Just in time for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this year, this award goes to the greenest city in each state – one that epitomizes eco-friendly driving and living.
Earth Day occurs each year on April 22, on which people around the globe demonstrate their support for environmental protection. This year, in particular, is unique, given how circumstances this spring have led to unprecedented changes in greenhouse gas emissions. Government-mandated travel restrictions, reduced travel overall, and reductions in industrial output across the globe have significantly slashed carbon emissions and nitrogen oxides. Given that transportation makes up a significant proportion of greenhouse gas emissions, the decrease in greenhouse gas emissions is due in large part to social distancing-induced reductions in transportation. Of course, this decrease is both hopeful and sobering; while it is encouraging to see the positive effects of a decline in transportation, it is a reminder of how much farther we need to go.
Apart from the current situation, there are cities that already have begun working towards reducing their carbon footprint. Across the United States, some cities are home to a high share of eco-conscious drivers who choose their vehicles based on their environmental impact, while other cities are headed by tireless leaders who invest in green endeavors (some cities do neither). Which are those select few that perform strongly on both?
Selection Process for Insurify’s 2020 Greenest Cities Awards
The data science and research team at Insurify, a website to compare home insurance, analyzed both proprietary and publicly-accessible data to determine the greenest city in each state.
Referring to their database of nearly 2 million car insurance applications, Insurify’s data scientists identified cities with the lowest vehicular carbon footprint. Fuel-efficiency, engine displacement, drivetrain, annual mileage, and vehicles per household were used in the algorithm to determine the top cities per state with the greenest drivers. States with insufficient data were not included in the analysis.
Then, they compiled statistics on city-wide renewable electricity programs from the United States Conference of Mayors, and city-based air quality data published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Bonus points, according to Project Drawdown’s ranking of the environmental impact of particular green reforms, were awarded to cities accordingly.
|Fuel Efficiency||More fuel-efficient engine types such as hybrids and EVs have a lower impact on the environment.|
|Engine Displacement||Traditionally, larger engines have been more polluting.|
|Drivetrain||Drivetrain (4×4, AWD, RWD, FWD) impacts fuel consumption.|
|Annual Mileage||Lower mileage reduces impact.|
|Vehicles per Household||Lower vehicle-to-driver ratio reduces overall household impact.|
Greenest Cities in the US
According to Insurify's report, the greenest cities in each state in 2020 are the communities with the lowest vehicular carbon footprint and the strongest commitment to sustainability through renewable energy and clean air reforms.
Winners of Insurify’s 2020 Greenest Cities Awards
These are the communities, from small towns to large metropolitan areas, that have all demonstrated an exceptional commitment to green living and driving.
California: West Hollywood
Kansas: Dodge City
Louisiana: Baton Rouge
Minnesota: Eden Prairie
Missouri: Kansas City
North Carolina: Chapel Hill
North Dakota: Minot
Nebraska: Grand Island
New Hampshire: Concord
New Jersey: Trenton
New Mexico: Taos
Nevada: Carson City
New York: Ithaca
Rhode Island: Warwick
South Carolina: Columbia
South Dakota: Brookings
Utah: Salt Lake City
Virginia: Newport News
West Virginia: Huntington
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