Nowhere in California is the power of green consumerism more apparent than the Prius-packed city of Berkley. The Economist takes a look at a "greenery by zip code" study that, somewhat unsurprisingly, places Palo Alto near the top and Bakersfield near the bottom of locales packed with certified green buildings and hybrids. But why?
An attraction to beaches and public transit may plant the initial seeds for a green hotspot, says one of the study's authors, whose domino effect "attracts 'green businesses' such as tofu restaurants and bike shops, and this in turn attracts more greens." The last step? Become a large enough political force to influence local policy. Still, the Prius population might result from a questionably environmentally-friendly keeping-up-with-the-Joneses attitude. (Read more green transportation stories.)