Going on dates is exciting! But what if spending time together could also help the environment? In this article, I am proposing 8 unusual ways to spend time with your date or partner. You will help the planet in the process. These very unusual eco-friendly dates will teach you more about each other, as you will get to discuss different topics. You will probably get to talk about your values and world views.
These ideas will also require more effort than the usual date. Therefore, you will get to see the other person’s dedication, patience, and willingness to help. On many of these dates, you will literally get your hands dirty, so some of them might not be appropriate for squeamish individuals.
- Hike and clean the trail
- Attend en eco-friendly workshop
- Prepare and teach an eco-friendly class
- Start your own vegetable garden
- Build and start your own worm bin
- Declutter your house and donate to charity
- Fixing and upcycling day
A great way to spend time together and be helpful to the environment is to sign up for any eco-friendly volunteering activity held in your area. Look for activities like cleaning up a beach, a river, or a park, turning a lawn into an urban garden in your neighborhood, maintaining green areas around the city, reforesting a nearby location, helping out on an eco-friendly farm, or similar eco-friendly programs.
This way you get to spend time together and at the end of the day have a great feeling of having helped the environment and the community. It is possible, that you will get to know new places in or close to your own city that you haven’t been to before and you might learn new things.
I think you can really get to know someone while doing something productive instead of just doing leisure activities together. You will get to discuss the cause you are working for and learn about the values related to the topic.
2. Hike and clean the trail
My next tip is to pick a nice hiking trail close by and go hiking. You will get extra eco-friendly points if you don’t need to use a car to get to the trail. You can bring your favorite snacks. Hopefully, something you made and prepared from fresh ingredients. Pack it in eco-friendly packaging like brown paper, or waxed textile food wraps. Some foods like fresh fruits or veggies don’t need packaging.
The point of this date is to have a nice walk, spend some quality time together. But on your way back, you pick up any trash you might encounter on the trail. Leave the place cleaner than it was before your visit. To pick up the trash bring a trash bag and a trash picker if you have one. If you don’t have one, I don’t think you should go and buy one. Pick the trash manually and wash your hands properly after you are done.
3. Attend en eco-friendly workshop
To learn more about eco-friendly topics of your interest, you could look for practical workshops or theoretical classes on environmental issues. Pick and attend them together and deepen your knowledge.
My husband and I have attended both practical and theoretical workshops on many topics. For example vermiculture (starting and maintaining a worm bin), building houses with mud and straw, and organic gardening. We got to learn and practice these activities together and we think of those workshops very fondly.
4. Prepare and teach an eco-friendly class
On the other hand, if you guys are experts on any specific environmental issue, you could plan, prepare, and teach a class together. Where I live, there are eco-friendly markets and fairs held several times per month. Volunteers who want to share their knowledge organize classes on specific eco-friendly topics for the participants of the market.
5. Start your own vegetable garden
If you live in a house with a yard, or if you only have limited space available on the balcony, you can spend a nice day together planning and starting your own vegetable or herb garden. Pick a space in the garden you will use, or prepare the planters and the soil. Pick the seedlings and/or the seeds you want to use, and get to work.
If you need to buy planters, try to get them second hand, and/or buy planters made of eco-friendly materials like clay. You could also repurpose things you don’t use anymore like big plastic bottles you haven’t recycled yet, or big containers you have no use for anymore. Avoid using chemical fertilizers, instead use hummus (worm castings) or other natural fertilizers.
If you are a beginner, even if you have a big yard, start small in order not to get overwhelmed. You will have greater success if you take care properly of a smaller piece of land versus not taking good care of a bigger garden. If after a while you realize you love gardening, add to your garden, in every season there is something you can add.
6. Build and start your own worm bin
Another almost full day activity that you can do together and that will help you reduce your trash in around 50% is to start your own worm bin. Even if it might sound daunting, having a worm bin is one of the easiest ways to reduce your environmental impact, even if you live in a small apartment. It requires little time to build and start, but later you will really only need to take care of an existing bin once or twice a week for a few minutes at a time.
You can build your own bin. It is easy and it only requires a few wooden boards, steel mesh, some screws, and just a few hours of effort to build it. You will need to prepare the worms’ bed with some soil, brown leaves, some fruit, and veggie peels or scraps and leave it for a few days to rest before you bring in your family of worms.
7. Declutter your house and donate to charity
This is definitely an unusual eco-friendly date. Instead of going out and spending time together, stay at home, and go through all your stuff together! You can use the Marie Kondo method and decide on items that don’t spark joy, or you can just decide based on whether you are really using any specific item or whether it is just taking up space at your house.
You can use this opportunity and bring back memories related to those objects, and either remember good times spent together or tell each other stories and learn new things about each other.
Organize your closets, cabinets, drawers, and decide on items you are no longer using. Divide all those items into two categories: items that are in good condition and can be used by someone else, and items that are broken and cannot be used anymore. Then pick a charity of your choice that will receive clothing and other items as donations and take the items in good conditions there. There are plenty of charity stores that will either resell your items and use the proceeds for their specific cause or they will do a direct donation of those items to people in need.
This activity is good for you, as it helps you to have more space in your house, clear up the clutter. There are many articles that talk about how less clutter in our homes will bring us more clarity and peace of mind. I just hope you don’t go out and fill the empty spaces with new items! This activity is also good for the environment because you are reusing these items instead of just throwing them away.
Remember to dispose of the second group of broken or unusable items in an eco-friendly way, learn how in this article.
8. Fixing and upcycling day
You might have many items around the house that are in some way broken. Or you have an idea on how to upcycle/repurpose them, but you didn’t have time to do it yet. Why don’t you plan a date that is all about working together and fixing and upcycling your stuff?
You might have an item of furniture you wanted to sand and paint, put some new handles on and make it look as good as new. Maybe you have many old T-shirts and you want to make a T-shirt yarn and make a bathroom rug or even knit a basket or other useful item. Or you might want to make decorative lamps from old glass bottles. Whatever idea you might have, it will be fun to do together and help each other with the projects.
Give these unusual eco-friendly dates a try. I know these ideas are not your usual romantic date. But, if you both are interested in an eco-friendly lifestyle, you get to do something very different. You might learn new things and just spend time doing something else than just having a meal or watching a movie. I encourage you to try these activities and see how much you can get to know each other this way. It’s guaranteed it will be these unusual dates that you will remember forever.
If you want to learn in-depth about what to do to become more eco-friendly, I have a series of articles on how to make your house more eco-friendly.
Start with making your kitchen eco-friendly here!
Continue with your bathroom here.
Learn how to green your bedroom and home office here.
Lastly, save energy and the planet!