My environmental conservationist father made sure that being “green” was part of my upbringing. While most of my childhood friends were welcoming Spring by playing outdoors on their swing sets, my family was celebrating Earth Day and planting trees. I never thought much about the impact a few small changes could have on our environment until my mid-twenties, when I began dating.
Jim, my first long-term boyfriend and I were driving to Connecticut one Saturday afternoon for a visit with his sister when he rolled down the window of his Honda Accord and chucked out a silver foil-covered paper product that only seconds ago had been covering a Wendy’s hamburger. This event quickly started my own green movement against environmentally toxic men. I didn’t expect my boyfriends to be lobbyists for Green Peace, but blatantly polluting the environment was a dating deal-breaker.
If you want to make a change and start living green, there are many small ways that you can do it while you’re single. You never know, maybe the environment will give back to you and help you meet someone new along the way.
According to Census Data, 75% of people in the United States drive to work alone instead of carpooling with others. Ride-sharing, as it’s also called, is not only good for your bank account, it consumes less fuel, cuts down on pollution, decreases the wear on your vehicle and decongests highways. Many states are adding carpool lanes as an incentive. The biggest bonus for singles is that you could meet someone interesting while sharing a back seat. With our world turning digital, live interaction is a welcome change of pace before and after a stressful workday.
Purchase Good Bubbly
We aren’t talking champagne bubbly just yet; right now we’re talking soap. Use environmentally friendly detergent for washing clothes and dishes instead of the harsh chemicals found in most products on store shelves. Although water treatment facilities do their best to filter out toxins, they still get into our waterways. Natural cleaning products that are biodegradable and packaged in recyclable bottles are a great alternative to the heavy chemicals and plastic used for household products. If you’re single, why not do your laundry at your local laundromat, where you can share your green secrets with the cute stranger folding their clothes next to you.
A recent trend over the past few years is the reusable tote bag. Many women are beginning to carry one over their shoulder for quick trips to the store. This movement also reflects itself in the media with images of celebrities carrying eco-friendly fashion pieces while running errands. Plastic bags clog up landfills, contaminate our soil and water supply, and production of them can consume millions of gallons of oil. A small change like putting your milk and fruit in a reusable tote can add up to a big environmental savings over time. If you’re single, it can also be a great conversation starter in the checkout line (just remember to pick the line that has a potential suitor). If sparking a connection is not enough to persuade you, maybe the government can as many cities across the country are beginning to propose taxes to individuals for each plastic bag they use for their purchases.
Don’t Sacrifice Style
If you’re single, you’re probably conscious about the way you look and how you dress. Dressing Green doesn’t mean you need to resort back to Woodstock days or look through old boxes for those 60’s and 70’s outfits. Nowadays there are several retailers and designers selling organic, eco-friendly wear that’s stylish and modern. Many people who choose to wear organic clothes cite reasons such as there are no pesticides in them or that the fabric is best for their sensitive skin. If you’re not ready for this step quite yet, another solution is to recycle old clothes instead of buying new ones. Vintage stores are also a great way to look good and save money in your wallet.
Get Involved Locally
With the Spring season upon us, Earth Day on April 22nd is a perfect time to begin your commitment to being Green. This year marks the 46th Anniversary of this worldwide day. Find activities in your local area and meet like-minded people who care about the environment too. Saving the planet for future generations isn’t just about planting trees. It can mean any issue from climate control, recycling, energy preservation to building development. For more information about how you can get involved, log onto Earthday.net
No matter who you meet along the way, don’t pressure them to reuse bath towels or separate every soup can and plastic container. It’s unlikely you’ll be in total agreement with your date, mate or partner on all eco-friendly steps to take but finding someone who shares the same philosophy and is willing to make a few changes is better than meeting someone who makes none at all.
Contributed by Alicia White of Loveawake.com for Thecountrylass.com