Our Earth Month sustainability series is made possible by the support of Friends of the Big Sioux River. They're celebrating Earth Day with a new release of Big Sioux Brew and river clean-up events throughout the watershed. Learn more about their mission here.

Simplified: A local nonprofit is reinvigorating a local chapter of Green Drinks, an international organization focused on bringing people together in a casual setting to talk about wins and goals regarding sustainability and the environment.

Why it matters

  • Green Drinks isn't a place to talk policy or politics. It's really more about businesses sharing successes they've had in implementing sustainable practices and like-minded people hanging out.
  • There's been Green Drinks events in Sioux Falls for some time, but meetings dropped off during the pandemic. In the last year, nonprofit Building Sustainable Connections has re-started the events with some more structured programming.
  • Some events have featured speakers, but others are intended to simply provide a space for gathering and networking for folks interested in going green.
"One of the big things for me is being surrounded by people who are also working to make these changes – listening to their innovations and getting inspired by what everyone else is doing in our community," said Amber Lively, executive director of Building Sustainable Connections and leader of the local Green Drinks group.

What can I expect from a Green Drinks event?

Past events have included speakers from businesses in Building Sustainable Connections' "Green Business Directory."

Moving forward, Lively said she wants to continue with a mix of events with programmed speakers and more casual, networking-style gatherings.

"The mission of these events is just to connect people and then inspire people to take the next steps themselves in their own organizations," Lively said.

All events are free to attend, and all are welcome. Often, attendees have some connection to the environmental and sustainability spaces, but anyone can show up, learn, get inspired and meet new people.

How can I find upcoming events?

The next Green Drinks event will be from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 27 at Woodgrain.

  • This will be a more casual event, focused on networking and sharing wins.

If you want to stay in-the-loop on more future events, the best way to stay informed is through the Building Sustainable Connections email newsletter, Livley said.