New Leaf: ‘Green Drinks’ shakes, stirs eco-mindset

By Lauren Belcher |

Lifestyle Expert Rio Simone decided that St. Augustine needed to have a social outlet for “green” people to meet and talk about their lifestyles.

A self-described “lifestyle expert,” Simone advises people about issues like nutrition, fitness and stress management for optimum performance. She brought Green Drinks International, an environmental networking group, to Café Eleven on Tuesday.

Green Drinks meets every month in cities all over the world. Simone hosted the first session in St. Augustine.

“These events are very simple and unstructured, but many people have found employment, made friends, developed new ideas, done deals and had moments of serendipity,” according to Green Drinks. “It’s a force for the good and we’d like to help it spread to other cities.”

Diane Dettra, owner of Café Eleven, welcomed the Green Drinks meeting. “It was a good opportunity for the community,” Dettra said.

Simone was pleased with the turnout. “I have experienced Green Drinks in another town and thought it was an excellent networking tool without any requirements attached,” Simone said. “It brought together green conscious-minded individuals to share and relate and find other networking businesses and people.”
Moises Sztylerman is a self-employed massage therapist and attended the session. “I wouldn’t say I’m completely green but I’m conscious about it, I try to recycle as much as I can,” Sztylerman said. “I buy different cleaning products that would be considered green. I try to make green choices when I can.”

Sztylerman was curious to see what Green Drinks was all about. “It seemed like this could be a good organization or a good group of people dealing with the environment,” Sztylerman said.

That was exactly what Simone had in mind. “I’m a networker so I thought it was a different spin on networking groups,” Simone said. “It brings together businesses who wouldn’t necessarily find one another. The potential is a synergistic combination for collaborative projects to happen and people who are looking for green services find a green service that they wouldn’t have known about before.”

Green Drinks will meet every third Tuesday at a different location. Simone will announce the meeting spot.

For more information, visit the Green Drinks St. Augustine Web site.

UPDATE: The next Green Drinks networking meeting will be Tuesday, Nov 17th, 5:30-7:00pm. It will be at Present Moment Cafe on 224 West King Street. There will be a speaker and drink specials.

Lauren Belcher is a Senior Writer and Copy Editor for The Gargoyle. In her column, New Leaf, she introduces environmental issues and offers ways to fight environmental destruction. She is a Communication major and Environmental Science minor at Flagler College.

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