It can be difficult to wade through all the competing claims and find some hard data on the larger environmental movement in the United States. But if cross-category purchases of green products from the nation's largest online retailer have anything to say about it, then Amazon may be capable of providing that larger picture of how America is going green.
Researchers from Amazon have tried to do just that, by measuring the purchases over the last year of various segments of green products (water conservation, energy savings, garden-to-table, etc.) across geographical coordinates and labeling each zone as "hot" or "cold" based on its deviation from the national average. The results give a broad sense of the growing trend of green buying in this country, and some interesting trivia to boot. And of course, a cool-looking map, which shows how each U.S. region is going green in its own way.
We first looked at water conservation purchases, based on Watersense products, books on water conservation, and rain barrels. New Mexico and Arizona are the top states for water conservation purchases, with Montana coming in a close third. Rain barrel sales are picking up across the country from Roanoke, Va., to Northern California. Yet rainy Seattle, known for its all around "green-ness," drops well below the national average for purchase of rain barrels. Finally, people in Santa Cruz are truly "going" green, with the most purchases of green toilets in the nation.
To find leaders in energy savings, we looked at renewable energy products (wind generators and solar panels), power conservation and energy management products, and green electronics (ENERGY STAR, EPEAT certified, and LED bulbs). Florida, Nevada, and California are the top three states for energy savings purchases compared to the national average. Daytona Beach, Fla., residents take advantage of their sunny climate, with the most purchases of solar panels. But Lacrosse, Wis., is keen on learning more about energy savings: They top the nation in books on energy efficiency.