When you think green states, Idaho is not the first that comes to mind, but it should be. It turns out our state is doing a lot behind the scenes to be resourceful and smart about sustainability and utilizing natural recourses. According to a report by Zippia.com, Idaho ranks as the least wasteful state in the country.

Here are a few things that got Idaho such a pat on the back award. As it turns out, Idaho residents throw away the least amount of garbage each year compared to other states. They compare how much landfill waste in relation to the population in each state. Idaho, North Dakota, and Connecticut were the top 3 winners, while Pennsylvania, Colorado, and California came in last. Landfills let off dangerous carbon dioxide and methane gases, which contribute to smog and global warming. By cutting back on the amount of waste hitting landfills, Idaho has achieved one of the lowest rates of landfill gas emissions in the country.

Idaho likes clean energy sources and adopted them early. Across the state we have a thriving wind-power industry. Idaho is also one of only six states with commercial geothermal electricity. Geothermal power plants are able to create energy using water and heat that comes from dry steam wells or from hot-water wells. The steam then powers a turbine that generates electricity. We also utilize hydroelectric power from rivers and dams. Other states are blessed with loads of fossil fuels but we got more creative with what we had naturally in the area. Idaho Power has pledged to use 100 percent clean energy by 2045.

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Boise leaders took a stand against food waste in 2017 and initiated a citywide composting program. Boise residents can have their food, garden or organic waste picked up at the curb along with their regular recycling. Residents are then able to pick up the compost soil for their own gardening or farming, free of charge. The city’s composting facility now takes in over 110 tons to compost daily.

Idaho has a strong commitment to recycling but also knows that no areas are alike. Neighborhoods to prairies, to farmlands to populated cities the state customized recycling programs based on the area. Rural areas utilize drop-off recycling centers to cut costs, while cities use curbside pickup. These customized recycling programs make it easier for residents to cut waste and spending.


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