By Jenn Ballentine

With chapters in over 635 cities around the world, Green Drinks is an international organization founded to bring together people interested in environmental policy, green building and renewable energy. The Atlanta chapter of Green Drinks, currently organized by Brion Fitzpatrick, an employee of Inman Solar, has been in existence for about eight years.

Atlanta Green Drinks meets at different locations around Atlanta every month and typically attracts 100 to 150 people. Attendees come not only for the free food and drinks, but also to network with other like-minded individuals. Atlanta Green Drinks attracts an eclectic mix of people from lawyers and accountants to architects, builders and others interested in green industry.

The organization does not have a formal structure nor are there guest speakers. Instead, attendees meet each other and exchange ideas and discuss topics such as green practices, sustainability and renewable energy. Businesses who sponsor the monthly event must be “truly green or be involved in a green or environmental sustainability-focused business,” said Fitzpatrick.

Both sponsors and attendees alike benefit from Atlanta Green Drinks. According to regular attendee and Volunteer Coordinator for the Georgia Sierra Club Steven Shapiro, Green Drinks has been instrumental in helping with the Sierra Club’s “Green the Governor” campaign.

“I have been attending Atlanta Green Drinks since January 2010. I’ve seen it grow, which has been very encouraging and I have used these events not only to recruit more volunteers but also to recruit green businesses to sponsor the campaign. It’s been a tremendous opportunity for me to get involved and get the Sierra Club name out there beyond the name recognition that it already has,” said Shapiro.

Atlanta Green Drinks meets the second Wednesday of every month from 6 to 9 p.m. The next meeting will be held Aug. 11 at the Liotta’s Modern LEED Home at 140 Barksdale Drive. The September meeting will be Sept. 8 at the Oakhurst Community Garden in Decatur. Meetings are free and all are welcome to attend.

For more information, find the Atlanta Green Drinks group on Facebook or visit the international website at www.greendrinks.org.

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