Greener BeeGreen LivingGreen Drinks meet-up group explores eco-friendly ideas

Sarah Elm Rex, recreation supervisor at the Sycamore Park District, was looking for a way to bring environmentally friendly ideas to DeKalb County. She wanted a way to promote green living and meet other like-minded community members.

Rex helped start Sycamore-DeKalb Green Drinks, a local meet-up group that’s part of a global movement aimed at bringing sustainability efforts and community members interested in living a green lifestyle together. There are 538 cities that host Green Drinks meet-ups worldwide.

“It’s an outlet where we can network, socialize and talk about things that are important to us,” Rex said. “It allows us to make the connections needed to initiate projects, answer questions and meet people.”

Green Drinks meets the second Wednesday of even months at a different location.

Every meeting is led by a different community member. The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, at the Forge Brewhouse, 1330 E. State St. in Sycamore. The meeting will be led by Sycamore City Manager Brian Gregory

During October’s meeting, Melissa Burlingame, chairwoman of the Northern Illinois University Green Team, gave a presentation and led a discussion about NIU’s plans for environmental sustainability.

“Being green is important for NIU and the surrounding community,” Burlingame said. “We have to start planning for it now, otherwise it will be on the back burner. We need to get people interested and get the community involved. We all have a part to play. … We’re excited to be green and sustainable, but we’re looking for help, so we can work together to complete projects.”

Paul Meuer, an environmental consultant with Encap Inc. of DeKalb, which specializes in ecologically sensitive and water resource oriented projects, has attended Sycamore-DeKalb Green Drink meetings since the group’s beginning.

“It’s all about collaborating ideas and sharing thoughts,” Meuer said. “The more people that get involved, the more we can get done. It’s the community working together to achieve goals.”

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