Community Spotlight

We want to highlight the work of members of the Green Drinks community!

(We loved this posted and had to share it again!)

There are so many innovative, interesting and talented people that attend Green Drinks (in fact, all of you are), so we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some of you on our blog.  If you’d like to be highlighted in future posts, don’t hesitate to contact us! We’d love to help you tell your story.

We are so excited to celebrate with you all tomorrow night and can’t wait to celebrate all of the connections made over the years. And as part of the celebration we wanted to hear from all of you about your stories and experiences from Green Drinks NYC over the years. Read some of our member’s stories below and share your own experience in the comments:
Wendy, Founding Director

I may have been one of the earliest supporters of this ‘mixer-venture’. What a great way to meet new advocates and professionals, and contribute to the continual growth of sustainable business and projects, across the board and throughout the region! Thanks to the dynamic Margaret Lydecker and her amazing team, I’ve always enjoyed being part of the serious fun of Green Drinks, and invariably, I have taken away something new of great value – a relationship, information or inspiration. Perhaps, the future of Green Drinks could include a collaborative project of some sort? Looking into my crystal ball, I’d suggest a Green Map that helps us further cross-fertilize and share our efforts to make our city and world a better place. Let’s drink to that!
Gil, Business Development

I first became aware are Green Drinks in 2007 while living in Orlando, FL. I helped a small group of local economy, environmental and health advocates jump start and organize the “Ourlando” Green Drinks. When I moved to NY in Spring of 2010 I naturally looked for the local Green Drinks event. I had no idea how big and powerful the Manhattan event would be. I met Margaret Lydecker that April evening at The Park and told her I would like to get involved. She welcomed me with open arms and I quickly became a mainstay, helping organize between venues and sponsors and volunteering at events. I actually learned a lot about the city an event planning from Margaret and the other volunteers. My life as well as the organizations has changed and morphed since then and I don’t help organize as much but I still go to as many events as possible and lend a hand. Weather it’s facilitating the 360/speed networking portions or helping set up and break down, I really enjoy helping a group that is connecting so many people who are active in environmental issues.

I also attend Green Drinks events in other boroughs as my work brings me to every corner of this city. It is interesting to see the healthy contrast between the different groups. I feel like Green Drinks has given us hippies, treehuggers, activists and thought leaders a safe place to share ideas, connect and recreate together in a professional yet very loose and free environment.

It is awesome to see the growth and metamorphosis of the organization here in New York where it all began, most recently with the monthly Spark Speaker series. I’m thankful to have this creative/networking outlet each month and proud to say I’m a part of the Green Drinks NYC organization.

Peter, Director of Marketing

Almost exactly 1 year ago I attended my first ever Green Drinks event; at the Delancy. I was gung-ho about the new project that I was working on and I couldn’t wait to tell everybody about it. I made a lot of great connections that night and talked to a lot of people from very diverse professions and backgrounds. But what I didn’t know is that I would meet my future boss that night. Nine months down the road, when I was looking to move on from my current position, he had become a good friend and was excited to offer me a position at his company! I often wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t attended that Green Drinks event, but thankfully I did! And I’ve been coming back ever since!

Amelia, Project Manager

Networking remains a mysterious activity to me; it’s exciting because I never know who I am going to meet and who I will meet through them and who I will meet through them. Sometimes it’s circular, where we find out we know someone in common, and sometimes it is far reaching, continually branching out to new people and new connections. Green Drinks NYC interestingly was reach for me. It started with my friend Glen who reached out to me to get involved in his high school’s environmental intern sponsorship program. It was there I met and connected with the program coordinator, Jenny, who I became fast friends with. After a year of participating as an internship sponsor, Jenny mentioned that an organization she volunteered for, Green Drinks NYC, was looking for volunteers to help out with an event. I agreed to help out even though I had never actually attended an event and showed up thinking that this would be a one time commitment. It was not. That night I met so many interesting people, many of whom I am still close friends with, and made so many connections that I knew that this was a group I wanted to be a member of.

Through Green Drinks I have made new friends, company connections, and found out about new organizations to volunteer for like Riverkeeper and the White Roof Project. It has been almost a year since that first night (which is a blink of an eye in Green Drinks terms), but I still look forward to every event wondering who I will meet this time and where will our connections lead?!
Brian, Research

I attended my first few green drink events in Boston in 2008 and then attended a few periodically in Abu Dhabi during my time there, and now have been to a handful on my home turf of NYC. It’s always a good time, as alcohol works well as a social lubricant in any country and any culture. I’ve met numerous excellent contacts and friends at the various events I’ve attended and look forward to continued participation.
Jenny, HR/Development Assistant

Margaret is a powerhouse! It’s a delight participating with NYC Green Drinks when ever possible. I’ve made connections, friends, and with Margaret’s help, I was even able to get a job. As a result, I’ve gotten others involved and I help out whenever I can. Congrats Margaret!


