Ways to Make Eco-Minded Friends
I n environmentally minded Washington, it's easy to find friends who are also friends of the planet. Happy hours, book clubs and Internet communities offer numerous outlets for discovering your eco-niche. D.C. environmental professional Tina Schneider founded Green Drinks D.C., a chapter of the successful international happy hour group, in 2007 "to find like-minded people" outside her workplace.
Schneider has discovered that mixing socializing and learning about environmental issues (such as at a recent social fundraiser at the U.S. National Arboretum) is a popular concoction. "I've noticed that people in D.C. have an insatiable appetite to learn" and be part of something bigger than themselves, she says.
D.C. EcoWomen, a networking organization, also combines career advice with just having fun, says Jessica Frohman, head of the group's communication committee. Its monthly EcoHour features guest speakers who are leaders or pioneers in the environmental movement. "We look for those opportunities where we can educate women who are doing [environmental] work and want to live what they do," Frohman says.
Here's how you, too, can cultivate a greener circle of friends:
Toast the Planet
D.C. EcoWomen ( http:/
Green Drinks convenes the second Tuesday of the month for happy hours at restaurants and bars (to join the e-mail list, write to email@example.com).
Tree Hugger Happy Hour (TH3) is a social group for those working in or interested in the environmental field, "but without the heavy pressure of having to network or talk about work," says organizer Gustavo Silva-Chávez. TH3 meets the third Thursday of the month for happy hours. Join through Facebook (search for the group's name) or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hiking groups Wanderbirds ( http:/
Explore Rock Creek Park and other trails from your bike seat with Potomac Pedalers ( http:/
The Chesapeake Climate Action Network ( http:/
Beautify Northern Virginia with Fairfax ReLeaf ( http:/
Roll up your sleeves with the Potomac Conservancy ( http:/
Go Green Online
Join the more than 180 members of the Meetup group Living Green DC/MD/VA ( http:/
Become a member of the Live Green network ($13 a year at http:/
-- Christine Dell'Amore