Bottoms Up for the Globe

The latest salvo in the war against environmental deterioration: Have a drink.

By Francesca Lyman January 6, 2009 Published in the February 2008 issue of Seattle Met

DON’T CALL IT A PARTY. Never mind that Greendrinks, the monthly gathering of environmentally inclined revelers, is bound to include the following: Jostling shoulder-to-shoulder over cheese cubes and artisan crackers, a twentysomething founder of a new solar start-up, a yoga teacher looking for a soul mate, a UW environmental-econ professor encircled by adoring ex-students, and a lawyer working on an oil-spill tort case. Don’t call it a party because, says one organizer, “that would cheapen it.” The Greendrinkers’ preferred description: “An effort to bring together people trying to make a difference in the world.”

The event regularly draws as many as 475 attendees, all there to brainstorm, network, and share their passion for ecofriendly causes. At a recent Greendrinks nonparty in a packed-to-the-gills Bathhouse Theater at Green Lake, a mother and daughter team known as the Traveling Roses struck up a conversation about their upcoming itinerary, an all-bicycle-powered, 40,000 mile extravaganza down the Pacific Coast, twisting south from Panama along coastal beaches toward Tierra del Fuego.

VIPs at Greendrinks? Anyone who brings their own mug, thus saving on plastic steins, is granted access to a faster line at the beer table. And relationships of all kinds are forged: An arborist recently left without a new romantic connection, but headed contentedly off into the night, the pockets of his overalls bursting with business cards.

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