Which Countries are the Most Environmentally Conscious?

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks 178 countries from around the world on how well they protect people and their ecosystems from environmental harm. Each year, countries are tested to see how they match up against the rest of the world and how their actions impact the environment as a whole.

A handful of countries are leading the way when it comes to conserving their environmental resources and creating a cleaner Earth.

Top Five Environmentally Conscious Countries in the World

When we think about being environmentally conscious, we often think about our natural resources, air quality, nature, and green buildings. However, there is so much more to consider, which is why environmental organizations and studies like the EPI exist.

Whether it’s a competition to see who the greenest country around the world is or to see what aspects of sustainability need improvement, the EPI gives you a glimpse into other parts of the globe and what they are doing to live in a green, more environmentally sustainable place.

Some of the factors the EPI considers include access to clean drinking water, household air pollution, habitat protection, and wastewater treatment. Currently, the most environmentally conscious countries in the world are:

  1. Switzerland: The Swiss are some of the top recyclers in the world, plus the country’s trash is incinerated by modern equipment that produces minimal air pollution. Their water is also the cleanest because it comes out of Swiss taps – a purified and more economical solution.
  2. Luxembourg: Luxembourg’s government has a strategy for clean technology, as well as a focus on energy efficiency and green buildings.
  3. Australia: Australia is home to more than one million native species of plants and animals, so the country has a strong focus on conservation and the sustainability of various ecosystems.
  4. Singapore: Singapore was one of the first countries to introduce electric taxis, as well as hybrid buses that use diesel and battery power, consuming 30% less fuel.
  5. Czech Republic: This country is known for protecting its natural resources. In fact, 14% of their land is designated as scientific reserves and specifically managed for sustainable use.

 

Unfortunately, the United States is nowhere near the top of the list of the most environmentally conscious countries. The U.S currently sits at #33, which says a lot about our country and the work that still needs to be done.

How Can We Improve?

There is clearly room for environmental improvement because none of the top-rated countries achieved a perfect score. According to the EPI, the following issues continue to demand our attention:

  • Fresh water quality
  • Toxic chemical exposures
  • Municipal solid waste management
  • Nuclear safety
  • Wetlands loss
  • Agricultural soil quality and degradation
  • Recycling rates
  • Adaptation, vulnerability, and resilience to climate change
  • Desertification

 

Every day, countries are working on the aforementioned issues in order to improve the overall well-being of the environment.

No matter where you live, you can learn a lot simply by doing a little research. Talk to your elected officials and volunteer for environmental organizations to find out how you can be more environmentally conscious and reduce your country’s footprint.

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