We’re not talking about green beer. When we say “green,” we mean eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable.
Green Drinks is a free, fun networking opportunity that happens every month. It is open to those who work in an environmental field, or who are just interested in living an eco-friendly lifestyle. We get together in an informal setting and chat about what’s going on in the valley and beyond.
Green Drinks was one of the first programs we started when Sustainable Wenatchee became an organization. It’s actually an international movement, with 528 groups in all 50 U.S. states and in over 60 countries.
Now going on for 20 years, it was started in London in 1989. There is a Green Drinks Code, but all it asks is that Green Drinks organizers meet regularly, that it’s open to anyone, and that the gatherings are agenda-free, non-profit, responsible and fun.
Turns out, when we at Sustainable Wenatchee started Green Drinks, there was already a group regularly meeting here but not registered with the international GreenDrinks.org site. Luckily, they were happy to merge and now we meet every third Thursday of the month at 4:30 p.m. We rotate venues, often meeting in Wenatchee but sometimes in Leavenworth, Cashmere, and Chelan. We also feature a different environmentally-related non-profit each month. That gives the organization a chance to offer updates on what they’ve been working on and ways to get involved, in a fun, casual setting. Because we move around and invite different organizations, we get a different crowd each time. It’s a great way to meet new people. So far, we’ve met at almost a dozen local venues, taking advantage of those with patios when it’s nice weather. We try to offer family-friendly places when we can, so that kids can join, though sometimes it’s 21 and over.
We’ve had great support from local business owners, some of whom even have donated proceeds to us or another non-profit (thank you to Icicle Brewing in Leavenworth and the Vogue in Chelan). Since we hold Green Drinks on Thursdays before the dinner rush, we hope we can offer the benefit of bringing the venue some extra patrons on a weeknight.
Sometimes talking about environmental issues can be a bit of a downer. Green Drinks offers a fun place to get together and yes, maybe express some frustrations. But overall, it’s a way to connect with like-minded people who are passionate about making our world a better place. To stay up-to-date on where this month’s Green Drinks group is gathering, check out SustainableWenatchee.org or follow us on Facebook.
Jana Fischback is executive director of Sustainable Wenatchee, a nonprofit that promotes a culture of environmental stewardship and social sustainability in the Wenatchee Valley.