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Green Drinks Blog Entry #1 by Arina Vikdorchik, April 2009

NYC Green Drinks is the largest of 488 chapters in the world, with a mailing list of over 12,000 people! As part of my writing the fist Green Drinks blog entry, I was compelled to find out how it all began.

Margaret Lydecker, the driving force of this incredible networking group, moved to NYC on September 9, 2001- two days before 9/11. After a six year stint in San Francisco (the city she had arrived to via a very green 4500 mile bike ride from her home in the east coast), Margaret had acquired a degree in environmental law from Vermont Law School and was then ready to be a city dweller.

“It was a sad time post 9/11.  I was depressed, jobless and looking to connect with environmentally-minded people” Margaret told me as she explained that her next step was an appointment with a life coach who suggested she network with women. “But I felt that I couldn’t relate to traditional business women. I wanted to meet like minded people with the conscience of a social slant- people who cared about something beyond themselves.”

Margaret then started “The Green Mixer” (which was in concept with Green Drinks). “I thought… there has to be someone else doing this out there, somewhere” she said. Her search online led to Green Drinks in London.  Edwin Dashefski talked to Margaret about Green Drinks as an easy, organic, self -organizing network. So seven years ago, Margaret launched Green Drinks NYC! Over these years, she worked to encourage scores of people to join the network with the belief that “if they care about the environment, it is important for them to congregate and be able to have a dialog- in a fun setting.”

On April 14, Green Drinks was at the gorgeous Hiro Ballroom. Each month, Green Drinks has various Green folks pitch 2 ½ minute shpiels to inform all those who attend about their organization, business or project. This month they were [insert individuals’ names + their organization or business name + phrase summarizing pitch + their website. Example: Marielle Anzelone, botanist and founder of Wildflower Week spoke about this series of free events May 2-9, celebrating the importance of native local plants. nycwildflowerweek.org]

After these announcements I wanted to get a scope of the evening’s guests, and proceeded to my Greenradar powers lead the way.

First random guest: Gavin  – BINGO!!

Title/Work: Climate Scientist at N.A.S.A. and adjunct faculty at Colombia

Green Drinks attendance: 3rd visit

What brought him to Green Drinks: “It’s nice to meet people that share your interests. And, it’s not the worst thing in the world to show off a bit.”

Fun facts about Gavin: On April 15th he launched a book that he collaborated on called “[I’ll email you the book’s name]”. It’s a group effort between scientists and photographers capturing the scientific process that looks at how the earth’s climate is changing. Photographs from the book may be seen at the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 42nd St. and 8th Avenue. Gavin was also a consultant for the Climate Change exhibit that’s on at the Natural History Museum 10/08-8/09.

Second Random Guest: Yale Klatt

Title/Work: Practices environmental law for the government

Green Drinks attendance: 5th visit

What brought him to Green Drinks: “I’m personally interested in the environment and don’t get to play an advocacy role at work. So Green Drinks gives me a chance to become involved in my personal life. It’s my time to vent! I like interacting with different people who have professions concerning the environment. They give you a pulse of environmental ventures and how people are able to incorporate environmental ideals into their professions.

Third random guest: Anita Dawn Fee

Title/Work: Corporate Partnership Developer, Workforce Development CAMBA

Green Drinks attendance: First visit

What brought her to Green Drinks: “I have always considered myself an environmentalist, so I’ve wanted to go to Green Drinks for a while.  I went to this particular event because I have been researching the green energy sector, and I have been looking for companies who would like to partner with my organization, CAMBA, which provides free recruitment and prescreening, customized training, and retention services for employers. It was a great way to meet so many people from various walks of life who shared green interests.

Constructive criticism: Some Green food at Green Drinks might be nice.

There were so many interesting visitors at Green Drinks on April 14- I couldn’t possibly describe them all. My favorite was a woman who works at a large hospital in Manhattan. A Green architect friend had invited her to the event. She was quite disgruntled about the hospital not recycling!

View Pictures from that event here : http://jonvachon.smugmug.com/Greendrinksnyc/Hiro-Room/7092621_pQyXK#454641060_6D3en

Now with our new blog, you can us know about your experience at Green Drinks! We welcome your thoughts.

Arina Vikdorchik

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