Every month, eco-conscious people in hundreds of cities around the world meet up at informal social gatherings called Green Drinks. There are now four such events each month in the Keys.
“Green Drinks brings like-minded people together,” says Julie Brown, assistant general manager of The Banyan Resort in Key West, the first Keys hotel certified by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Lodging Program. (The Banyan was also the first to get the DEP’s advanced “Two Palm” designation.)
It was at just such a gathering that Brown and General Manager Julie Crane, a co-organizer of the Key West Green Drinks, met Mike Basham, founder of Trashed in the Keys. Crane and Brown are always looking for innovative ways to reuse and recycle at the timeshare property they run, and now they pass along The Banyan’s empty 15-gallon laundry detergent drums to Basham, who turns them into compost containers.
Started in 1989 in London, the Green Drinks concept has spread like wildfire.
The Key West Green Drinks gathering has been going on for more than a year, and now there are gatherings throughout the island chain:
Key West: 6 to 8 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month at Finnegan’s Wake, 320 Grinnell St. Brown says there are nearly 90 people on the Key West gathering’s mailing list; send an e-mail to KeyWestGreen@gmail.com for more information or to get on the list.
Lower Keys: 6 to 8 p.m. the fourth Tuesday at Good Food Conspiracy on Big Pine Key. It's a bring-your-own event.
Middle Keys: 6 to 8 p.m. the third Thursday at Burdine's Waterfront in Marathon.
Upper Keys: 6 to 8 p.m. the first Thursday at Tasters Grille, mile marker 91.
If the Keys aren’t your permanent home base, you can find a gathering near you by searching under the “Find City” link at GreenDrinks.org, and clicking through until you get a schedule of upcoming events in your particular city. If there isn’t yet a Green Drinks chapter in your area, by all means start a new one.