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'Green' social group

It's all about going green these days, and that includes networking.

Inspired by the environmentally conscious volunteer-run social group Green Drinks San Francisco, Petaluma residents Dale Wannen and Alena Marr have launched Green Drinks Petaluma.

"Being green and sustainability are at the core of Green Drinks," said Wannen. "At the moment, however, we're not agenda or issue specific. We're keeping it open for people to come talk about environmental or social or human right issues or whatever someone wants to talk about."

The Green Drinks groups are under the umbrella of a larger non-profit organization that began more than 20 years ago. According to the Green Drinks website (Greendrinks.org), the movement started in 1989 in a pub in England where a small group of environmentally minded people happened to like gathering for a drink, talking and meeting other like-minded people. As the group got better acquainted with each other, Green Drinks was born.

In 2001, one of the founders, Edwin Datschefski, created a website and the idea of Green Drinks spread to other cities around the world.

How it works is that each city has an organizer who arranges meetings in bars and restaurants, relays information via social media, and facilitates discussions. The spirit of Green Drinks is that everyone is welcome.

Wannen and Marr, both members of the Petaluma Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, came up with the idea to start a Green Drinks in Petaluma a few months ago.

"I used to live in San Francisco and for years I always attended the Green Drinks San Francisco events," said Wannen. "When I moved up here I just thought it would be nice to have because of the green community that's here."

It just so happens that Marr helped start the Hartford Connecticut Green Drinks group before moving to Petaluma.

"I thought she'd be the perfect person to help co-found one in Petaluma since she already understood how it all works," said Wannen.


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