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Volume 15, Issue 9 ~ March 1 - March 7, 2007

Current Issue





Greening Up Over Beer and Wine

Social venue for exchanging ideas and forming alliances

by Carrie Madren

Green Drinks organizer Lynne Forsman, of Annapolis, addresses the group at its meeting last month at O’Callaghan Hotel.

When quitting time rolls around in Annapolis, greenies gather for eco-happy hour.

“I tried to find recycled name badges,” said Lynne Forsman, a self-proclaimed “wannabe greenie” who started Green Drinks Annapolis a year ago.

The fifth Green Drinks gathering in Annapolis drew some 40 green-minded adults out on a cold Tuesday last month. Activists, civic organization heads, scientists, business owners and more trickled into the bar at O’Callaghan Hotel on West Street, perched on barstools and brewed small talk over beer on tap as well as red and white wine.

Revelers seemed more interested in the latest tree planting than their merlot as they swapped business cards and sustainable updates with acquaintances old and new.

“I decided to see what it was about,” says Julia Gustavsu, a Smithsonian Environmental Research Center lab technician, who heard about Green Drinks via a podcast. She takes a Samuel Adams on tap and thinks she’ll return.

The international green happy hour movement began some 18 years ago in England when a few blokes gathered at a pub to talk environmental news. Now some 180 groups from Japan to Baltimore regularly drink green.

Drinkers don’t pay fees or apply for membership. A thick recycled paper tablet stands in for a guestbook.

“I’m hoping to bring people together, who would never cross paths otherwise,” says Forsman, who learned about Green Drinks through a professional acquaintance from Portland, Oregon. Forsman wanted to get people together, but she “didn’t want it to be a boring environmental meeting.” She envisions a hub for exchanging ideas and forming alliances, not a new group that takes action.

“I don’t want it to compete with all the other action groups,” adds Forsman, co-founder of Nautical Destinations, a company that helps businesses plan green meetings.

“The whole idea is a good concept, to help make Annapolis a green destination point,” says Rick Erber of Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company, which makes coffees with global sustainability in mind. Erber hosts the next gathering on March 6.

Chesapeake Climate Action Network volunteer activist Lisa Todd cheers on non-profits that sponsor social fun and light activities. There’s a misconception, says the Miller Lite drinker, that “people working on an issue tend to be stern. We’re just regular folks.”

Meet the Green Drinkers crew next on March 6 at Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company for pomegranate/espresso martinis, appetizers, a tour and more. 5:30-7:30pm @ Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company, 2100 Concord Blvd. Suite J, Crofton. rsvp to Rhonda: 410-451–6600 x817; Join the email list for monthly reminders at

© COPYRIGHT 2007 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.