Drinks for a Cause

Over half of the U.S. population drinks alcohol, and for college students, it's almost 60 percent. Did you know that you can do some good in the world while downing your draft?

  • Choose and brew organic! This supports organic farming which adds to the amount of farmland that is grown with toxic chemicals, as well as keeps groundwater cleaner, reduces community and worker exposure to spray, and reduces water shortages, erosion, and pollution. Plus, you'll be ingesting less.

  • Support sustainable festivals! While festivals around the world are inching toward being more environmentally friendly, the Oregon Beer Festival (http://organicbeerfest.org) want to be "the most earth friendly beer festival in North America". They have onsite composting and recycling, biodiesel generators for electricity, vendors selling sustainable wares and services, reusable signage, and they actively try to reduce waste. The employees even wear organic cotton or hemp t-shirts, and patrons are asked to bike or use public transportation if possible.

  •  Attend a drinks for charity event! Many non-profits have socialization events for networking. Green Empowerment (www.greenempowerment.org), a Portland based organization, actively works alongside local partners to improve access to clean water and renewable energy to developing countries. Each month, they join other local "international development" groups for Development Drinks, a gathering for professionals and anyone else who wants to get involved (www.greenempowerment.org/development-drinks). Meetup is also great place to find such events (www.meetup.com/i-am-networking)

  • Visit a philanthropub! What's a philanthropub, you ask? It's a bar where a portion (or all) of the proceeds go to charity. The Oregon Public House (www.oregonpublichouse.com) is the self-proclaimed first non-profit pub in the world, and one of many philanthropubs popping up nationwide. At OPH, you choose your food and drink, and then you get to choose the charity you want the proceeds from your sale to go to.

  • Recycle your bottles and cans! Only about 40 percent of glass beer bottles get recyled, even less for wine and liquor bottles, and you can run a television for 3 hours with the energy you save when you recycle a single aluminum can.