The Green Drinks network has been making waves through eco-communities in many states across the country, and now Arlington is beginning its very own chapter. With its first meeting aptly scheduled for Earth Day (April 22nd), I chatted with Genevieve Concannon, Arlington Green Drinks co-founder and Director of Business Development at Arbour Realty to learn all about it.
JB: So how did the creation of the Arlington Green Drinks come about?
GC: It is interesting, actually. I got the chance to meet Adrienne Spahr of Green Living Consulting, who is one of the founding members of the DC chapter. She was so excited about an Arlington chapter because of all of the VA/DC crossover they get, that we figured, it just made sense to get this started for this community. The whole international organization has been so supportive and helpful in assisting with our launch; you wouldn’t believe the outpouring of support and advice from the other local chapters. The sustainable community runs a lot deeper than you’d think- and that is pretty powerful.
JB: I noticed that you work at a local real estate firm that focuses on green realty. Do you find that a lot of green building professionals attending the Green Drinks networking events?
GC: You’re right; we do focus on green realty, even though we are a full service brokerage. We see a lot of professionals who work in the green building industry, but there are also people who own sustainable restaurants, eco-friendly spas, green consulting firms, and green businesses of all sorts. Of course, we’d like to invite as many of our professional colleagues as we can to become members, but [then] we’d just be hanging out with the great people that already know, and we’d like to “branch out-” thus the inspiration for our image. We’d like to see people from all different fields come to join the group so that the community can ask questions and learn from one another.
JB: And what might a newcomer expect if they decide to join in?
GC: As you’re certainly aware, every group is going to be different, and our hope for the Green Drinks Arlington group is that we will find a fantastic variety of eco-professionals who are eager to share their knowledge and learn about what is going on in the community. We aim to keep it fun, fresh and engaging by having the short-but-sweet 10 minute speaker series from green innovators of all walks of life at our events. Something that we’d like to do with our group that may be a little bit different is allow for feedback so that we can keep tabs on what types of lectures our members what to hear, for instance, if they want to know what Arlington County has on their plate for greening the County, or if someone from a green power source can let us know about what they have going on for the community, we can make plans to have these sorts of topics covered in a light and interesting way. I also think it is good for new potential members to know that just because we’re meeting at happy hour, doesn’t mean they have to feel like they have to drink- but we should always get special deals from the venue who hosts our group. For our launch on Earth Day, April 22, we have teamed up with some amazing local green vendors for door prizes, so come prepared to win friends, and quite possibly some loot! We’ll be updating our Facebook page and website as we get closer to the date.
For more information on how to join this FREE group and attend their monthly meetings, check out: www.greendrinks.org/VA/Arlington