Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Green Columbus Gets Earth Day Done

It happens all around the world. Every month, people who work in the environmental field meet up at informal sessions known as Green Drinks. Most events are relatively informal, held to help people in the field establish contacts.

Today, there are more than 68 countries that have this organic, self-organizing group in at least one city. In the United States, there is at least one participating city in each state along with the District of Columbia. And in many states, like Ohio, as many as five cities have hosted Green Drinks.

The concept, which accidentally happened at a pub called the Slug and Lettuce in North London, unofficially began when Edwin Datschefski was having a drink with green design colleagues Yorick Benjamin and Paul Scott. When they noticed an enviro-minded acquaintance at a nearby table who was sitting with his own eco-conscious mates, they pulled their tables together.

While that doesn't seem like much organization, many people are surprised to find that what happens at Green Drinks doesn't always stay with Green Drinks. Sometimes it becomes much more.

How Green Drinks Inspired Green Columbus In Ohio. 

While Green Drinks informally started in 1989, the idea quickly spread around the world after Datschefski founded a website to help others establish events in 2001. And in some places, like Columbus, it wasn't long before Green Drinks wanted to do even more.

So in 2007, the Columbus group kicked around a few concepts to create a much more formal event that could change the way people see Earth Day. Specifically, they wanted to host a two-part event where people volunteered and celebrated not only Earth Day, but also what they had accomplished.

Their first event, Green Columbus, set a benchmark for 500 people contributing 4 hours of time each for 2,000 hours total. Two thousand hours is equivalent to one
full-time work year, giving the event added significance as an opportunity to volunteer an entire day in a year.

They accomplished much more during the inaugural event. More than 1,300 people put in 3,900 hours of service or the equivalent of two full-time work years. Since then, the event has logged about 55,000 hours of volunteer service planting trees, picking up trash, and establishing gardens.

This year alone, Green Columbus plans to deliver 12,000 hours of service at 150 different worksites with the help of 5,000 volunteers. These volunteers will then be celebrated at Columbus Commons as part of a full-day Earth Day celebration. The event includes dozens of booths and several live bands.

This year will also be the first of its kind to shoot for a zero landfill waste goal. Participating food vendors at the event will all use compostable or recyclable serviceware to make it happen. The hosts will also provide filtered water stations, making it easy to refill water bottles and reduce plastic waste.

Green Columbus Is A Liquid Hip Good Will Pick.  

At least once a month, Liquid Hip highlights good will efforts undertaken by people with big hearts. We don't score them. That belongs to you.

We chose Green Columbus because while it might be a local event that happens in one city, it also demonstrates how Earth Day celebrations are not only scalable but service-oriented calls to action whereby people can think globally and act locally by taking part in sustainable service projects.

Much like Green Drinks was started in North London, Green Columbus is the kind of event that continues to spread because the only thing that sustainable action needs a group of dedicated people with the right vision and mission to make it succeed. How about you? Are you one of them?

If you would like to learn more about Green Columbus, visit the organization's website. To learn more about Green Drinks, which was responsible for bringing the right people together in Columbus, visit the site that Datschefski built. For another side of Earth Day, read A Billion Acts Of Green because everything counts.
blog comments powered by Disqus