Sustainability efforts are spreading across the nation, and in many states, citizens are making more significant efforts toward reducing their environmental footprint. Pursuing sustainability efforts means taking action on climate and clean energy and maintaining and promoting conditions to make a difference in the environment to support current and future generations.
When it comes to sustainability efforts within each state of the U.S., there are different levels of involvement. Forbes examined all 50 states on factors like water usage and solar energy consumption. Some states demonstrated their efforts at prioritizing conservation and eco-conscious practices better than others. However, collectively, the move toward greater sustainable practices from state to state is a positive upward trend. Sustainability is here to stay.
Sustainability efforts are an ongoing challenge and one that all Americans can play a part in. While many states have made great strides toward achieving those goals, some states are less environmentally active or friendly.
Environmental quality and eco-friendly behaviors are a few factors to consider when it comes to evaluating sustainability efforts by state. Things like air, water and soil pollution and the number of electric cars and solar panels can demonstrate how green a state is. That being said, it’s important to take these rankings with a grain of salt because populations can vary so greatly from state to state, as can industries, both of which can affect energy consumption.
Forbes’ data ranked the state of Massachusetts as being the most environmentally friendly state and North Dakota as the least environmentally friendly state.
Massachusetts’ water usage was 200.57 gallons a day, compared to North Dakota’s 1,796.96 gallons a day. Massachusetts’ energy use was 192.2 million BTU per year, while North Dakota’s was 904.9. When it comes to solar friendliness, though, Massachusetts got a ranking of five. North Dakota was last on the list with a solar-friendliness ranking of 50.
As for the most solar-friendly state in the U.S., that goes to California. In terms of water usage, Vermont uses the least amount of water in the nation. Rhode Island uses the least energy. By contrast, Wyoming has the distinction of using the most water at 14,111.19 gallons a day. Alaska has the most energy use at 931.9 million BTU a year.
After Massachusetts, the rest of the top five environmentally friendly states are Rhode Island, New York, California and Florida. Nebraska, Montana, Louisiana and Wyoming round out the five least environmentally friendly states with North Dakota at the bottom.
Being ranked in the top five environmentally friendly states means, in many cases, that these states and their citizens have really worked hard at sustainability efforts. Here’s a breakdown of what those efforts looked like, per Forbes Home data:
The Bay State topped the list as the most environmentally friendly state in the U.S. It is the second-lowest state for water usage, fifth on the list for lowest energy use and is ranked No. 5 in terms of its solar friendliness.
The Ocean State ranked second on the list of environmentally friendly states, third on the list of the states with the lowest water usage, No. 1 for lowest energy use and No. 20 for solar friendliness.
The Empire State is ranked third on the list of most sustainable states. It has the ninth-lowest water usage, second-lowest energy use and ranked 13th for solar friendliness.
The Golden State is No. 4 on the list of most sustainable states in the nation. It is 18th on the list for lowest water usage, fourth for lowest energy usage and No. 1 for solar friendliness.
The Sunshine State is fifth on the list of sustainable states and number 15 for lowest water usage. It is number seven for both lowest energy use and solar friendliness.
When it comes to sustainability efforts, some states have taken longer to catch on. These states have earned a lower place on the list as the least sustainable states. These include the following:
The Cornhusker State is No. 46 on the list of sustainable states in the nation. The state is fourth on the list for most water usage and ninth for most energy use. Nebraska ranks number 42 for solar friendliness.
The Treasure State is No. 47 on the list of sustainable states. It is third on the list for most water usage, 11th for most energy use and 45 for solar friendliness.
The Pelican State is 48th on the list of sustainable states. It is No. 6 for most water usage, second for most energy use and 38th for solar friendliness.
The Equality State is the second-least-sustainable state at 49. The state is the highest of all states in terms of water usage at 14,111.10 gallons a day. It is fourth on the list for most energy usage and 41 for solar friendliness.
Of all 50 states, the Sioux State is the least sustainable state of all. It is 7th on the list for most water usage, third for most energy usage and 50th for solar friendliness.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
(Additional reporting provided by Talker News)