Keep it green with these 10 eco-friendly date ideas while hitting the town with your new guy or gal. Here are some eco-friendly dating strategies to aid the earth for your next date.
1. Walk. Pretty straight forward. Walk to your next date instead of taking a taxi or driving. The benefits are numerous for both you and Mother Nature -- you can burn some calories and less carbon emissions will be released into the air.
2. GPS. If driving is essential for the date and the locale is far away, use a GPS system or save the directions onto your phone instead of printing them off. The less paper you use, the fewer trees that need to come down. Most web direction sites will even allow you to e-mail yourself the directions for convenience.
3. Eat at a local restaurant. Try and find a dining establishment who supports local agricultural operations in their cuisine.
4. Presents. If a present is in order for the date, try and gift Mother Nature instead of your significant other. Save a tree in his name, donate to his favorite local charity or drop off shoes you are not wearing anymore to a shelter -- all men love when women can sacrifice shoes for love!
5. Cooking. If cooking up a meal at home for your man, try and use linens and actual plates and glasses instead of the plastic stuff. There are even organic and recycled napkins out there.
6. Decor. When decorating for an at-home date, use fresh cut flowers from your garden or a neighbor’s (you might want to ask before snipping). Purchase organic wine from a local store and walk to your favorite bakery to grab a great dessert -- get out and support your local economy.
7. The date. Take your date on a hike, bike ride or swim in the local lake or watering hole. Try to involve your outing with something that requires fresh air and the outdoors. Even taking the pooch to a dog park (don’t forget to clean up after Fido) is a step in the right direction.
8. Community. Donate your date time to a local non-profit. You and your date can serve up some hot meals at a soup kitchen or help out at a retirement community -- some even allow you to bring your dog for good cheer. Find something you both enjoy doing and make it work for both you two and the community.
9. Give. This might be for a couple dates down the road when you two are more comfortable, but grab a glass of organic wine and go through a closet and get rid of some of the unwanted clothes, sports equipment or clutter. You two could have a good laugh from the outfits one another has held onto. Take the unwanted goods to a local shelter, Goodwill or Salvation Army.
10. Garden! Whether it’s yours, his or someone else’s, get out and get dirty. This is easier in spring and summer when the weather is nicer. You two can start a small vegetable garden for some goodies later on in the season. In fall or winter, start an herb garden inside. There are lots of kits available or you can even pop over to the local nursery and grab some easy-growers such as mint, rosemary or thyme.