Not Easy Being Green

Texas fails on new ranking of America's greenest states

Texas fails on new ranking of America's greenest states

Austin Photo Set: News_Melissa_austin trash_jan 2012_landfill
Each Texan is responsible for generating 1.2 tons of solid waste per year. Courtesy photo

It's not easy being green, especially in Texas. A new report says the Lone Star State is the 15th least green place in the U.S.

WalletHub determined each state's "greenness" by analyzing data on environmental quality, eco-friendly behaviors, and climate change contributions. The results were released in advance of Earth Day (April 22), and Texas has plenty of work to do.

We rank 38th out of 50 in the environmental quality and eco-friendly behavior categories and come out slightly better, 34th, for climate change contributions. While there are many factors contributing to our poor showing, here are some of the most astounding figures. 

Only 4.3 percent of Texas' energy comes from renewable sources, and the average Texan uses 476 gallons of gasoline per year. On top of that, each Texan is responsible for generating 1.2 tons of municipal solid waste, only 9 percent of which is recycled. Even more shocking, our water usage equates to 92 gallons of water per Texan per day.

The only area where Texas is outpacing other states is in our abundance of green buildings. There are roughly 32 LEED-certified buildings for every 100,000 Texan residents, the third highest ratio in the country. We've also got a thriving market for alternative fuel vehicles, earning Texas a No. 18 ranking in this particular category.

If you're choking on this news, at least you don't live in Wyoming (No. 50), North Dakota (No. 49), or Montana (No. 48), the three least green states on WalletHub's list. Vermont (No. 1), Washington (No. 2), and Massachusetts (No. 3) are the most environmentally friendly states — and we're absolutely green with envy.