While many states are re-thinking smart growth, sustainability and planning, there are some that are faring better than others in their pursuit of being kinder to the planet and increasing overall environmental health across their respective cities.
As the celebration of Earth Month wraps ups, WalletHub's recently-released study citing America’s most and least eco-friendly states takes the temperature of how we're progressing toward a more environmentally healthy nation. Evaluated using 14 key metrics, states were analyzed in the study on the basis of their eco-friendly behaviors and overall initiatives to increase environmental quality.
Louisiana trails behind at the bottom, marked as one of the country's least eco-friendly states, characterized for its lack of investment in renewable energy sources, disproportionately high energy consumption rates and low municipal recycling rates.
"We spend so much time thinking about the "little" things we can do for the environment, like recycling a bottle, but so little time engaged as citizens in changing policies to promote sustainability. Local governments have quite a lot of discretion over land use planning in the US; I suggest that people attend city council meetings, find other citizens with common concerns, and make their voices heard," said Paul Steinberg, professor of political science and environmental policy, and Malcolm Lewis Chair of Sustainability and Society, at Harvey Mudd College.
|Most Eco-Friendly States||Least Eco-Friendly States|
View the below table for a deeper analysis on how your state ranked.
Evaluation metrics of WalletHub’s study:
Measuring Environmental Quality - Total Weight: 5
Environmental Quality considers the current state of the environment in each area. The following metrics were used to evaluate this measurement:
Eco-Friendly Behaviors evaluates the environmental impact of population habits. The following metrics were used to evaluate this measurement:
For additional information and resources on this study, visit WalletHub.
Sherrell Dorsey is a social impact storyteller, social entrepreneur and advocate for environmental, social and economic equity in underserved communities. Sherrell speaks and writes frequently on the topics of sustainability, technology, and digital inclusion.