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Cost of moving: Places to go for affordable - and not so affordable - green living

San Francisco is one of the greenest cities in the country - but also one of the most expensive.

San Francisco is one of the greenest cities in the country - but also one of the most expensive.

Recently, a 300-pound bronze statue of the Dr. Seuss character the Lorax, who famously speaks for the trees, disappeared from the San Diego home of the late Theodore Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss himself. With San Diego placing nowhere on a recent list of the greenest cities in America, there are two better places the environmental icon may feel more at home, and they're both just up the coast.

Portland, Oregon, takes the prize for Greenest City in the United States, according to the Mother Nature Network. One of its main environmentally friendly features is the 200 miles of bike lanes that crisscross the city, which allow those thinking of packing up and moving to the city to leave their gas-guzzling car behind. Something else that might appeal to the Lorax in all of us - Portland, along with a number of other Oregon towns, was recently named a Tree City USA community as part of a statewide celebration of Arbor Week.

Median home prices in Portland hover around $221,000, making the city an affordable place to live, according to MovingToPortland.net. The overall cost of living in Portland is only marginally higher than the rest of the nation as a whole. Food can be slightly more expensive, since the area is known for its organic and locally raised food, which typically comes at a premium. Utilities, however, tend to be less expensive than in other areas of the country as a result of Portland's temperate climate, according to Bert Sperling's BestPlaces.net.

If the majestic redwoods of the Pacific Northwest can't compare to the Lorax's beloved truffula trees, then maybe a trip down the coast to San Francisco would be in order. The No. 2 greenest city is full of peace, love and solar power, according to Mother Nature Network, which notes that Mayor Gavin Newsom declared the city America's solar leader. The City by the Bay is also home to a number of environmental programs ranging from state-of-the-art recycling centers with in-house artists to eco-products and services, according to information from the local government.

San Francisco appears on a number of different top 10 lists for various reasons, but none more so than its high cost of living. The Wall Street Journal recently listed the city as the No. 4 most expensive place in the country behind Manhattan, Brooklyn and Honolulu, with an average cost of living 61 percent higher than the rest of the country, so adjust your moving budget accordingly. Housing is particularly expensive, with average home prices nearly three times as expensive as Portland, according to a real estate analysis from Zillow.