The Green Drinks Code
Green Drinks are Open
Green Drinks is mostly for people working on environmental issues, but anyone can come -- people from environment groups, business, government, academia and as individuals. There is no 'us and them'.
Organizers and all attendees actively welcome newcomers and introduce them to others in the group.
All attendees commit to meeting new people at every session and not just sticking with people they already know.
SAMPLE VIDEO - Green Drinks Austin
Green Drinks are Freeform
There is generally no agenda or theme, Green Drinkers mingle and share insights and provoke - exasperate - inspire and delight each other. There are moments of serendipity and a lot of 'oh, if you are interested in 'X' then I must introduce you to that person over there who knows all about it' ...
All kinds of people come to Green Drinks and this is what makes for the interesting interactions.
Green Drinks are Regular
Usually monthly. Most organizers find a fixed date in the month is easiest to manage, at the same venue and something like the second Tuesday in the month. Fridays and Thursdays tend to be busy for most people, so Tuesday or Wednesday is best.
Green Drinks are Simple to Organize
Usually held in a convenient, central location that is free. A corner of a pub or bar for example. Put a sign up on the table where you are gathering so that people can find you.
A private space is the best choice in the end. However, booking a private room usually means the organizer has to incur cost or risk of not enough people turning up to cover the cost of the room. Instead most Green Drinks have an arrangement something like: "Hello Mr/Ms Bar Manager, if I bring along 15 / 40 / 100 people who want to buy your beer and food on a normally quiet night can we have a space to ourselves somewhere?"
Set up an email list for invites or use something like mailchimp, lists.topica.com, google groups, meetup or evite.
Start with maybe 10 keen people you already know, and get them to each invite 5 others the first time.
Many Green Drinks start with a dozen people and then grow to be a regular size - 30 people is the most common size with 70 or 150 as the other common sizes for larger cities.
Green Drinks are Self-replicating
People who come to Green Drinks each invite others along by word of mouth, who in turn themselves invite others, etc.
Email invites mean that people can forward the invite to friends easily. This is the core for exponential growth.
New cities are easy to set up and people moving often set up a Green Drinks in their new location.
Green Drinks are Local
Cities or towns or suburbs.
45 minutes' travel time apart from each other.
Avoid date clashes and being in the same week as neighbouring Green Drinks.
Check the website for your nearest Green Drinks and talk to the organizers; they will be happy to hear from you.
Counties or areas or bio-regions are allowed only if rural (less than 200 people per square mile) and rotating between several towns.
County Green Drinks also have to be prepared to change their name later if necessary and also niche with and support independent town or city drinks as they emerge within the county. If you are sticking to one town as the venue then the Green Drinks would be named after that town. There are successful Green Drinks in towns as small as 18,000 population.
Green Drinks are Agenda Free
Green Drinks is not a channel to circulate announcements or news about environmental issues. Green Drinkers are already deluged with information from thousands of other sources. Green Drinks is a place to go to get away from all that.
It's OK to have speakers for 20-30 minutes or so or to have a theme for the evening to help stimulate discussion, but the bulk of the evening should be free-form and random.
The host venue itself creates some slant inevitably but must be gracious and open; independent venues such as bars or restaurants are preferred.
Green Drinks as an entity will never endorse or have a position or stance on an environmental topic.
There will be no non-Green Drinks-related content or messages or appeals or ads circulated to the city organizers or appearing on the greendrinks.org website.
Green Drinks are Decentralized
Each city does its own thing.
There is no central mailing list of attendees.
There is no central logo or branding as each city has its own logo and style to adapt to each location
Green Drinks are Non Profit
Organizers mostly use free resources and volunteers and donate their own time.
Voluntary charge at door if necessary to cover costs; per event only, no membership fee.
Mostly free to attend, each participant pays for their own drinks and food.
Incorporation as LLC or Ltd company is OK for larger groups.
Event sponsors and venue hosts OK as long as freedom of discussion is not compromised.
Green Drinks are Run Responsibly
Organizers and participants work to create a safe, non threatening environment for all and drink responsibly.
Organizers niche and collaborate with other Green Drinks in their area.
Organizers keep their pages on www.greendrinks.org updated with the date and venue of the next Green Drinks and a contact name and email so first-timers have confidence to travel across town and devote an evening to Green Drinks.
Organizers don't sell their email lists to advertisers.
Some organizers act as mentors to help and advise other groups.
Green Drinks are Fun
There is a very informal vibe and overall light feel.
There are lots of benefits to green drinks; they are hard to quantify, but when you have seen people come and make new links and learn and argue and set up new schemes and get new jobs etc, it is a good feeling.
Start A Green Drinks in Your City
Check that you can comply with this Code and then email newcity [at] greendrinks.org to apply and have a page on www.greendrinks.org set up.