These Are The Most Eco-Friendly States In The US In 2022

October 19, 2022



A deepening climate crisis, the results of which impact us all, is bringing about a change in the way that we see the world.

It’s not just the choices we make as consumers, but the wider impact that how we’re governed has on the environment that’s increasingly important.

Lots of factors influence the eco-friendliness of each state in the US, for example. So if you’re wondering whether your own state is a frontrunner, or you’re thinking of moving to a region that’s cleaner and greener than most, read on for a rundown of the most sustainable places to live in America right now.


On a number of the most important metrics, Vermont is leading the way. Various studies in the past couple of years have consistently pegged it to the top spot in the eco rankings, with elements like its use of renewable energy and its policies relating to recycling helping it to rise above the rest.

It no doubt helps that much of Vermont is rural, with more of its population living in the countryside than almost anywhere else in the US. That makes it perfect for a road trip, especially if you want to see lush woodlands and wildlife in its natural habitat.

New York

While it may not be one of the safest states in the US, there’s no questioning New York’s green credentials.

In spite of having a population of over 20 million people, it still manages to rank highly in terms of the quality of the environment it offers, as well as the sustainability of the policies it enacts.

The city of New York itself is intending to become carbon neutral by 2050, which seems a long way off. However, it’s through active efforts like this, with clear and achievable targets, that the entire state is on the right track.


Continuing the trend for north eastern states being the most environmentally conscientious, Massachusetts is one of the most praiseworthy thanks to its prioritization of attempts to minimize the impact of climate change on the lives of its residents.

Compared to New York, its population of just over seven million is much more manageable from a sustainability perspective. But it’s still a challenge to not only dream up ways to reduce emissions, but also ensure that the vast majority of people follow the guidelines.


Just a sliver behind Massachusetts, Maryland manages to look like a promising contender for a state that could rise through the rankings in the coming years, if it continues on its current trajectory.

That’s a useful reminder that it’s not just important to look at where states stand on the environment today, but how this might change in the future. It’s not uncommon for states to switch places as the assessment of their eco impact is revised year on year, and Maryland might be one to watch in this regard.


Finally, we come to a state that is on the other side of the country from the first four entries in this list. California is vast, with a large population and significant natural resources at its disposal, as well as many ecological assets that deserve protecting more than most.

As such, it’s good to see it scoring highly in the latest assessment of eco-friendliness state-by-state. You’d hope that the home of Silicon Valley would have something to say about what humanity can do to avoid environmental disaster disrupting its future.


As climate change leaves its mark on more of us, things like the eco-friendliness of where you live might matter more, as it will be an incentive for states to up their game to attract residents and avoid an exodus.

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