Toledo ranks 98th out of largest 100 U.S. cities for "going green"

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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - An annual study by financial website WalletHub says of the 100 largest cities in the country, Toledo ranks 98th for "going green".

Analyst Jill Gonzalez explains the methodology: "We looked at the 100 largest cities in the U.S. across about 30 different 'green indicators', ranging from greenhouse gas emissions per capita, to the number of smart energy policies/initiatives in place, to green job opportunities."

Toledo's best score came with Greenhouse Gas Emissions Per Capita at 34th, though that was about the only boost we had to the Environment category. The Glass City also finds itself dead last in overall energy sources and policies.

"Less than 3% of electricity in Toledo comes from renewable sources," Gonzalez says. "That number ranked 97th, one of the lowest in the country."

It's not for lack of trying, of course, with solar and wind making a big push in recent years. It's important to note WalletHub confined the study within city limits, leaving out communities like Sylvania, Holland or Maumee. That cuts out over half the Metroparks, which may also explain the 69th ranking for "green space".

The biggest knock to our overall number came from commuters, as 83% of Toledoans drive alone to work -- one of the highest rates among the 100 cities.

Due to a big difference in recycling programs between cities, that also was not factored in -- though Gonzalez says that may be for the best in some cases.

"So many city recycling programs are struggling right now, and have been for years in terms of regulations and lack thereof. I think most cities would do worse if we factored that in."

One might wonder why a financial website is interested in conducting a comprehensive environmental study, but Gonzalez says going green and saving some green are forever intertwined.

"All of these things like clean energy programs and urban agriculture benefit the environment and contribute to America's bottom line. That's why we really looked into this, not only from an environmental standpoint, but from a financial one as well."

For a breakdown of all factors in this study (and how heavily each one was weighted), you can browse through the findings at this link.