ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Having a green thumb might have more of an impact on your wallet than it seems at first glance. Our environmental and financial needs are the same in many areas: providing ourselves with clean drinking water and healthy food, for example. We also spend money through our own consumption and taxes in support of environmental security.

On top of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, the United States also had the third costliest year on record for natural disasters, with damages adding up to $343 billion. While some disasters are completely unavoidable, others are made a whole degree worse by humans. For example, one big factor in the high amount of hurricanes in recent years has been unusually warm Atlantic waters. It’s possible that living more sustainably and using greener energy sources could prevent us from having such a bad hurricane season in the future- and saving a lot of money on repairs as a result.

We should all strive to do our part and save the world for future generations. To highlight the greenest states and call out those doing a poor job in caring for the environment, WalletHub compared each of the 50 states on 25 key metrics.

New York State, according to the study, actually had a greener thumb across the board than most other states in 2021. The Empire State ranked third overall for environmental quality, leading it to a second-place finish in a ranking of the nation’s most environmentally-friendly states. The state was outpaced only by its easterly neighbor — Vermont.

Source: WalletHub

Most environmentally-friendly states

Overall RankStateTotal ScoreEnvironmental QualityEco-Friendly BehaviorsClimate-Change Contributions
1Vermont79.772130
2New York77.53398
3Hawaii75.8611115
4Maryland75.53947
5California75.491836
6Massachusetts72.368162
7Minnesota72.274819
8Connecticut71.2612121
9South Dakota69.8172211
10Maine69.6910525
11New Hampshire68.825343
12Colorado68.5011723
13Michigan67.5862518
14Rhode Island66.9220214
15Washington66.3517622
16Oregon66.1733238
17Wisconsin63.73351316
18Virginia63.60141821
19North Carolina63.45312312
20Delaware62.56262713
21Nevada62.5145109
22Montana60.89242426
23Illinois60.45221929
24Pennsylvania59.92191437
25New Jersey59.2547205
26Idaho58.83393110
27South Carolina58.81283917
28Nebraska57.69163727
29Utah57.68361534
30Ohio57.43293524
31Iowa56.45211742
32Missouri55.85233336
33Georgia55.32304320
34Tennessee54.21374414
35Kansas53.33403035
36Arizona52.38442932
37New Mexico52.27462628
38Arkansas52.12134633
39Indiana51.83343641
40Florida51.76254139
41Texas50.72412840
42Oklahoma46.36423843
43Alaska44.89494031
44Wyoming43.22324246
45Kentucky42.41274745
46North Dakota40.52153249
47Alabama39.19384547
48Mississippi34.62504944
49Louisiana29.67435048
50West Virginia20.65484850
Courtesy WalletHub.

Here is how New York State ranked against other states:

  • No. 12 – Air Quality
  • No. 5 – Soil Quality
  • No. 14 – Water Quality
  • No. 13– LEED-Certified Buildings per Capita
  • No. 19– % of Renewable Energy Consumption
  • No. 3 – Energy Consumption per Capita
  • No. 1– Gasoline Consumption (in Gallons) per Capita

In order to determine the greenest states, WalletHub compared the 50 states across three key dimensions: 1) Environmental Quality, 2) Eco-Friendly Behaviors and 3) Climate-Change Contributions. Those dimensions were evaluated using 25 relevant metrics, which were graded on a 100-point scale with a score of 100 representing the highest level of eco-friendliness. Then, each state’s weighted average across all metrics was used to calculate its overall score and the resulting scores were used to rank-order the states.