healthy, sustainable and locally-sourced. We all eat. But the choices we make with our food can help or hurt our communities and our environment. By sourcing food that is raised sustainably, responsibly and low in carbon, we can boost our local economies, move away from factory farming, and create healthier communities.
  • With clean water and responsible waste management. Communities across the country face risks from polluted water systems and waste. Aging pipes, sewage overflows and toxins that travel from roads to our water supply can harm our health and the environment. We need policymakers to make sure everyone has access to healthy water by creating strong policies to repair aging infrastructure and addressing toxins in our water supply. We can also make sure our waste is disposed of responsibly and reduce our waste whenever possible. 
  • Where citizens are involved in their government and their community. When we are active and engaged in our communities, we can push for more sustainable policies and hold elected leaders accountable. To ensure all citizens have the opportunity to participate in their community, cities should make voting as easy as possible, champion open access to government data and level the playing field for small donors.  

 

Issue updates

Blog Post | Consumer Tips, Food, Solid Waste

How to minimize food waste this 4th of July | Danielle Melgar

Planning ahead and getting creative with leftovers reduces food waste for a fun, sustainable celebration.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Release: New policy in effect erasing paid medical debt from credit reports

Consumer tips on how to check your credit report accuracy

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

How to make sure your credit reports don’t include paid medical debt | Patricia Kelmar

Medical debt, even when it is paid off, remained on credit reports for up to seven years. That's about to change. Here's how to make sure paid medical debt doesn't lower your credit score.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post

Buying a car should be less confusing - and the FTC can help | R.J. Cross

It's easy to spend thousands more on a car than you meant to, especially when dealerships use tricks and traps to lock you into bad deals. The FTC has proposed new rules to help.

> Keep Reading

Pages

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Release: New policy in effect erasing paid medical debt from credit reports

Consumer tips on how to check your credit report accuracy

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Report: Damaging methane gas pipeline leaks happen every 40 hours in the U.S.

New report deails how frequent gas leaks result in death, injury and other damage to our health and environment.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

STATEMENT: Senate confirms Consumer Product Safety Commission nominee; agency now at full strength

The U.S. Senate confirmed commission nominee Mary Boyle on Wednesday, nearly a year after she was nominated by President Biden, by a vote of 50-48. 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

Statement: CPSC warns public to stop using infant rockers after deaths

 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Tuesday took an unusual step to warn the public about infant rockers that haven’t been recalled.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Environment America Research & Policy Center

Advocates at Outdoor Retailer call on companies to phase out toxic ‘forever chemicals’

Ahead of the Outdoor Retailer Summer trade show, public interest and environmental groups hosted a media conference on Wednesday to call on the outdoor industry to phase out toxic PFAS chemicals from their products and supply chains.

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Pages

Result | Food

Researching How Tax Dollars Become Twinkies

U.S. PIRG research found that since 1995, $17 billion in agricultural subsidies have gone to corn syrup and other junk food ingredients. That’s enough to buy 2.8 billion Twinkies, and vastly more than has gone to apples and other fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Methane Gas Leaks

Methane gas (often known as natural gas) has heated the homes of many Americans for over a century – and for over a century, it has been prone to leaks, putting communities and the environment in danger. With growing awareness of the impact of methane leaks on the climate, and with growing availability of safer alternatives, it is clear that gas has no place in a modern clean energy network.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Stranded

When you rely on a powered wheelchair to get around, any delay in repair imposes a burden on your mobility and financial security. It can even become a matter of life and death. Yet, as “Stranded,” a new report from U.S. PIRG Education Fund found, a constrained market for wheelchair service and repair in the U.S. makes delays, of weeks or even months, common. 

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Food for thought: Are your groceries safe?

Two major recalls from the last seven months showcase the weaknesses in our food recall system: It often takes too long for companies and regulators to notify grocers, consumers, restaurants and food packagers, particularly regarding Class I recalls with a “reasonable probability” that exposure or use of the product could cause “serious adverse health consequences or death.” And once grocers find out, they aren’t required to contact customers who may have already purchased contami

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

The Path to Clean Transportation

Cities and states need to adopt policies and make investments designed to cut pollution and give people more options for getting where they need to go. 

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

Getting Off the Hook of a Predatory Tow Part II

New analysis of towing laws shows only 16 states ban kickbacks to property owners or law enforcement

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Pages

Blog Post | Consumer Tips, Food, Solid Waste

How to minimize food waste this 4th of July | Danielle Melgar

Planning ahead and getting creative with leftovers reduces food waste for a fun, sustainable celebration.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Tips

How to make sure your credit reports don’t include paid medical debt | Patricia Kelmar

Medical debt, even when it is paid off, remained on credit reports for up to seven years. That's about to change. Here's how to make sure paid medical debt doesn't lower your credit score.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post

Buying a car should be less confusing - and the FTC can help | R.J. Cross

It's easy to spend thousands more on a car than you meant to, especially when dealerships use tricks and traps to lock you into bad deals. The FTC has proposed new rules to help.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Tips, Transportation

How discounts and incentives for electric vehicles should be improved | Mike Litt

Our Consumer Campaign Director was invited to speak at the Consumer Federation of America’s (CFA) 56th Annual Consumer Assembly on a panel about consumer protections and climate change.

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Pages

Blog Post

After U.S. PIRG Education Fund report, Wells Fargo eliminates some student debit card fees

After U.S. PIRG Education Fund reported on problems in its debit card practices, Wells Fargo took steps to eliminate some "surprise" fees on student cards.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Consumer tips on how to check your credit report accuracy

Blog Post

Planning ahead and getting creative with leftovers reduces food waste for a fun, sustainable celebration.

Blog Post

Medical debt, even when it is paid off, remained on credit reports for up to seven years. That's about to change. Here's how to make sure paid medical debt doesn't lower your credit score.

Blog Post

It's easy to spend thousands more on a car than you meant to, especially when dealerships use tricks and traps to lock you into bad deals. The FTC has proposed new rules to help.

Solid Waste

PIRG hosts webinar with MythBusters' Adam Savage on Right to Repair

Our national network and the Right to Repair team organized a summit featuring keynote speaker Adam Savage from MythBusters. He shared his thoughts with us on the movement and we discussed our current progress on the Right to Repair campaign.

 

Solid Waste

New federal bill calls for U.S. to move beyond plastic

On Feb. 11, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall and U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal introduced legislation that would phase out unnecessary single-use plastics, which commonly end up clogging our landfills and polluting our environment. It also provides funding for recycling and composting infrastructure, and would shift the financial burden of managing waste and recyclables from town and city governments to the manufacturers.

 
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