In honor of Earth Week, WalletHub’s latest study ranks the most and least eco-friendly states. The study found that Vermont is the top state for environmental quality and number two in eco-friendly behavior, putting them at the top of the list. Louisiana, on the other hand, is ranked lowest in 2015 coming in 47th for environmental quality and 50th for eco-friendly behavior.
WalletHub reached the final ranking by comparing 14 weighted metrics broken into two categories—environmental quality and eco-friendly behavior. Environmental quality includes consideration for air and water quality, soil quality, and other pollution factors. Eco-friendly behavior considerations vary widely from transportation and use of alternative fuels to the number of LEED-certified buildings.
Key findings include a concentration of least eco-friendly states in the South and most in the Northeast and Northwest. The study also found blue states to be more eco-friendly, in general, than red states with an average ranked score of 15.9 compared to 35.9. New Mexico has the highest number of LEED-certified buildings per capita while Iowa has fewest.
WalletHub reminds readers that environmental quality and action are not important to future generations, but also personal and national finances. Extreme weather events linked to rapidly changing climate have cost the U.S. more than $100 billion and that number is expected to more than triple within the next century.
Check out the map below to see how your state ranks in eco-friendliness and see the full report on WalletHub.