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Arizona No. 13 on green states list
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Arizona No. 13 on green states list

  • Arizona could have scored better, had we made more use of solar panels and other renewable energy sources.
    kevindooley/FlickrArizona could have scored better, had we made more use of solar panels and other renewable energy sources.

Arizona is No. 13 on a list of the nation's greenest states, according to an environmental group.

Measuring 10 criteria, including water quality, recycling rates and state legislature, Greenopia gave us three out of a possible four leafs for our efforts.

In our favor:

Arizona does fairly well in terms of water quality and the state has a solid number of green businesses. Arizona has a strong number of LEED buildings and performs very well in terms of water, energy, and emissions per capita.

What we need to fix:

Arizona was one of the lowest scorers in terms of air quality with 86 unhealthy days (according to the EPA) and nine red days according to the American Lung Association. Arizona has a slightly below average recycling rate (23 percent), but it does fair better than many states that are still in the single digits. Where Arizona really needs to step it up is in renewable energy sourcing. Given its suitability for solar and geothermal, there is no reason why Arizona should be lagging so much in the renewable department.

The top five greenest states are:

  • 1. Washington
  • 2. Vermont
  • 3. New York
  • 4. Oregon
  • 5. California

The least green states:

  • 50. Louisiana
  • 49. West Virginia
  • 48. North Dakota
  • 47. Wyoming, Delaware
  • 46. Indiana

Categories judged:

  • • Air quality
  • • Water quality
  • • Recycling rate
  • • Number of green businesses
  • • State legislature
  • • LEED buildings
  • • Per capita emissions
  • • Per capita energy consumption
  • • Per capita water consumption
  • • Renewable energy usage

About Greenopia

Greenopia is your local guide to green living. Our mission is a basic and big one: We set out to create a directory of eco-friendly retailers, services, and organizations and conducted extensive research on those we listed in the guide. This guide is not a paid directory; companies cannot pay to be included and all listees are included because they met our strict standards of eco-friendliness. They have already been screened for their sustainability in the product or service arena and are now being compared with "the best of the best." Find out more from Greenopia founder Gay Browne. You can also read more about our Leaf Award system.

Testing criteria

Data was collected from various federal government organizations, state agencies, and credible NGOs pertaining to the air quality, water quality, number of green businesses, number of LEED buildings, recycling rate, per capita emissions, per capita water consumption, per capita energy consumption, renewable energy generation, and progressiveness of the state government for each state. Weights were roughly set off their relative importance in terms of environmental impact at a local resident level. Icons were given to states in approximately the top 25% of each criterion.

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