To some extent, the Progressive Era achieved its intended goals with regards to environmental reform, especially in the urban centers. This was mostly achieved through civic education on the importance of sanitation, clean-up and paint-up campaigns and the improved sense of environmental responsibility among the young.
The public was made aware of the looming problems if the threat to the urban environment was not checked. At the time, industrialization and a sharp increase in population in the urban areas posed major threats to the environment due to pollution and congestion. During the awareness campaigns, the issues raised included the spread of diseases, pollution, and deteriorating aesthetics.
Urban officials were also challenged to improve and provide better sanitary services and institute necessary environmental changes. Cities embarked on the provision of pure water, cleaner air and reduction of waste among other environmental needs.
The Progressive Era also brought together scientists, journalists, politicians and the general public with an aim of developing better methods to address the environmental issues. It is from these efforts during the Progressive Era that more aggressive and action-oriented environmental movements were born, such as the environmental justice movement organized in the late 70s.
Notable achievements of the Progressive Era included the Meat Inspection Act, Pure Food and Drug Act, reforms in factory inspection laws and smoke-pollution-control laws.