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The Greenest State Is...

WRE News June 28, 2024


The Greenest State Is...

Although Kermit the Frog once sang that it’s not easy being green, some states find it easy to be greener than others – at least from an environmental perspective.

A new survey conducted by the printer and ink retailer Cartridge Save ranked the green hues of the 50 states based on air and water quality, renewable energy consumption, pounds per capita recycled, GHG emissions, the number of national parks, the average commute time by car, registered electric vehicles and the proportion of farmland areas.

South Dakota was named the greenest state, with the study highlighting how it has “the lowest energy consumption per capita, exceptional water quality, and shortest average commute times nationwide.” South Dakota’s farmlands and park system were praised, along with “its commitment to sustainability by keeping its greenhouse gas emissions low.” Still, the state weathered a few complaints regarding a lower-than-average adoption of electric vehicles compared to other states and the “potential to boost recycling rates, which currently sit at 27th in the country.”

Oregon, Iowa, Hawaii and Maine rounded out the top five rankings for the greenest states. At the other end of the spectrum was Texas, which came in 50th due to what the survey “high levels of water contamination, with a total of 157 different contaminants, and low recycling rates, only 96 pounds per capita.” The Lone Star State was also faulted for “greenhouse gas emissions reaching 312,657,902 tons CO2e, the state seems to be on a dangerous trajectory.”

Utah placed second to last, despite ranking third among the states for the number of parks and ninth for the volume of electric vehicles. But the Beehive State was stung for “challenges in air quality (ranking 41st), GHG emissions (45th), and energy consumption (35th). Another critical aspect that Utah needs to improve is its proportion to farmland area, where it ranks 40th among states, making the state one of the least green states in the U.S.”

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