While many green efforts are federally mandated, there are several states that go above and beyond federal requirements to support green living. This can mean anything from providing easy access to recycling facilities, reducing statewide emissions, supporting resource preservation, or establishing conservation programs. Below is a list of states whose green efforts go above and beyond federal mandates, and who lead the nation when it comes to protecting the environment.
Known as the Evergreen State, Washington is dedicated to implementing and supporting green living and green business practices. They have the highest number of LEED certified buildings in the country, and one of the highest green business ratios in the nation. While Washington is famous for its cloudy and overcast weather, the state is at the forefront of renewable energy source use, including solar power technology and wind turbines.
While Oregon does not have as many green businesses as many other states, it has the largest number of green businesses per capita. The state’s commitment to recycling is so significant that almost 50 percent of the state’s businesses and residents recycle, a notably higher percentage than any other state. Oregon also produces a significant amount of hydroelectric energy.
When it comes to all around green initiatives California leads the pack by a landslide. They are the leaders when it comes to recycling, investing in mass transit, and using renewable energy sources. Many areas of California have gone as far to ban plastic water bottles and plastic bags, encouraging residents to opt for reusable alternatives.
Vermont is a small, yet mighty state, and has the lowest carbon footprint in the country — proving that all states can make a difference. The Green Mountain State supports the environment by investing resources in alternative energy sources, energy efficiency, and emission reductions.
Colorado is best known for its mountain ranges, high altitude, and consistently sunny weather — even when it is snowing or cold out. The state proudly produces more than six percent of its energy from alternative energy sources. Their water is the sixth cleanest in the country when it comes to carcinogens and toxins in their water.
Where renewable energy is concerned, Idaho is the clear winner, as the Gem State produces over 85 percent of its energy from alternative energy sources. Much of this is produced by power created from the state’s rivers, as well as their many geothermal energy sources. They also have the fourth lowest emissions rate in the country.
While the states above lead the pack when it comes to overall environmental awareness, there are many other states making notable changes. Some of the states listed above have always focused on recycling, conservation, and green living. However, some states have only recently paid more attention to green initiatives, and they have far more room for improvement. By establishing environmentally friendly green living and green business practices, states can reduce their carbon footprint, create a healthier environment for their residents, and save their communities money by turning to alternative energy sources.
Nelson Stewart writes on eco-conscious living, green energy, alternative fuel, environmental science, preservation, conservation, off-the-grid living, plastic tanks for storage purposes, environmental law, the EPA and other related subjects. For more info on storage tanks Nelson recommends Go-To-Tanks.