Today’s post comes from Asher from Above Green. We’ve been in touch ever since Above Green named me one of their top 50 eco-conscious blogs for the year (thanks guys) and when they sent me this information about the US states I thought it was so interesting, even though I live in the UK. Hope you find it handy stateside friends!

Over to Asher to share their findings…

As an environmentalist and employee at a LEED Consulting Firm I am greatly passionate about green buildings and sustainability. My team and I were curious about which states in the USA are the best and worst for green living.

The above map is based on 6 key factors relating to renewable energy usage, carbon emissions, water usage, number of electric vehicles, number of green buildings, number of green building professionals, and air quality. The factors were weighted by importance – for example, air quality counted more than number of electric vehicles.

The top 5 best states for green living are:

  1. Alaska
  2. Montana
  3. Oregon
  4. Washington
  5. Hawaii

The top 5 worst states for green living are:

  1. Delaware
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Ohio
  4. Mississippi
  5. 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.
  • The top three sustainable practices noticed in retail stores were products sold as natural or organic, made in the US, and produce grown locally.
  • A study done by Mintel market research shows that 70% of adults in America are trying to make conscious decisions regarding health and wellness.
  • The state with the lowest carbon emissions per capita was New York and the state with the highest was Wyoming.
  • The way we extract, manufacture, and dispose of products including food add up to 42% of our overall U.S. greenhouse gas emissions every year.
  • 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 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.


Reducing our carbon footprint helps not just the air we breathe but also many beneficial factors to go alongside living a healthy lifestyle. From zero-emitting cleaning materials, natural linens, buying practical items, and local produce can be just a few things we can all start to take into account the next time we’re shopping.

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 our first attempt at finding the greenest places. What are the most important factors in green and healthy living to you?