Not so green

New report lands Texas among 10 worst states for the environment

Texas has one of the worst environmental records in the U.S., a new study finds. Photo courtesy of Union of Concerned Scientists

Everything is bigger in Texas, even the negative impact it has on the environment, a new study finds.

Ahead of Earth Day (April 22), personal finance site WalletHub analyzed all 50 states, looking at 27 metrics across three categories: environmental quality, eco-friendly behaviors, and climate-change contributions.

Texas' overall ranking is an abysmal No. 41, making it one of the least green places in America.

The Lone Star State comes in at No. 48 in environmental quality, No. 28 in eco-friendly behaviors, and No. 37 in climate-change contributions. Under climate-change contributions, WalletHub analyzed carbon-dioxide, methane, nitrous-oxide, and fluorinated greenhouse-gas emissions per capita. The higher the number, the worse a state performs in that category.

Despite an overall poor showing, Texas claims a few top spots in individual metrics, performing best in renewable portfolio standards (No. 1), states with electronic waste recycling programs (No. 1), and corporate clean energy procurement index score (No. 5). On the other side of the spectrum, Texas performs worst in the number of alternative-fuel stations per capita (No. 40), air quality (No. 41), water quality (No. 44), and energy consumption per capita (No. 45).

So why exactly is this a WalletHub story? What does this have to do with your money?

"Eco-friendliness and personal finance are related," the report says. "Our environmental and financial needs are the same in many areas: providing ourselves with sustainable, clean drinking water and food, for example. We also spend money through our own consumption and taxes in support of environmental security."

Vermont ranks first in environmentally friendliness, landing at No. 1 in environmental quality, No. 3 in eco-friendly behaviors, and No. 25 climate-change contributions.

Eight states have worse records than Texas: Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, North Dakota, Wyoming, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Louisiana.

While not so green right now, Texas has made great strides in wind energy in recent years. The American Wind Energy Association's annual report for 2018 shows the Lone Star State is home to roughly one-fourth of all U.S. wind power production. If Texas were a country, the wind energy group says, it would rank fifth in the world for wind power capacity, with nearly 25,000 megawatts installed. And with nearly 7,000 megawatts of wind energy projects under construction or development at the end of 2018, Texas is adding more wind energy capacity than what all but two other states actually have installed.

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This story originally ran on CultureMap.

Workers in the Lone Star State put in more hours and take less vacation time than most of America. Photo by gguy44/Getty Images

Texans don't just work hard, they work harder than almost anyone else in the nation, according to a new study.

Just in time for Labor Day, WalletHub has revealed the hardest-working states for 2019, and Texas lands at No. 4, meaning only three states — North Dakota, Alaska, and South Dakota — work harder. To determine the ranking, the personal finance site reviewed a host of factors, from average workweek, commute time, and leisure time to employment rates and the share of workers with multiple jobs.

In Texas, where 96 percent of the labor force has a job, workers stay on the clock an average of 40 hours a week. While that might seem pretty standard, somehow, that makes us the state with the fourth-longest workweek.

And those hardworking Texans could use a break. Surprisingly, 29 percent of the state's workers don't use all of their vacation time. One contributing factor could be the state's high percentage of engaged workers (35 percent), described in the study as "involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace."

As we know, work doesn't just start and end at your desk. WalletHub also measured workers' commute times, volunteer hours, and leisure time, which it categorized as indirect work factors.

In Texas, workers regularly travel about 26 minutes one way for their jobs, and despite their long workweeks, they make time to volunteer for 27 hours each year on average. In regards to work-life balance, Texans set aside almost six hours a day for leisure time. That may sound ample, but workers in 19 other states spend even more time relaxing.

This isn't the only recent study to call attention to how much time Texans spend on the clock.

A recent report from mobile technology company Kisi named Houston, where workers clock 43.7 hours a week, the second most overworked city in the U.S., second only to Washington, D.C. Austin also shot to the top of the list, with workers laboring 43.5 hours a week, followed by San Antonio (43.1 hours) and Dallas (42.9 hours).

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.