Which State is the Most Environmentally Minded?



The U.S. is the third largest nation on the Earth in terms of landmass. We’re home to a huge variety of climates, landscapes, and natural wonders. And since we’re not only the world’s largest economy but also the biggest producer of greenhouse gasses, U.S. businesses and citizens alike have a sizable effect on the global environment. Because of the position we’re in, we have a special responsibility to do our best to limit our environmental footprint. We all know how important it is to be sustainable (after all, how many businesses don’t talk about sustainability in their mission statement?), but how often do we think about the environment, sustainability, and what we can do to keep the planet clean?

In order to do this I decided it’d be fun to look at Google Trends and see which states are the most environmentally minded.

We asked Google which states are searching for the following search terms the most:

  • Green Packaging
  • Sustainability
  • Recycle
  • Alternate Energy
  • How to Recycle
  • Environmentalism
  • Environmental Technology

After we ranked the states according to each search term, we took an average ranking for each state—which is what the order of the final chart is based off of.

Before we get to the chart, I feel the need say that this isn’t meant to be a scientific study of which states are the most sustainable, and is only meant to be something interesting to look at. I’d also like to throw in a couple more notes:

  1. Since this data is coming from Google Trends, it’s really only showing interest, and not necessarily action. In other words, just because Hawaii searches for “how to recycle” more than any other state, does not mean it recycles more than any other state.
  2. These numbers are based on rankings, so the top state searching for “green packaging” could be entering that search term five times more than the state in second place, but those two states would still be ranked number 1 and 2, respectively.
  3. In the event of a tie, the two states are ranked equally, but the states below them will still be ranked according to the total number of states. For example, Washington and Indiana are tied for 6th in the total rankings, but California is listed as 8th because there are seven states ahead of it.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at which states are the most environmentally minded. How does your state rank?

We have a ways to go in Utah, apparently.


Now that we’ve looked at the chart, here are a couple of thoughts on the rankings:

  • Hawaii might have been ranked higher if they searched for environmental technology a little more, but they should still pat themselves on the back for ranking in the top two in four of the seven categories.
  • A special shout-out to Wisconsin for searching for “green packaging” more than any other state. If you’re looking for some green packaging solutions, give us a call!
  • Our home state of Utah is ranked fairly low on the list (37th). This is surprising, given that we have more national parks than any other state and our air quality is starting to become a major issue for some residents.
  • Congrats to the top five states: Colorado, Maryland, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin!

If you would like to learn more about what your business can do to help the environment, send us a note by clicking on the link below. We can offer a free box analysis and help you start the process of saving through smaller packaging today.