It's not St. Paddy's Day yet, but a local group is serving up "green drinks."
Boone Green Drinks is an informal social networking organization that hosts monthly events for anyone interested in sustainable activities in the High Country. The effort grew out of the High Country Home Builders Association's Green Building Committee and is now setting up a regular meeting schedule and formal network.
Quint David helped launch the movement, which is based on a similar undertaking in Asheville and has become more popular worldwide as interest in renewable energy and sustainable development grows.
"It's a green social network," David said. "Each meeting, we will have a special guest speaker or two. We'll come together and talk about green energy, building and business."
Boone Green Drinks is among 12 other North Carolina communities and 640 cities worldwide that host monthly gatherings to informally discuss green business, green services and green activities.
David is a member of the Green Building Committee and also oversees Watauga County's Green Business Plan as an employee of the Appalachian State University's Energy Center, so he sees both the educational and commercial aspects of green building. The group unites those interests as well as those of financial institutions, non-profit organizations and others who work with or study renewable energy technologies, Energy Star appliances, LEEDS certification or other related topics.
The group is supported by several organizations, including the High Country Business Network, MountainKeepers, the Watauga County Economic Development Commission, and the Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council.
Brian Crutchfield, current board president of the High Country Business Network, said, "Our group has not met for the past twelve months partly due to the economic recession, but we fully support Boone Green Drinks as a way for some of our members to come back together and meet under the green umbrella and meet some new green friends."
The slogan of the international Green Drinks organization is "Saving the World One Sip at a Time." The group has also started a Facebook page on the Internet.
Boone Green Drinks gatherings are free and open to the public. Participants cover their own costs of refreshments and light snacks are provided.
The next meeting of Boone Green Drinks is Thursday, Dec. 3. It will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Broyhill Inn & Conference Center.
The meeting is open to all interested people and will be used to set a meeting schedule for the coming year, as well as discuss various green topics.
The local Web site is http://www.greendrinks.org/index.php?city=Boone&country=USA.