With the administration still dragging its feet on joining the worldwide battle against global warming, a growing number of U.S. cities have decided that environmental activism begins at home. More than 160 mayors have signed on to an urban anti-global-warming agreement that some call the "municipal Kyoto." And local initiatives aimed not only at greenhouse gases but also at toxic chemicals and other threats are multiplying.
> LIGHTS OUT A new green-purchasing law requires San Francisco to buy low-mercury light bulbs and use arsenic-free wood on playgrounds
> BACK TO BIKES In addition to cutting City Hall's energy consumption, Chicago is promoting a public commuter-bicycle station, partly solar powered, which provides indoor parking for 300 bikes
> FARE DEAL New York City's cabdrivers can be gruff, but their vehicles, at least, will soon be enviro-friendly: the city's new Clean Air Taxis Act will allow thousands of cabbies to start switching to hybrid models this summer
> CHEMICAL-FREE TREES The college town of Lawrence, Kans., is testing a plan to ban all pesticides and herbicides from public parks
> GREEN FLEETS In Charlotte, N.C., a Sierra Club campaign helped persuade the municipal government to begin a transition to fuel-efficient hybrid cars for its police force and city-planning department