Green Living

WalletHub recently ranked all 50 states from the best to the worst in environmental friendliness

The Top 10 Greenest States in the U.S.

WalletHub recently ranked all 50 states from the best to the worst in environmental friendliness, ranking each on 25 different metrics. WalletHub recently did a study comparing the environmental friendliness of the 50 states, resulting in a list of the greenest states in the U.S. The top states did the best when it came to policies that impact water quality, air quality, and renewable energy consumption.

In the study, WalletHub linked environmental friendliness with personal finance, saying one impacts the other. For example, they wrote that everyone has the same basic needs. Non-sustainable environments cause an increase in the price of food and water.

They added: “It’s possible that living more sustainably and using greener energy sources could prevent us from having quite as bad hurricane seasons in the future – and saving a lot of money in repairs as a result. “

The Top 10 Greenest States

To create the list, WalletHub compared the states on 25 key metrics. They include water, air and soil quality; green buildings per capita; gasoline consumption per capita; carbon dioxide emissions per capita; and methane emissions per capita. They listed these metrics in three main categories: environmental quality, eco-friendly behaviors, and contributions to slowing  climate change.

They found the following states ranked at the greenest states in the U.S.

  • Vermont
  • New York
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • California
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Connecticut
  • South Dakota
  • Maine

Vermont ranked as the overall most environmentally friendly state, scoring highest in eco-friendly behaviors. The study found California has the highest water quality, Hawaii has the highest soil quality, and Oregon (which ranked No. 16 overall) has the highest consumption of renewable energy.

The Least Green States in the U.S.

The other end of the list featured the following states, in descending order from No, 50 to No. 41.

  • West Virginia
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Alabama
  • North Dakota
  • Kentucky
  • Wyoming
  • Alaska
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas

Some states that ranked in a high or low position overall had areas where they scored much differently than the overall ranking indicated. For example, Wyoming, which ranked 44th overall, ranked No. 1 for air quality. And California, which ranked No. 5 overall, ranked No. 50 for air quality.

Other standouts on the negative side: West Virginia has the lowest water quality, New Mexico has the worst soil quality, and Delaware has the lowest percent of renewable energy consumption.

Other standouts on the positive side: Hawaii has the highest soil quality, Colorado has the most LEED-certified buildings pers capita, and Rhode Island has the lowest energy consumption per capita.

Environmental friendliness is paramount in this day and age. Already, we’re feeling the long-term effects of climate change start to settle in – for instance, the natural disasters of 2021 made the year, in total, the third-costliest on record. Many of these disasters have grown more serious due to climate change, such as the warming of the Gulf of Mexico leading to a greater number of hurricanes.

Reducing our individual footprint is important, but it’s also important that our elected leaders pass legislation to become more eco-friendly at a larger scale. William Becker, executive director of the Presidential Climate Action Project, told WalletHub, “The single most powerful way to protect the environment is our vote.”

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