Friday, November 21, 2008

I drink alone.

Bleatings from EnviRambo.

Kim Carney / msnbc.com

Last week in my post One Voice I mentioned how sometimes I feel alone on my eco-journey; like I am talking to myself. What I am discovering is that it is a self infliction. I feel that way because of choices I have made. For the longest time I made small subtle changes that were sure to go unnoticed. Personal ones that only affected me, like greening my cosmetics and bath products. Slowly I snuck a change here or there that impacted the whole household; recycled toilet paper, power strips, cleaning with vinegar. Gradually family I reside with caught on. I think it might have been the vinegar or, the pantry full of organic food. You choose.

Still, I have hid my green desires. No one I have face to face contact with knows that I blog. No one outside these four walls knows that I compost, use a diva cup, shave with a safety razor, wear my clothes more than once before laundering, keep my heat at 55 in the winter, do not flush until someone else comes home, reserve urine for the garden, and a myriad of other things. I have kept all semblance of sustainability locked up inside me; confined within my home; hidden like some shameful secret.

For what? Fear of ridicule? Prying eyes? Judgment? Am I more concerned with saving face than making the world a better place for my children? And what about my children? What am I teaching them? It is okay to stand up for your beliefs, just do not let anyone know it. How is that standing up for anything? Colin Beavan, aka No Impact Man wrote a post, In praise of making a spectacle of living green, that made me stop and think. Rethink.

"Now, I'm not trying to blow my own horn. I'm simply saying that making sustainable lifestyle changes that publicly breach social norms in ways people appreciate may have much more value than the resources that they're saving."
Get over yourself and get out there. You are who you are and there is nothing wrong with that. People will judge and label no matter what you do, so you might as well be doing what you want to. Having that said, I took a step towards exposing myself and attended Green Drinks.

Green Drinks is a monthly, informal networking event for environmental professionals and anyone interested in “green” things. You meet over drinks and have casual conversations with a diverse group of like minded people. People have been meeting monthly in 426 cities worldwide! My group has been meeting for two years. Two years! If I had just let my guard down I could have been learning from these folks, putting me leaps and bounds beyond where I am now. There are 11 groups meeting in Wisconsin alone. Imagine that(!), the Midwest, not thought of as progressive like the Coasts has this movement going on right under my nose. Odds are there is a group near you. If not, do not despair, you can start one. Email edwin [at] greendrinks [dot] org if you want some tips on how to set up Green Drinks in your city. You can also participate on Facebook.












What a fun way to learn, connect, and grow!

14 comments:

kidletsmum said...

What a BRILLIANT idea! I'm gonna bet millions that there's not English-language group in Ankara, though.
But when I move back to North America, my bicycle and I will be attending one of these, for sure!

Green Bean said...

This post made me laugh. I too have hidden my green self - especially my green blogging self. Sure, I had a little Green Book Club here and wrote the newsletter for this Green Task Force and so on. It wasn't really until I started planting veggies in my front yard that I could hid it any longer. Now, my next door neighbor reads my blog, a neighbor up the street comes to pick my brain on recycling ideas and the woman across the street wanders over looking for more of my homemade jam.

Green Drinks is a great idea. It is nice to know you aren't the only eco-freak out there.

livingmyrichlife said...

Hear hear. I'm also blogging anonymously, even from my best friend who shares many of my thoughts. Perhaps one day I'll be comfortable coming out of the closet (so to speak), but for now I like to be able to speak freely on the internet without having to censor myself.

Donna said...

I hear you. I purposefully gave my blog address to friends and family because I felt like they didn't really know me. Some of them read it, now. Even now, I find it easier to speak out in print, and I'm just as happy that my husband doesn't read my blog. I often tell him what's on it, but not always. My 3-year-old always gets an earful about what I think and sometimes it comes back in funny ways!

Burbanmom said...

Excellent. I've been looking for another reason to drink...

organicneedle said...

I don't really hide my greenieness, but I also don't do a lot of self-promotion for my green business. Many of my friends don't even know I do it. I'm not sure why. I guess I don't want people to feel obligated to support it...pity purchases.
In my circles the organic food, the green cleaning, the CSA, etc. are all considered somewhat normal. Most people I know, even the non-greenies are looking for ways to cut back their consumption and their impact so I get more interest than scorn for my little eco changes.

I found a Green Drinks that meets right in my neighborhood. How cool is that? If I actually make it to a meeting I will post about it. Thanks for the tip!

Lisa Sharp said...

While most people who know me know I'm pretty eco-friendly I don't think many outside of close friends and close family know just how much.

My friends that read what I post on myspace should know a lot about my econess but still not the full store. I don't talk much about it with friends or family that aren't at least somewhat green themselves because they look at me like I'm nuts.

My in-laws fit in that group and we are living with them. Try telling someone who doesn't know what a carbon footprint is why you don't want to order organic towels or make a special trip out of town to buy them and it's not due to gas cost or shipping cost...

Jenni at My Web of Life said...

Yay! I just checked my location up here in Canada and there is one nearby in London! Next month, my husband and I are getting a sitter and going drinking (well... at least one of us anyways). THANK YOU SO MUCH for bringing this to our attention! We had no idea...

ib mommy said...

Somehow there just seems to be a difference in blogging about wearing the same pair of pants all week and telling all your friends about it! Especially when they start backing up a few steps while you're talking.....

The closest Green Drinks to me is at my favorite restaurant all the way out at the Oceanfront..... about a 25 mile drive:(

Kellie said...

GET OUT! Out of all the little green logos you chose, one was my teeeeeeny tiny little mountain town. I never in a kabillion years would have guessed. Thanks! :)

Melinda said...

The Seattle Greendrinks celebrations number 400-500 people each month! I've started working with them on a Green Jobs Fair in February. It's a fabulous organization - I love meeting people with similar ideas... And for those of us who are a little intimidated by the hundreds of people (though it does grow on you), there are Greendrinks lunches with fewer people.

Melinda said...

BTW, I met Alex Steffen of Worldchanging at a Seattle Greendrinks event. Since then, I have interviewed him for a documentary, and I've started writing for Worldchanging! So, good things happen here. : )

Melinda said...

Oops bad link. Here is Worldchanging.

Fake Plastic Fish said...

our East Bay Green Drinks group conflicts with my work schedule, unfortunately. But I did attend twice. And after explaining the Take Back The Filter campaign to the organizer at the first meeting, he invited me to come and do a presentation at the next one. It was pretty fun. And people kept feeling me pizza and wine all night.

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