Environmentalists are pretty easy to make fun of: the wool-socks-with-Birkenstocks fashion; the Prius-driving; the reusable-shopping-bags; the general earnestness. To sarcastic smart-alecs like me, they might as well being wearing a bull's-eye.
But here's the unfortunate thing: They're right. Having sustainable resources and a healthy environment makes civilization possible. So, while I may still snicker occasionally at the granola-buying, hemp-wearing hippie in front of me at the supermarket, I have to say I do recycle, I do believe in sustainable farming and open space preservation, and I recently purchased my own set of reusable shopping bags from Trader Joe's. Plus, I think I want my next car to be a hybrid. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right?
With that in mind, I trundled over to Red Star in Fells Point last Thursday evening for what was only the third meeting of the Baltimore chapter of Green Drinks, an international organization that promotes environmental awareness through casual, member-organized happy hours. The idea is for like-minded eco-geeks to get together once a month, have some cocktails, swap business cards, and build awareness about local, national, and global green issues.
The Baltimore chapter is already off to a great start. Despite it being only the third meeting, the gathering attracted more than 50 people who noshed on pizza, veggies, and spinach artichoke dip while sipping $3 rail drinks, house wines, and beers upstairs in Red Star's urban-rustic loft. The crowd mingled easily with attendees coming from as far away as Mt. Airy and Denver, Colorado! A brief presentation about Baltimore City's recycling program was led by Keith LoSoya, chair of the city's solid waste committee. Among other things, LoSoya broke the news that the City will be increasing its recycling pick up to once a week in 2009, news that delighted even my decidedly non-eco-geek friend whom I'd dragged along.
Green Drinks Baltimore chair Sotereas Pantazes, has even bigger plans for the April meet-up. In honor of Earth Day (April 22), he wants to create the largest gathering in Green Drinks history by joining forces with other Mid-Atlantic chapters, including Philly and D.C. We wish him luck, and maybe we'll even see him there.