Green Drinks is a rather fun networking event for those involved with environmental issues.
It is held in communities around the world, and now Whitehorse has started having them.
There is one quirk, though.
There is no agenda, no speaker, and no presentations.
It is just a bunch of individuals having a drink in a bar and the only thing they have in common is that they have some interest in the environment.
Anyone can attend.
Environmentalist issues and attitudes have spread to such a degree in today’s society that everyone is somehow affected by green issues.
This ranges from individuals who recycle their household waste to workers who carpool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to professionals whose occupation is helping to reclaim mine sites.
Whether it is those who call themselves environmentalists, those who happen to work in an environmental field or would like to, or those who are just curious about greening up their lives, they all come together to share a drink and chat.
There have been a few Green Drinks gatherings already in Whitehorse.
In attendance were the usual host of suspects that are associated with the Yukon environmental groups.
But there were also a whole bunch of other people.
These included some visiting academics studying climate change adaptation in the North.
There were also federal, territorial and First Nation government employees in attendance, as well as local consultants, artists, and performers.
Green Drinks is not a meeting though.
There is no agenda or theme.
Green Drinkers just mingle and talk to each other.
It is kind of nice to talk to individuals one does not know or whose work you are not familiar with.
Topics of discuss can be anything.
It could be about environmental sustainability, eco-friendly design, corporate responsibility, climate change, and more.
It is up to the people having the conversation to decide what to talk about.
Often, topics flip between business and personal, issues and activities, and will change as people come and go between different conversations.
Things get livelier as connections are made – given the small size of our community it never takes long to discover our one-degree of separation.
And a social interaction provides a much more relaxed setting than the usual workshops, meetings or through e-mail.
It is not a venue to solely circulate announcements or news about environmental issues.
Green Drinkers are already deluged with information from many sources.
There is constant bombardment via e-mail, telephone and mail.
Green Drinks is a place to go to get away from all that – an opportunity to chat and get to know the people in our community.
Green Drinks is not considered an entity, organization or non-profit group.
It does not endorse or have a position or stance on any environmental topic.
All it wants to do is to get those interested in environmental issues together for a social evening.
In Whitehorse, Green Drinks happens every third Tuesday of the month.
It is usually at the Capital Hotel at 103 Main Street, and starts at 4:30 p.m.
There is no fee to attend, but everyone has to buy their own drinks.
No-one gets paid to organize it and there are no sponsors.
If an individual wants, they can add their e-mail to a list that will be passed around, and reminded of upcoming Green Drinks events.
To learn more about Green Drinks visit www.greendrinks.org.
For information about the Whitehorse branch of Green Drinks send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us December 15th for the next Green Drinks, or check the Yukon Environmental Network calendar for future Green Drinks at www.yten.ca.
Lewis Rifkind is a Whitehorse based part-time environmentalist.