As if dating weren’t hard enough, those of us who have embraced an eco-friendly lifestyle also have to come up with ideas that will not only impress on a first date, but meet our criteria for doing less damage to the Earth in the process. Be honest, your fallback is the only restaurant in town that offers an organic food selection (even though it’s overpriced and underwhelming). Kermit the Frog said it best – it’s not easy being green. However, you might be surprised by the many ways in which you can turn an outing into a fun and environmentally friendly date with just a little planning and a lot of ingenuity. Here are a few ideas to get you up and running.
- Cook it like a caveman. You’ve no doubt heard of the caveman (or Paleolithic) diet, which mainly entails eating wild plants and animals as the cavemen of old were presumed to have done. Embrace this by serving up a meal of organic items like meat or fish, fruits, roots, veggies, and nuts (dairy, grains, and so on are excluded). If you want to go super green, you could even eschew cooking and opt for raw-food fare (just make sure you get meat/fish that is graded for uncooked consumption).
- Shakespeare in the park. Take full advantage of the summer weather by attending an evening of theatrical amusements in a park setting, or alternately, an outdoor summer concert series. The outside arena will almost certainly utilize natural lighting (cutting down on energy consumption) and the venue will benefit from the natural air conditioning of an evening breeze, leaving you and your date entertained with less harm to the environment. Bring along a picnic basket with organic wine, cheese, and fruit to make the outing complete.
- Take a hike. Not all dates happen at night. If you’re looking for something a little more casual, consider a daytime date that includes hiking local trails. Bring a selection of organic goodies in your backpack and head for the hills; you can get there via bicycles or opt for public transportation to drop you near the trailhead. The exercise will help you to ward off the awkward silences that can permeate a dinner date, and the natural beauty will offer you a pleasant distraction as well as a conversation starter.
- Get conservative. You don’t need to dress like a young republican for this date idea; all you need is an attitude of environmental conservation. Take your date to a rally for Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, the Rainforest Alliance, or whatever group you happen to be into. Giving another person a glimpse into what makes you tick is a great way to determine if you’re forming a suitable partnership.
- Do it in the dark! Okay, I know what you’re thinking, but this doesn’t necessarily entail any activities that will require you to go for STD testing. If you want to impress your date, go out for a night of star-gazing. This works especially well during events like a lunar eclipse, meteor shower, or the appearance of a planet in the night sky. And while you can certainly go all out with a stellar telescope, sometimes it’s enough to simply turn off the lights and gaze into the vastness of the universe, wondering aloud what it’s all about.