Boston, MA– A new analysis by WalletHub ranks Massachusetts as the #6 greenest state in America. But let's clarify, in case there's any confusion: they don't mean "greenest" in terms of manicured golf courses, forest coverage, or vibrantly verdant aerial views, as one might assume, since we're ranked only sixth. No, the study refers to the environmentally greenest states, as in, we're the sixth most environmentally friendly state in the country. If, like me, your girlfriend is obsessed with recycling, try to break the news gently that apparently it's just not enough to get us into the Big Five of Recycling. (Not a thing.)
We were rated based on three different categories and then were given an overall score, which landed us behind Minnesota (#5), Connecticut (#4), Oregon (#3), New York (#2), and Vermont (#1). The three categories were: Environmental Quality, Eco-Friendly Behaviors, and Climate-Change Contributions. Crunchiness was not evaluated.
Let's start with our lowest score. We are ranked 17th in the country when it comes to Eco-Friendly Behaviors. This category asked: how many Green buildings per capita do we have? How many households have solar panels? How much electricity, gasoline, and water do we use per capita? In this department, we apparently did not do well. Which, I guess, makes some sense. It's dang cold, so we use lots of electricity at home, and our gas-guzzling commutes are pretty bad, too.
We do a little better in Environmental Quality, coming in at #5. Alright, that means what, exactly? Firstly, it means we have a low amount of waste per capita. It also means our air quality, water quality, and soil quality are all high. Not bad, MA, not bad.
In the final category that was evaluated, we took home 2nd place, for Climate-Change Contributions. Connecticut came in first. This means we had very low carbon-dioxide, methane, and general greenhouse gas emissions per capita. Not sure how that happened considering we ranked pretty high in our car usage, but maybe we have cleaner cars? Unclear.