Best Places to Live

Athens, GA

Population: 128,584
Ian Curcio

Athens, GA is home to a slew of environmental organizations that have helped the city achieve its green status. Groups such as Athens Grow Green Coalition work to get residents involved in curbing sprawl and encourage a “walkable, bikeable and connected” community.

In an effort to preserve its limited water supply, the city implemented code changes that encourage residents to capture rainwater and greywater (residential wastewater from showers, dishwashers, etc.) so it can be reused for non-potable uses such as gardening.

Also active in the city is the Athens Land Trust, which emphasizes the “integration of community and the natural environment” through energy-efficient housing and land preservation. Additionally, Athens was the first city in the state to adopt curbside recycling back in 1988. Now it relies on a Pay-As-You-Throw system that encourages residents to waste less by charging more for excess trash.

Read about the neighborhoods in Athens, GA.