And at the heart of the Southeastern green scene, is Chattanooga, TN.
This small-ish river city, situated near the junction of Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama isn’t only Outside Magazine’s “Best Town Ever” 2011 winner, but it is a ridiculously robust hub of healthier and greener lifestyle habits that fall on the pragmatic side of the extremist scale.
What’s so much greener about Chattanooga, TN?
When it comes to fun and lifestyle aspects, “The Scenic City” has oh-so-much to offer including:
- TONS of hiking trails
- Epic mountain biking and single track trails
- A plethora of yoga studios, including the wonderful North Shore Yoga
- The fairly recently Whole Foods-acquired Greenlife Grocery
- A HUGE network of bike paths, walkways, greenways, and urban parks
- Consolidated downtown area situated around the riverfront
- Free electric shuttle service around downtown
- and so much more…
When it comes to business and enterprise in Chattanooga, TN, the greener living list is equally impressive:
- Home of the United States’ 1st LEED-certified movie theatre
- Home of the world’s first LEED platinum-certified airport
- Home of the manufacturing location for Swiftwick Socks
- Home of a LEED platinum-certified Volkswagen assembly plant
- Home of CarMax’s first dealership built to be green (which opened last week — and will seek LEED certification)
- Has a very prominent (and supported) “buy local” program among local businesses
And believe me, the list goes on and on and on.
The cool thing about Chattanooga, TN’s green scene
Jump back up and look at those lists for a second — especially the business and enterprise list. Those are some seriously impressive feathers in Chattanooga’s proverbial hat. But unless you live in the Southeast (and even if you do), you probably haven’t ever heard of this Tennessee town.
Because Chattanoogans are kind of like honey badgers — they don’t give a shit. They do their thing, eat cleaner, get their yoga on, hit the trail, play in the parks and pretty much just live their lives knowing that their town rocks.
Most of the “green” businesses in Chattanooga don’t even overtly advertise their eco-friendliness either.
They’re just doing what seems best to them and what lines up with their passions…which is the best way to live greener.