About Us


Krista Durlas
Coordinator, 2005 – 2007
Founder / Organizer, 2005 – present

Krista Durlas is an adjunct professor in Webster University’s MAT Education for Global Sustainability Certificate program and MS Environmental Management program teaching the subjects of environmental regulatory compliance, environmental accounting, sustainability, economics and consumption. Krista has worked for twenty years in the sustainability/green business arena in a variety of roles from overseeing a sector-based sustainability program at US EPA to foraging for local produce for Whole Foods Market. She is best at connecting people with ideas and resources to make awesome things happen.

Brian Merkel
Coordinator, 2012 – present
Founder / Event Support, 2005 – present

Brian is a web developer and the technical manager in the Online Learning Center at Webster University. He created Greening Chicago, Chicago’s first online sustainability community calendar in 2002 and worked with Foresight Design Initiative on the beta version of their Chicago Sustainable Business Directory. He maintains the St. Louis Green Drinks online presence and is the one that keeps our organization organized.

Terry Winkelmann
Coordinator, 2007-2011
Organizer, 2005 – present

Terry co-owns Home Eco, the first green-focused general store in St. Louis. A former editor and freelance writer, she is also the founder of the Sustainable Backyard Tour, a self-guided public tour of green outdoor spaces held in June each year. She is a past board member of Perennial, a reuse education center, and a member of Green America and Transition Missouri. She has been involved with Green Drinks since 2005.

Katy Mike Smaistrla
Organizer, 2006 – present

In her role as an education coordinator at the EarthWays Center, Katy Mike Smaistrla serves as a community conduit, connecting people to their urban environment and identity. She infuses the Missouri Botanical Garden’s sustainability education with innovative art and literacy programming, and she is specifically interested in recycling, new ways to reuse materials, and re-thinking our resources. Her current responsibilities include coordination of the St. Louis Regional Higher Education Sustainability Consortium, coordination of the LEAP program at the K-12 level, coordination of the EarthWays’ volunteer program, “Young Green Builders” summer camp direction, and maintenance of the worm bin, amongst others.

Brian DeSmet
Organizer, 2007 – present

Brian, an activist and non-profit management worker, manages the Maplewood Farmers Market at the Schlafly Bottleworks and also assists with the Tower Grove Farmers Market. Last summer Brian was seen around town with his Truck Farm extolling the virtues of growing one’s own food. Brian is passionate about many green things, but his greatest passion is for changing the food system and reducing its negative environmental impacts.

Erin McCallister
Organizer, 2010 – present

Jill Hamilton
Organizer, 2012 – present

What is Green Drinks?

St. Louis Green Drinks

St. Louis Green Drinks has been going strong since the spring of 2005. Green Drinks is an informal networking event for people of all kinds with a personal and/or professional interest in local sustainability.

It’s a low-key, accessible way to

  • find out what positive things are happening in St. Louis
  • share what you know and do
  • learn what you can do to green your own lifestyle
  • connect with like-minded people
  • or even find a job/an employee

Part green chamber of commerce, part happy hour, part support group – our gatherings feature panel discussions, films, or tours of local green places. Green Drinks typically happens monthly at Schlafly Bottleworks. We have new faces every time. Events have drawn an initmate group of 30 to crowds of more than 300 – it just depends on the topic and location.

Can’t wait to meet you there!

Green Drinks International

In 1989, at a pub called the Slug and Lettuce in Northern London, Edwin Datschefski was sitting with his green design colleagues Yorick Benjamin and Paul Scott when he noticed an enviro-minded acquaintance at a nearby table. As it turned out, the friend was sitting with a few of his own eco-conscious mates, so they pulled some tables together. And so a movement was born.

The concept evolved into Green Drinks and now it’s global. In 2001, Datschefski created an official Web site, and it has since spread across the world. See www.greendrinks.org for the latest city count and a list of countries. Each city has an organiser who arranges meetings in bars and restaurants (often with organic or vegetarian food), relays information via email, and facilitates discussions.

The spirit of Green Drinks is that anyone can come, and this makes for interesting interactions.

There are lots of benefits to green drinks; they are hard to quantify, but when you have seen people come and make new links and learn and argue and set up new schemes and get new jobs etc, it is a good feeling.

http://www.greendrinks.org/ | http://greendrinks.ning.com/