Hawaii second most sustainable state: study
A recent study concludes that Hawaii is the second best U.S. state for ‘green living’, beaten to the top spot by Washington.
The comprehensive, eight-factor study by Excel, analyzed the carbon footprint, electric car popularity, renewable energy usage, organic farms, air quality, and national park coverage of all 50 states to reveal which states are at the forefront of impactful change.
Hawaii ranked 1st for an impressive three factors. The state has seen the largest year-on-year carbon footprint change, as the most recent data from 2020 showed a huge reduction of 27%. This is especially impressive when you consider that the carbon footprint of 15 million metric tons is already the 6th lowest in the study.
A huge 10% of Hawaii is covered by national parks, which amounts to 4,134,000 acres—five times the study average and the largest proportion in the study. Alaska and California come in second and third with 9.10% and 7.49% respectively.
Continuing the vast amount of green space, it’s no surprise that Hawaii also boasts the cleanest air in the States. The state scored 21.2 on the air quality index, cleaner than Alaska’s 29.1 and Washington’s 33.5 and much cleaner than the national average of 42.
- Air quality: 1st
- Organic farming: 10th
- National park coverage: 1st
- Carbon footprint: 6th
- Carbon footprint YoY change: 1st
- Search demand ‘electric cars’: 8th
- Solar energy consumption: 15th
- Total renewable energy consumption: 47th
Winners for each category
Other notable findings include that California has the highest search demand for electric cars, followed by Vermont and Washington.
Leading the way on organic farming, an impressive one in ten farms in Vermont are organic (far higher than the mean average of one per 430). Maine and California perform highly for this metric too, with an organic to no-organic farm ratio of one in 17 and one in 23 respectively.
Texas is the nation’s number one producer of renewable energy, with our study finding the state uses 1150.2 Trillion BTU and generates the majority of its renewable electricity by using wind turbines. California comes in at second with 1140.5 while Washington comes in at third with 884.9, the study average being 228.
Vermont is the state with the lowest carbon emissions, at five million metric tons. Rhode Island comes in second place with ten million metric tons while New Hampshire takes the third spot in the lowest carbon emissions in the nation at 12 million metric tons.
When it comes to year-over-year change in this regard, Hawaii is on target to meet its emissions limit thanks to its greenhouse gas program.
The states that fared least well in the study were Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia.
Photo by Martin Zangerl on Unsplash.