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Bankrate's 2007 Living Green, Saving Green Guide
Trends
Global warming is a serious issue around the world.
Interactive: How big is your state's 'footprint?'


"Carbon footprint" -- the amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases emitted from a product or person -- is a standard green measurement and is fast becoming a household phrase. The bigger your "footprint" the more you are contributing to global warming.

With data and cooperation from Eredux, Bankrate has created an interactive U.S. carbon footprint map that compares both the total carbon emissions and the emissions per person in each of the 50 states.

Carbon footprints
Select one of the tabs below to view the different maps available. Put your mouse over any state to see how it ranks.
* Total carbon emissions is represented as million tons.
Total carbon output
Per capita output
Legend:
Worst
Not good
Average
Better
Best
Source: Eredux

Some of the results are predictable, others somewhat surprising.

With big industries and a population of 23.5 million, Texas has the highest carbon output of any state with 670 million tons of carbon, while on the other end of the scale, the small state of Vermont emits a mere 6.5 million tons. Texas has the highest consumption of coal, oil and natural gas while Vermont consumes the least.

Some states with large industries and small populations can also show lopsided per-capita numbers. The use of coal -- one of the worst carbon offenders -- to generate electricity also plays a major role in emission numbers.

While Wyoming is ranked No. 31 in total carbon output, its love for coal, low population and the fact that it is the largest exporter of electricity to other states gives it the highest per-capita carbon output of any state. West Virginia, North Dakota and Alaska also rely heavily on coal to create electricity, putting them in the top five for per-capita carbon emissions.

These dynamics mean that a state's green image might not always translate to green per-capita figures. In fact, on a per-capita basis, residents of Alaska emit more than three times the carbon of residents in New York and California combined.

-- Posted: Oct. 4, 2007
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