As the Co-founder of a LEED Consulting firm, I am exceedingly passionate about green buildings and sustainability. My team and I were curious about which state in the United States is the best and worst for green living. With help from colleagues, we’ve pieced together an accurate map depicting where to find good locations for sustainable practice.
The above map is based on 6 key factors: renewable energy usage, carbon emissions, water usage, the number of electric vehicles, the number of green buildings, the number of green building professionals, and air quality. The factors were weighted by importance – for example, air quality counted more than the number of electric vehicles.
The top 5 best states for green living are:
The top 5 worst states for green living are:
- Rhode Island
- New Jersey
Here are some interesting findings for the 6 areas we reviewed:
- The state with the most renewable energy per capita was Washington and the state with the least was New Jersey.
- Residential and commercial buildings consume 60% of global electricity, 40% in the U.S., which makes the building sector the single largest contributor to Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
- California’s executive order B-18-12 states actions to reduce GHG emissions at least 20% by the year 2020.
- The state with the highest water usage per capita was California (luckily, their drought has broken!) and the state with the least was Vermont.
- The state with the most electric vehicles per capita was California (3.25 per 1000 people) and the state with the lowest was Mississippi (0.07 per 1000 people).
- The state with the most LEED buildings per capita was Hawaii and the state with the least was West Virginia. The state with the most LEED professionals per capita was Massachusetts and the state with the least was Mississippi.
- (CalGreen) which is California Green Building Standards Code is the first statewide mandatory green building code implemented in 2015.
Comfort and curb appeal might be two big reasons you’re considering a remodel for your home. Today there are tons of solutions for saving money by doing research and taking the green route. Considering tactics such as energy efficiency, low-emitting materials, and water conservation can help save money and create a better indoor environment. With all that being said we do spend 90% of our lives indoor, let’s begin by creating better indoor spaces that encompass the benefits of being outdoors. The appearance of your home is something everyone cares about; so making eco-conscious decisions to go with your lifestyle can help achieve this.
From our findings based on these 6 key factors, we found that generally, the northern and western states were better for green living. Of course, there are many more factors that could be considered for a more complete evaluation. This was our first attempt at finding the greenest places in the U.S. What are the most important factors in green and healthy living to you?