MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota is known for its abundance of natural beauty and outdoor opportunities, and both residents and visitors value the resources that make the state special.
It should come as no surprise then, that Minnesota ranks high on the list of Green States, according to a recent report by the personal finance website WalletHub. The study compared states in across these three dimensions: Environmental quality, eco-friendly behaviors and climate change contributions. Within those dimensions are 25 key metrics ranging from air and water quality to renewable energy consumption and number of LEED-certified buildings.
The Gopher State finished No. 7, helped by finishing first in the nation in soil quality. Here are some other categories that helped Minnesota to a Top-10 ranking.
Greenness of Minnesota (1=Greenest, 25=Avg.):
- 16th – Air Quality
- 1st – Soil Quality
- 30th – LEED-Certified Buildings per Capita
- 16th – % of Renewable Energy Consumption
- 24th – Gasoline Consumption (in gallons) per Capita
The report ranked Vermont as America's greenest state, with New York, Hawaii, Maryland and California rounding out the top five. West Virginia finished dead last with Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and North Dakota also listed among the least green states.
WalletHub says this is an important list, maintaining that eco-friendliness and personal finance are intertwined. Researchers say we spend money through our own consumption and pay taxes to support environmental security.
Statistics also indicate that 2021 was the third costliest year on record for the United States in terms of natural disasters, with the damage adding up to $343 billion. While some disasters are unavoidable, scientists say others are exacerbated by humans. For example, one big factor in the high number of hurricanes in recent years has been unusually warm temps in the Atlantic Ocean.
WalletHub asserts it’s possible that living more sustainably and using greener energy sources could lessen the severity of hurricane seasons in the future, and save a lot of money in repairs and insurance costs as a result.
For more on the methodology of the report and perspective from experts, check out the WalletHub website.
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