In the spirit of Valentine’s Day I thought I would highlight some ways to keep date night a green affair. Date night is something I hope that all couples are able to take advantage of at least once a month. It is so easy to lose your identity as a lover and partner when you have kids, home, work, bills, and all that other stuff that takes over our lives. I know I certainly let myself forget how important it was to stay connected to my husband over the years. Heck we didn’t even celebrate our anniversaries anymore. My husband and I have always been best friends but we had lost sight of putting time together first and foremost. We forgot how to be a champion for each other and be that soft landing place when things got tough. We re-committed to making sure we had couples time as much as possible and it has been amazing for us. Just before I sat down to write this post I was on the phone planning date night for the month.
Like a lot folks though we have to keep in mind things like budget and time. We have to get creative. As a family seeking greener pastures and healthier lives we also have to keep in mind our impact on our bodies and planet. Here are some ideas in that regard.
The Main Event
Share the Shower – Okay so this might occur before the date but it’s a great way to start nonetheless. Conserve resources by showering together. If you get er… sidetracked, with some other stuff while in there, just turn the water off for a spell and then resume. We have a nifty showerhead that actually comes in handy in that regard… it has a pause control built in. ;)
In House Date Night – Due to time, money, or lack of childcare it may be necessary to stay in for the night and that is a great green option. Stream a movie via Netflix or rent one from RedBox. Send the kids to bed, grab some blankets, and lounge on the couch or floor as you watch. You could also have a late dinner together with soy candles and music. Cook a pizza shaped like a heart or grill some steaks while you sip wine. If the weather is nice you could take it outside even. Find ways to take the ordinary and change it up a bit to make it special.
Take a Couples Class - Many cities and towns offer special classes for adults through their parks and recreation department. You could take a class on cooking, bread baking, painting, dance, ceramics, martial arts, a foreign language, or even a sport. Many of these classes can be done on the weekends when childcare might be easier to arrange. You better yourself, you have fun, and you spend time together, it’s a win-win. Bonus points for staying close to home and perhaps carpooling with another couple.
Get Active Together – Many of us talk about how we want to get back to playing tennis, go jogging more, or perhaps take up a sport. Why not do it together? Buy or rent bicycles or roller blades and start exploring your immediate neighborhood together. You won’t feel so embarrassed to fall on your tush if your partner is there next to you falling on theirs. Spend an evening at a local skate rink. Play Frisbee or croquet in the yard. Think about those active things your younger self would have loved to do on a date and do those!
Go Shopping – Ethically – If you want to exchange gifts or wear something special for date night check out local thrift stores. My husband and I also enjoy thrifting together and will often make a date to go thrift shopping when the kids are all in school. You can find great, high quality stuff at second hands stores! We also like to hit up natural grocers and farmer’s markets together. We walk the isles chatting, reading food labels, and finding new foods that are local to our area. You could also spend an afternoon hitting up yard sales or go to an estate sale. You spend time together and you keep your impact low by shopping green.
House Tours – For weekend fun spend an afternoon touring Open Houses. Try to keep it within 5-10 miles of your house. This is more fun if you don’t currently own a home or if you plan to buy another soon. That way you get to think about, and dream about, your future nest.
Go Organic and Local – Scout out smaller restaurants and cafes that use local foods. Bonus points for organic and/or pastured. It is fun finding these little local gems and also trying them. You are supporting your local economy when you do. Though it may not be local you can also buy organic liquor.
The After Party
Greener Bedroom Decor – The bedroom area might need a little ambiance. LED twinkle lights are perfect for bedrooms and they are a greener option. If you can find red ones, even better. That is what I have. These heart shaped lights run on batteries, so remember to use rechargeable ones. Just remember to unplug them before you go to sleep. Candles are another nice option but they do contribute to indoor air pollution. If you want to forgo them try flameless LED candle lights. We love these. For sheets go with organic cotton or bamboo.
Planet Friendly Birth Control – The greenest birth control method if NFP, followed by sterilization probably. If you want to avoid pregnancy and do not feel comfortable with either of those options check out this post for other options.
Greener Sex Aids/Toys – You can get organic personal lubricants from Good Clean Love. They also make love oils using essential oils. Sliquid Organics Silk is another good one. For sex toys just say no to phthalates. They can cause cancer, impair fertility, and damage our reproductive organs. You can find plastic or silicone ones that vibrate and have no phthalates. If you don’t need battery power then go for wood or glass. The glass ones are beautiful! In fact check out all the green sex stuff at Eden Fantasies. Good stuff!
Eco Lingerie – Each year I see more and more organic and sustainable lingerie options. The go to place in my mind is Etsy. You get high quality lingerie and you support small business.
Are you ready for date night yet?
Wednesday, February 1st, 2012