Alex, Energy Efficiency Analyst

Green drinks is a terrific venue to meet like-minded professionals. Job-hunting aside, it helps us green folk to step outside the bubbles of our day-to-day jobs. I have been lucky to meet folks in policy, the non-for-profit sector, renewables startups, sustainable architectural consulting, and much, much more. Recently I met Piper Kujac, an MBA in Sustainable Management who is in New York from the West coast on a Climate Corps fellowship for sustainable design consulting. I can’t wait until the next round of conversations, with ambitious, bright, insightful minds.

Gabrielle, Owner

About 10 years ago my father had became pretty obsessed (in a good way) with the green movement. He went to meet-ups, started researching cause and effect of everything, read every book out about conscious design. He bought everyone he know a copy of Cradle to Cradle (even my grandmother). One day he showed me this design he did for a logo for a new group he was so excited about. It was the image of a cup with a green shadow. He explained to me that this was a networking group that would meet up regularly and talk green over drinks! Brilliant! As was his logo, which still remains… This is my best Green Drinks NYC story as it is pretty much the first. :)

Spotlight on Alix Davidson, Director of Green Festival NYC

For Alix Davidson, director of this weekend’s Green Festival at the Javits Center, it was the big whale at the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan that solidified a life long interest in green issues. A Manhattan native, Alix spent a lot of time at both the Museum of Natural History and the shores of Long Island. This led her to study foresting at Washington State where she focused on foresting and community activism. It was through her studies and work on National Audubon Society’s forest campaign that Alix forged the connection between green activism and social justice. This work led Davidson toGreen America, an organization working “to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.”  It was a natural fit.

The first ever Green Festival was held 11 years ago in San Francisco. 8 years ago, the Green Festival made its Washington DC. This weekend, the Green Festival comes to New York City. With success in Chicago, San Francisco and Washington DC, it’s only natural that the Green Festival would come to New York City. The secret to the Green Festival’s success? The exhibitors. They have truly transformed the festival into a “buzzing hive of green innovation,” says Davidson.

With over the 5000 attendees and 300 booths, New Yorkers will truly feel inspired by the size of the green community that will be celebrated at the Green Festival this weekend. By attending the Green Festival, New Yorkers will gain a better sense of the sheer volume of the “consumer-oriented green companies” that are out there doing great things.

Planning on attending this weekend’s Green Festival? Don’t miss the good food stage, says Davidson. There will be sushi, strawberry salsa, and cooking demos. There will also be fair trade coffee and chocolate! If you’re thirsty, be sure to stop by the organic beer and wine garden. T.H.R.E.A.D.S. will also be holding a fashion show. But the most important thing to do this weekend at the Green Festival? Have fun, says Davidson. And bring a friend!

Guest Blogger Sonja Whipp is a freelance writer with an interest in green issues. When not writing or incessantly tweeting, Sonja enjoys exploring the City in search of great restaurants and exciting people. Find her on Twitter @SJWhipp and on her blog Ramblings.

Spotlight on Gia Machlin, Founder of EcoPlum

Meet Gia Machlin, founder of EcoPlum, the green shopping rewards site for eco friendly products and green living ideas that makes it fun, easy and rewarding to go green – in style! Gia and the EcoPlum crew have been attending Green Drinks almost every month since March 2009.  According to Gia, “It has been a wonderful experience – we have met so many like minded people and grown our green network exponentially.  It’s always a lot of fun too!” Great to hear!

EcoPlum is a green shopping rewards site. Tell us more about how that works.

EcoPlum’s online boutique carries unique green products including eco friendly clothing, green accessories, handmade jewelry, safe cosmetics and skincare, and other specially curated items. These products are carefully selected from vendors who earn third party sustainability certification, carry notable eco-labels, or make products primarily from recycled materials. EcoPlum shoppers earn EcoChipz rewards points with every purchase, good for coupons in its shop or donations to environmental causes. A trusted source for information on how to be green, EcoPlum has a wide array of original content, green listings, and an engaged community. EcoPlum aims to foster environmental stewardship by informing and empowering consumers to make responsible choices. EcoPlum, Where it Pays to Buy Green.

What was your inspiration for creating EcoPlum?

One day I was thinking about how to motivate people to be more environmentally conscious. It frustrated me that more people did not reduce consumption, recycle when possible and purchase eco friendly products made of reused materials. It occurred to me if people were rewarded for eco friendly behavior, they would be likely to engage in it. There should be some kind of rewards program for going green that would give people incentive to be more environmentally friendly. At the time, there were no such rewards programs out there for purchasing green products, so that was the genesis of EcoPlum, Where it Pays to Buy Green.

Anything else you’d like to share with the green community?

EcoPlum is adding new products every week!  We just added natural makeup from Ferro Cosmetics, silkscreened handbags from Eco Art Productions, handmade jewelry from Bottled up designs and we are adding a new skin care line, a new clothing line and a raw mascara line in the next few weeks. We want to be the premiere online source for everything stylish and green! www.ecoplum.com/shop

Thanks, Gia, for taking the time to talk to us about EcoPlum. We look forward to seeing all of you at our next event!

Guest Blogger Sonja Whipp is a freelance writer with an interest in green issues. When not writing or incessantly tweeting, Sonja enjoys exploring the City in search of great restaurants and exciting people. Find her on Twitter @SJWhipp and on her blog Ramblings.


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