Are you green drinking?

What’s a great event in town where you can let your hair down, as well as make meaningful conversations and connections with like-minded green people from business, academia, the NGO and independent sectors?

Welcome to Green Drinks, the worldwide monthly tête-à-tête of greenies from all walks of life. It was first started in London by Edwin Datschefski and friends in 1989, as an informal gathering of people working or interested in the environmental field. It has now grown organically to over 630 cities. Anyone is allowed to bring friends along, and one always finds new and interesting people at each Green Drinks. It is a totally decentralised and non-profit event with each chapter being allowed to do its own thing.

The Singapore chapter was founded by Olivia Choong and Wilson Ang in 2007. Though Green Drinks are unstructured, low-key events, Olivia has shaped up the Singapore event from a pure networking session, into one where people from the environment sector can also showcase their product, service or concept in a speech accompanying dinner. This is all done in a very informal setting. Past events have featured people from a wide range of fields such as green vehicles, eco-cities, biofuels, permaculture, wet cleaning, biological pest management, biodegradable plastics and so on.

This is Green Drinks Singapore’s third year, and looking ahead, Olivia plans for the event to be more collaborative in nature. She hopes there will be space for talks, as well as screening of movies, and the continued exchange of ideas and connections.

The Green Drinks on 28th January 2010 was something quite unprecedented in Singapore. It brought together many of the environmental groups in Singapore under one tent for the first time. Some of the groups which attended were ECO-Singapore, the Nature Society, the Vegetarian Society, Wild Singapore and Balik Kampung. Also present were members from the green blogging community such as Eco-Business, AsiaIsGreen, Green Business Times and EcoWALKtheTalk, student environment groups as well as other independent eco-consultants in the green building, green jobs and sustainability areas. Representatives from the government sector included the Ministry of Environment and the National Parks Board.

There was also a good mixture of people from other non-environmental sectors such as multi-national banks, information technology, schools and colleges and government agencies.

Everyone was given time and space to share their backgrounds and aspirations for 2010 and of course, a wide range of thoughts came through, such as sustainable urban farming, government policy, green living and blogging, green jobs, organic and fair trade goods in Singapore, meat reduction and biodiversity.

Green Drinks Singapore is held on the last Thursday of the month, at a chosen vegetarian restaurant in town. For more information, check out the website http://sggreendrinks.wordpress.com/

You can also join the Facebook group “Green Drinks Singapore” to get event invitations.

Hope to catch you Green Drinking next month!

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