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The Top 10 Cities for Eco-Friendly Coffee Lovers

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Comfy coffee shops make any neighborhood more enjoyable, but it turns out they also make that ‘hood more eco-friendly. Cities with the most coffee shops are also more likely to be full of businesses that have adopted green practices, according to a new study from marketing firm Infogroup. (Here are 11 Coffee Stats You Never Knew.)

The group looked at data from 728 cities in the U.S. and found that java shops are most popular in the west, with only two of the top 10 existing off the coast. The biggest joe-sipping city? Santa Monica, CA, with five coffehouses to every 10,000 people and a Green Adopter (GA) score—based on their businesses’ recycling and waste management, energy consumption and generation (including solar panels), and green amenities (like car pool services and low flow toilets)—of 3.6 out of 5. The research group attributes this caffeine overload to the work-around-the-clock schedules of big businesses of the area, which include mainly movie and healthcare industries.

As for the rest of the top 10 coffee-drinking in the city, the rankings fall as:

1. Santa Monica, CA - 5.1 coffee shops per capita (10k); 3.6 GA score
2. Redmond, WA - 4.9 coffee shops per capita; 4.3 GA score
3. Everett, WA - 4.5 coffee shops per capita; 3.9 GA score
4. Medford, OR - 4.4 coffee shops per capita; 4 GA score
5. Vancouver, WA - 4.2 coffee shops per capita; 4 GA score
6. Sarasota, FL - 4.1 coffee shops per capita; 2.4 GA score
7. Seattle, WA - 4.1 coffee shops per capita; 4.4 GA score
8. Auburn, WA - 4 coffee shops per capita; 3.7 GA score
9. Minneapolis, MN - 3.9 coffee shops per capita; 3.5 GA score
10. Bellingham, WA - 3.9 coffee shops per capita; 4.2 GA score

It’s no surprise that six of the top 10 are in Washington, the birthplace of one of the biggest coffee giants in the country (Starbucks). In fact, Seattle, while seventh on the list of the top caffeine-drinking cities, is actually the highest-ranking Green Adopter of the top 10 and fourth of all 728 cities. 

While the researchers don’t speculate as to why coffee-consuming cities are also more eco-friendly, we do know one thing: With those two attributes, this list certainly helps craft our top places to consider living (along with The Top 10 Fittest Cities of 2013!).


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