Governors around the country, from California’s Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) to Colorado’s Bill Ritter (D), have been signing legislation to attract green businesses, jobs and renewable energy sources to their states.
So which state is the greenest? Green directory website Greenopia.com, set out to answer that question by comparing a long list of data including water quality, recycling rate and weco-friendly buildings. (Get the full criteria here.) Click on to check out the top ten.
The state's winning quality, according to the report, is its low energy consumption and emissions per capita.
New Hampshire’s first wind farm (pictured here) opened in the town of Lempster last June. Developed by Iberdrola Renewables, the farm is expected to power 10,000 homes in the state.
A higher number of green businesses and Leadership in Energy and Environmental. LEED, registered and certified buildings helped propel Minnesota into the top ten. Target Field, pictured at left, achieved LEED silver certification (the third-highest level). The baseball stadium, which opened in April, has recycling stations, water-saving fixtures and utilized recycled building materials.
The state has one of the highest concentrations of green businesses, according to Greenopia. In December 2009, solar-power company SolarCity opened a sales office in Westminster, Colo. and has plans to expand into the Denver area. (Pictured at left: Gov. Bill Ritter (D-Colo.) welcoming the company at a news conference.)
Greenopia cited the high number of LEED-registered and -certified buildings in the state in placing i among the greenest. This Hannaford supermarket in Augusta, Maine (pictured) achieved the highest-level LEED certification. Opened last year, it has solar panels, utilizes recycled materials and a partial rooftop garden that helps keep the store cool.
One of the state’s renewable energy sources includes ACCIONA’s Nevada Solar One. Completed in 2007, it can power more than 14,000 homes a year.
The Golden State gets a large amount of its energy from renewable sources, such as eSolar’s Sierra SunTower, pictured here, which can power up to 4,000 homes in Southern California.
Oregon has one of the highest recycling rates in the country at almost 50 percent, according to Greenopia. It was also cited for having a large number of green businesses relative to its population. There are about 600 green businesses in Oregon, according to Greenopia.
The Empire State is cited as having low water consumption per capita compared to other states, according to the report. New York also has a large number of green businesses, some 3,000, according to Greenopia.
One of the state’s renewable energy sources is the Searsburg Wind Power Facility, which can power some 1,400 homes a year. Vermont has also attracted a number of green businesses to the stat. Some 100 of them operate within its borders.
The Evergreen State is living up to its nickname. According to Greenopia, Washington made the top stop because of its high number of LEED buildings, green businesses and renewable energy sources, such as Energy Northwest’s Nine Canyon Wind Project (pictured here during construction. )