The thought of environmentally-friendly dating will fill a lot of otherwise liberal people with horror.
I imagine the eco dating scene to be chock full of deathly dull, holier than thou, dreadlocked, barefoot souls, who have an awful lot to say but speak far too slowly.
So, is there a way to date in a more conscious manner? Without wishing for a swift end to humanity, if not the planet.
First, you’ll want to find yourself a green date
Having perused the environmentally friendly dating sites, the type of person described above is abundant. In fact, the vast majority seem exceptionally concerned with spirituality, your star sign, rising sign, Chinese sign and Ayurvedic body type. Not being au fait with any of these, it’s a tough sell for your average Joe yet to fall quite so far down the alternative lifestyle rabbit hole.
Fear not. As it turns out there are plenty of nights for eco-conscious singles to meet their ideological match. In London, for example, there are specialised speed dating events for your brand of environmentalism. The House of Togetherness – a human connection club – markets its singles nights as events for conscious individuals to connect, while there are a whole host of vegan and vegetarian dating events around the city.
If all else fails, why not pop the recycling emoji in your Tinder/Bumble/Hinge/Badoo profile. Be sure to set a small catchment area for potential dates as a long distance relationship can leave a huge carbon footprint. Just think, there are billions of people on Earth, likely millions in a city near you. Surely all the good ones can’t be taken. Can they?
Once you’ve snared a conscious date, you’ll need an eco-friendly activity
Thankfully, a zero impact dinner date doesn’t necessarily mean a day spent foraging your own fungi from local woodland. Carbon-free dining is an option.
Many restaurants – including some of those run by renowned chefs Marcus Wareing, Marco Pierre White and James Martin – offer a discretionary 99p charge on the bill to offset any carbon produced by in growing, transporting or cooking your meal. Those restaurants will then pay that 99p forward to ensure a tree is planted in a developing nation.
- Need a drink to calm your nerves? Black Cow’s vodka uses misshapen English strawberries that would otherwise go to waste.
Try not to buy new clothes for your dates. Rely on an old faithful from your wardrobe, rent something or borrow from a friend. If your wardrobe really is bare, try a sustainable label or opt for vintage to avoid being the third person in the bar wearing that dress.
Keep a wad of eco-friendly condoms in your pocket.
- When it comes to gifts, think Fairtrade chocolates, organic flowers, and plastic-free wrapping paper.
Everything’s going to plan and things are getting serious. So how do you maintain the spark?
Remember, couples that campaign together remain together
Now is the time to really get to know one another. And what better way to do than by chaining yourselves to a tree in protest. There will be no distractions (except perhaps bulldozers), and you’ll be free to chat for hours.
If activism isn’t really your speed, there are a heaps of get-to-know-you trips available. Plan plane-free fantasy holidays. Eco spas, city breaks and coach trips all beckon. Thank god the Coach Trip TV programme reglamourised them. Fjords, the Danube, Venice, Corsica and Sardinia are all accessible by coach. And best of all, it’s a low stress way to sit and enjoy one another’s company for hours on end.
Is it going swimmingly? Great. Check out our guide on how to have an eco-friendly wedding here!