Hastings, NE, is Yahoo's greenest city in America

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Yahoo Inc. has announced that Hastings, NE, has won the company's "Be a Better Planet" Greenest City in America challenge.

Hastings will receive a cash prize of $250,000 to be dedicated toward city greening projects, developed in union 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. The campaign encouraged users to use tools such as Yahoo Green, Yahoo Answers and Yahoo oneSearch to become better planetarians.

According to Yahoo. the top 10 greenest cities in America are:

    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, the top five cities are being rewarded with deliveries of thousands of energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs, compliments of Yahoo.

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 14, or the equivalent cash donation. Hastings, which has signed the U.S. Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement, selected the cash so it can further its city environmental programs.

The city's 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 possible greening projects, such as expansion of renewable energy programs and energy-efficient restorations for city buildings.

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