Coming to a Bar Near You

Here at IT, we’re always up for a round of drinks at the end of the week. But when writer Kathryn O’Shea-Evans told us about Green Drinks, we knew we’d found drinking buddies for life:

When you first hear the name “Green Drinks International,” it sounds like a society for appletini lovers, green tea enthusiasts, or people who’d rather every day was St. Patrick’s Day. Thankfully for everyone involved, it’s none of the above. Founded in London in 1989, the networking organization brings people together over drinks to talk about the environment and what they can do to help.

What started as a group of friends in a London pub 18 years ago has now snowballed into a massive international coalition: Green Drinks now has over 285 member cities, more than half of them established within the past year. You’ll find Green Drinks groups everywhere from Warsaw to Cape Town, Boulder to Beijing. Even SUV-clogged L.A. has a Green Drinks, and it’s one of the most dedicated: unlike most chapters, which meet monthly, the Los Angeles chapter hosts an event every week.

Even the founders are a bit overwhelmed by the groundswell of support. “I think we’ve had more new Green Drinkers over the past 18 months than at any other time over the past 18 years,” says Paul Scott, who founded Green Drinks and still runs the London group. “Green issues are becoming mainstream, rather than a niche for people with woolly hats and weird sandals.”

Margaret Lydecker founded New York City’s Green Drinks in 2002 and has watched it grow into the largest chapter on earth, with over 7,000 members and between 300 to 500 attendees at each event. “To break the ice I go up to a stranger and say, ‘Are you green?’” Lydecker says. The ensuing conversations ricochet between environmental films, business, and eco-fashion to EPA regulations, dating, and green building, she says.

As in other Green Drinks chapters, New York’s members aren’t all talk: at any given time, they’re working to raise funds for environmental non-profits, rally for eco-initiatives, or fight for animal rights in the city. In doing so, they create a network of green-thinking people in a town that is otherwise overwhelmed with consumption. “People tell me they have found a community now where they didn’t have one before, and that it changed their experience living in New York,” Lydecker says. “One guy found his girlfriend, his job, and his roommate at Green Drinks. I love that.”

Book your next trip with Peace of Mind
Search Trips

Green Drinks groups try to keep each meeting simple and unstructured, so conversations—and ideas—flow. "Many people toil away at their desks thinking they have to solve the world’s environmental problems themselves," says Lydecker. "But connectivity makes it easier, spreads the weight and makes it more enjoyable." We’ll drink to that.

For more green drinking options, click here.

Image: Green Drinks Auckland

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet