Tuesday 28 August from 6pm, The Lounge, Merrion Street, Leeds LS2 8JE

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Garbage Warrior

Green Drinks Leeds is going to the movies in August, showing the Award-Winning Garbage Warrior, a feature length documentary telling the story of maverick architect Michael Reynolds, who builds sustainable housing out of what other people consider to be waste materials.

Our friends at Green Movies Leeds have shown Garbage Warrior before, with Green Movies organiser Helen Harwatt describing it as “an awesome film”

As usual for Green Drinks Leeds, it’s free to attend, although with it being at our usual venue of The Lounge, there won’t be popcorn!

Garbage Warrior Reviews:
**** Evening Standard London
**** Eye For Film: “You will leave the cinema thankful that there are people like Michael Reynolds about willing to challenge any status quo and put every ounce of their energy into working for what they believe in.”
Metro London: “Garbage Warrior shows you how to make a difference”
New York Times: “A charismatic, shaggy-haired renegade with a warm sense of humor, Mr. Reynolds makes agreeable company.”

Garbage Warrior Festival Wins:
The ‘Grand Jury Prize’ & the ‘Audience Award’ at EKOFILM 2009, Europe’s Environmental Film Festival
Winner of The Audience Award at Biografilm Festival, Bologna, Italy – June 2009

Garbage Warrior Movie Synopsis:
What do beer cans, car tires and water bottles have in common? Not much unless you’re renegade architect Michael Reynolds, in which case they are tools of choice for producing thermal mass and energy-independent housing.

For 30 years New Mexico-based Reynolds and his green supporters have devoted their time to advancing the art of “Earthship Biotecture” by building self-sufficient, off-the-grid communities where design and function converge in eco-harmony. However, these experimental structures that defy state standards create conflict between Reynolds and the authorities, who are backed by big business.

Frustrated by antiquated legislation, Reynolds lobbies for the right to create a sustainable living test site. While politicians hum and ha, Mother Nature strikes, leaving communities devastated by tsunamis and hurricanes. Reynolds and his crew seize the opportunity to lend their pioneering skills to those who need it most. Shot over three years and in four countries, Garbage Warrior is a timely portrait of a determined visionary, a hero of the 21st century.
As usual, we’ll be having a free and open discussion after the movie, and the usual networking. Please sign up via Eventbrite so we can get enough chairs!

Tuesday 26 June from 6pm, The Lounge, Merrion Street, Leeds LS2 8JE

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Matthew Hill

We’ve known for a long time how to make our buildings more comfortable, while using less energy at the same time, so why don’t we do it? What’s standing in the way of making our buildings better?  And how could we do something about it?

July’s Green Drinks will consider these challenges, and more, of building energy efficiency.

Summer is a great time to be talking about building energy efficiency.  For some, open windows let summer breezes cool their buildings, for others, buildings designed only to keep warm in the winter can be uncomfortable as the temperature rises.  Summer also gives you plenty of time to prepare for the winter energy blues.

This month we welcome Matthew Hill from Leeds Environmental Design Associates (LEDA), who will be talking about their approach to sustainable building design with examples of successful and not-so-successful projects they’ve been invoilved with in the last few years. We will then discuss the economic, technical and social barriers in creating “green” buildings and how we might overcome them.

To join us in this discussion, sign up via Eventbrite.

As usual, the event kicks off at 6pm with open networking, followed by the panel discussion at around 7.15pm, then our famous “go around” and drinks and chat for as long as people want to stay around (usually until about 11pm). It’s free and open, drop in and out as you can.

Tuesday 26 June from 6pm, The Lounge, Merrion Street, Leeds LS2 8JE

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After a good turnout and some interesting facts and discussion at the last Green Drinks Leeds, our next speaker is another regular, Elizabeth Edgington.

Elizabeth has been the Environmental Campaign Manager for Business in the Community Yorkshire and Humber for seven years, and has worked with hundreds of organisations to engage them in more sustainable business practices.

Her talk will cover the main themes in greening business over that period, and the big issues, mistakes and successes she has seen. She will share her tips  in how to influence and campaign for the change you want in your organisation and maybe further afield.

Capturing the interest of senior business leaders requires creativity and tenacity, find out about the proven techniques tested by Cranfield University that BITC been using and how you can apply them to get leadership on board.

Once on board, businesses make decisions about sustainability in a variety of ways, research completed in partnership last year showed some of the key triggers with some surprising results.

Elizabeth says: “It’s been an interesting journey with lots learnt and lots still to discover.  Get armed to make a big difference by coming along to Green Drinks.”

Interested? Sign up via Eventbrite for what promises to be an interesting journey through campaigning and influencing

As usual, there will be open networking from 6, with the talk starting around 7.15pm, followed by an interactive Q&A session, and discussion contining late into the night. Pop along for a quick drink after work, or stay for the whole event!

Tuesday 24 April from 6pm, The Lounge, Merrion Street, Leeds LS2 8JE

Our event on “Politics and the Environment” was well attended, and very well received by all concerned.

For our May event, we welcome Green Drinks Leeds regular Robin Dearden from Arla Foods.

Robin is Group Environmental, Health and Safety Manager for Arla, who are a large dairy conglomerate best known for brands such as Lurpak, Anchor and Cravendale.

Lurpak - not green milk

Arla’s UK headquarters are in Leeds, together with a massive dairy operation, and have a considerable environmental impact, which they are doing their best to reduce. Robin will be talking about Arla’s environmental journey over the last few years, and what their plans are for the future.

Arla Environmental Targets:

  • To be ‘Closer to Nature’, and move to be the No1 UK dairy company
  • By 2020 to reduce CO2 by 34% and use 30% renewable energy
  • By 2015 to reduce water usage by 20%
  • To send zero waste to landfill

Arla Fast Facts

  • Co-operative owned by Danish, Swedish & German farmers
  • Employs 2,800 people in UK (over 1,000 in Leeds)
  • Process approximately two billion litres of milk a year
  • 2,500 daily deliveries made directly to stores
  • Arla’s UK carbon footprint was 273,000 tonnes of CO2;
  • In 2011 Arla used over 2 billion litres of water

Robin Dearden has lived in Leeds for the last 4 years, worked for Arla for 3 years, and previously spent 12 years with a major European logistics company. His passion for the environment extends to his personal life, and he also enjoys trekking round the Dales at weekends. Robin will be well known to many regular Green Drinkers.

Don’t forget to sign up!

Please click here to sign up via Eventbrite

As per usual, we’re open for mingling and drinks from 6pm, with the speaker starting around 7.15pm, followed by our famous “go around” and open networking until about 10. Drop in or out at any time as you feel able, it’d be great to see you even if you’re just passing through!

Tuesday 24 April from 6pm, The Lounge, Merrion Street, Leeds LS2 8JE

Can politicians help deliver the change we need to reduce our impact on the environment
How do we get the leadership and commitment we need for make positive changes to the UK’s second largest local authority?

These are just two of the questions we’ll be considering as part of a “Question Time” style panel on the 24th of April. With the Local Elections and a Referendum on whether Leeds should have an Elected Mayor on the 3rd May, it’s a timely issue.

On the panel will be:

  • Conservative: Barry Anderson, Councillor for Adel & Wharfedale Ward
  • Green: Chris Foren, Green Party Candidate for Headingley Ward
  • Labour: Neil Walshaw, Councillor for Headingley Ward
  • Liberal Democrats: James Monaghan, former Executive Board Member with Responsibility for the Environment
  • Elected Mayor: Samuel Fisher, Leader of the Campaign for a “Yes” vote for an Elected Mayor in Leeds – http://leedsmayor.org

With representatives from across the political spectrum, there promises to be an interesting and lively debate.

As ever, it’s free and open – all we ask is that you sign up via Eventbrite

Tuesday 27 March from 6pm, The Lounge, Merrion Street, Leeds LS2 8JE

Global Carbon Emissions, 1800-

Climate Scientists tell us we have to radically reduce our carbon emissions if we are to avoid the worst possible consequences to climate change. In the UK, the Climate Change Act 2008 made a legally binding commitment to reduce our CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050. In order to achieve this, we need to decarbonise electricity production by 2030.

We welcome Green Drinks Leeds regular Dr. Tim Foxon, Reader in Sustainability and Innovation at the Sustainability Research Institute, The University of Leeds, to discuss:

  • Recent policy measures that aim to facilitate decarbonising electricity
  • Research examining different pathways to a low carbon electricity system
  • Tough choices we need to make in the near future

Tim is a Research Councils UK Academic Fellow (2007-12), and a member of the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and the new Centre for Integrated Energy Research at Leeds. His research focuses on innovation systems and processes for a transition to a low carbon economy.  He has written and been involved with a considerable amount of important research.

As ever, it’s free and open – all we ask is that you sign up via Eventbrite

After the success of our joint “Green Laughs Yorkshire” event in January, Bradford Green Drinks and Green Drinks Leeds are jointly hosting a quiz as part of Climate Week 2012.

The event will be hosted by Bradford Green Drinks at their usual venue, The New Beehive Inn, 169-171 Westgate BD1 3AA. The event starts from 6pm, with the quiz getting under way at 7, so there should be enough time to head over from Leeds!

Green Drinks Leeds will be back in Leeds, at The Lounge for their next event “How do we get to a low carbon electricity system?” on 27 March. With around 55 people at February’s Green Drinks, there’s plenty of opportunity for Good Green Banter™, to meet interesting people, and perhaps a new business associate, colleague, client or friend.

* If you’re missing Great Green Banter™ anhd a chance to change the world, there’s no need to wait for the next Green Drinks Leeds… just scroll down to find out about Schumacher North on the 11th and 12th of February…

Our Alternative Economics workshop in January got around 60 Green Drinkers talking, and we’re continuing on an Econommic theme this month with “Green Nudge

The concept of Nudge has been gaining attention as a way of creating behavioural change in organisations, as well as in society at large. It recognises that we are not all rational, and often make decisions emotionally which sometimes run counter to the rational choice. Nudge uses psychology to help us become “Choice Architects” and effect positive changes in behaviour.

The workshop will be led by Green Drinks Leeds co-organiser Adam Woodhall, of PeopleProfitPlanet. Adam has worked with over 40 organisations, from large multinationals to small businesses and charities, to promote behavioural change.

Adam will share 10 tips for nudging, with some interesting behavioural change case studies, such as why Google’s Powermeter didn’t work, and how to get a great recycling campaign in your workplace; as well as talking about the psychology of denial and how behavioural and cultural change differ.

This will be a fully interactive session with opportunities to contribute, and followed, as per usual, with Great Green Banter™.

The event will be at the Lounge Bar, as per usual. Following negotiations, we will be staying there for the moment. Doors will open at 6pm, as usual, with the main event starting around 7.15

Please sign up on Eventbrite so we have an idea of numbers.

The Schumacher North conference returns to Leeds on the weekend of 11/12 February, with the theme “As If People Mattered“, echoing the subtitle of E. F. Schumacher‘s famous book “Small is Beautiful“.

The conference provides a forum for discussion and networking with others interested in sustainability and equitable solutions to the problems of the modern world. This year, the focus is on working towards practical solutions.

Both of Green Drinks Leeds’ organisers will be presenting workshops, with Adam presenting on “Ethical/green capitalism – solution or contradiction in terms?” on the Saturday, and Anzir on “A Carfree Leeds” on the Sunday.

For full programme information, see the website

To book, email schumachernorth-info@riseup.net

With Economic Crisis hardly out of the news, and an increasing number of people drawing parallels between social, environmental and economic destruction; arguably the time has come to start thinking about how we view money, finance, economics and their role in wider society.

The Occupy Movement, active in over 2,000 cities worldwide, has been perhaps the most visible sign of a changing tide in how we view the interrelationships of money, power and society; but it’s not the only one.

For this month’s Green Drinks Leeds, we consider the question “How can the energy created by the Occupy Movement and Alternative Economics deliver environmentally sustainable change in our society?”

Joining us to help are:

This will be a Panel Discussion with a twist, the twist being that there will be a lot more interaction than in a normal debate, which we hope will help you really get your teeth into the issues.

As usual, the event is free and open, and we would encourage you to sign up here.

It’s on Tuesday 24th January, at The Lounge Bar & Grill, Merrion Street, Leeds LS2 8JE. Arrive & mingle from 6pm, with discussion starting around 7.15, and conversation continuing late into the evening. Drop in or out as you feel.