Going green is a popular phrase that people say when they want to adopt practices and habits that conserve natural resources and promote environmental causes.
Financial analysis website wallethub.com has released its list of the “greenest” cities in the U.S.
The report showed that of the 100 major cities listed, Baton Rouge ranked dead last. The state capital was given poor marks by Wallethub.com for many reasons. According to analyst Jill Gonzalez, there are five key factors by which the cities were ranked.
"The top five indicators in evaluating the greenest cities would be the share of electricity from renewable sources, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, the amount of green space, the number of "green" policies, and water quality," Gonzalez said.
She then explained that Baton Rouge performed poorly in many aspects of their study, citing lack of “green space” and few environmental policies from political leaders.
Gonzalez said: "Baton Rouge has some of the highest greenhouse gas emissions per capita. It also has a very small percentage of green space, as less than 3% of the city's area is made up of parkland. In addition to this, the city has the second-fewest local programs promoting green energy use in the country."
Political leaders are often taken to task on their environmental policies, especially during an election year. However, Gonzalez said that citizens of Baton Rouge play a part in their environment and can make positive changes as well.
“Authorities should invest in creating more parks, address local polluting factors, and educate and encourage people to use renewable energy,” Gonzalez said.
“On the other hand, individuals should do their part by using public transport on their commutes, investing in solar panels, and reducing their plastic waste."
Although the report seems pessimistic towards Baton Rouge, Gonzalez stated that hope was not lost for cities like Baton Rouge. She offered more solutions for the city to become more environmentally friendly in the future.
Gonzalez said: "Simply put, a city should engage in cleaner and more sustainable habits at all levels, from businesses and authorities to individuals and households. To become greener, cities should invest in and use clean energy, recycle as much as possible, and implement urban agriculture programs. These would all benefit not only the environment but also overall public health."
The full study can be viewed on Wallethub.com