In an effort to create some memories that last forever with minimal waste or carbon output try these Friday night (or anytime) date ideas! Feel free to mix and match!
Although you should definitely use reusable table wear, I thought this ad was way too funny!
Some of these day time date ideas would be considered work for all but the most committed greenie, get out and give them a try!
- sign up for habitat for humanity
- apple picking in fall
- visit a farmers market
- go for a bike ride picnic
- clean up a park
- if you can get your hands on one, go for a canoe or kayak ride (just don’t use a motor, ok?)
My babysitters are usually available during the evening so here are some night-time date ideas that I’ve given some extra thought to
- Scope out a pretty well-lit park and settle in for a night-time picnic, if your date wants to volunteer to make up the basket even better!
- Head to a restaurant that serves organic or local food. This is usually better suited for someone who lives in a city so public transport or even your feet can be taken advantage of. Luckily for me (who lives in the country) there are many little bed and breakfast spots/little restaurants nearby that have great local organic selections. Another note, if you tend to leave lotsa food on your plate consider bringing your own take out container in place of those waste full styrofoam thingies or foil.
- Take a walk around and browse used book stores. Consider this little equation: great deal + exercise + loads to talk about + a new book = great date. If you don’t love to read,consider looking for pretty books for decorating.
- Go together to the liquor store and choose some organic wine or beer, stop in for some organic snacks on the way home and enjoy together
- This idea is probably better suited to a couple that lives in the counrty or has a fireplace, but spiked hot chocolate and a campfire is another great option.
- If you live in the city, go spontaneous and do a random mass transit date. Choose a stop randomly and this is where your date will take place!
- Do it up old school. Like real old school. Soda shop and stroll, or coffee and stroll, or beer and stroll, or milkshake and stroll. You get the idea.
- I am a board game addict. Try a 2 player board game by candle light for a pretend it’s a black out kinda night.
- For a stay at home movie date, to save money and be eco friendly borrow movies from the library or sign up for Netflix.
No time for a date but still want to do something eco-friendly together? Conserve water and hop in a shower for two. If you have kids, turn the monitor on and remember to lock the door, as not to scar them for life…
If you have a great eco date idea I would love to hear it!!
What’s so bad about laundry detergents anyway? Why bother buying a green detergent?
A few things that are not cool about conventional detergents:
- Companies are not legally required to disclose all ingredients, and most choose not to.
- Synthetic Surfactants. These suds-makers biodegrade slowly, and will stay in our water ways for a very long time. Did I mention they are made from petroleum? They also have a very high biological toxicity, according to an English study they have been shown to increase growth of breast cancer cells and also make boy fish more like girl fish. So weird and wrong.
- Artificial fragrances, these are bad always, again made from petroleum, toxic effects on animals are not clear yet…
- Optical brightners, maybe let’s work on getting our clothes brighter without being toxic to fish.
- Most detergents come in concentrated versions now, because really why would we want to pay money for a bottle that is 3/4 water anyway, try to buy the detergent with the least amount of packaging.
- Plant based surfactants ( biodegradable and safe) are being used by greener laundry options like Method.
- Can’t beat local and cheap! Try Down East Liquid Laundry
To skip detergent every now and then try these tips
- Soak whites in hot water with lemons for a few hours instead of bleach (discard lemons before putting them in the washing machine)
- Use baking soda. While I use detergent with my cloth diapers, I always through in some baking soda for a little extra kick, my sister uses only baking soda.
- Try a recipe to make home-made laundry detergent
Funny story, In the 1960s, when surfactants began to gain in popularity detergent manufacturers battled over who had the longest lasting suds. This led to suds appearing in streams, rivers, lakes, and 8 feet of strangely colored bubbles at the foot of Niagara Falls. Was this a hint that what we use in our homes goes directly back into the environment?
Check out the other Worth it? Apples to Apples and I can’t get these diapers out of my head
Oh and by the way Green Laundry detergents are WORTH IT! I like Method free and clear detergent, my favorite part is no measuring, you just squirt it in!!
From Calvin and Hobbes "Weirdos from another planet"
We all know that teaching our kids to be polite and respect other people is pretty important.
What about teaching our kids to respect the earth, how many parents make this a priority?
We are packing so much into our days that we barely have enough time for homework, let alone a new subject. I think doing 1 thing a month to show our kids that the Earth is important is a goal that we can all achieve. We really don’t want our kids to look back at us and say WTF were they thinking? It is their future that we’re messing with! Do you think they want to be dealing with our trash or severe weather (due to climate change), that is only getting worse, in 50 years?
Here are a just a few ideas to introduce or continue teaching your kids about climate change:
If you have a baby or a toddler:
- Get them outside! Start to teach babies right away that there is more to the world than a TV screen. ( I write this as my baby watches baby Einstein beside me…We’ll be going outside later..)
- Make a point to recycle in front of them, let them see that this is just a part of life. Talk to them about why it’s important to recycle.
- Let them watch or help plant a tree or garden and they will develop a taste for it early on
If you have pre-school or young school aged kiddies:
- Read them books about the environment. My kids love “It’s Earth Day” by Mercer Mayer and “I can save the Earth” by Alison Inches. Be super eco-friendly look for books like these at a local used bookstore
- Make something that will spark a conversation like this great Pizza Box Solar Oven
- Use Tupperware (pvc, bpa free) or a cool reusable sandwich bag in their lunch and let them know that they are helping to save the planet by not using plastic bags
- Take them to a farmers market, then have them help you prepare a meal with the things you bought. Start a clear understanding of where food comes from early.
- Have them check out this Climate Kids website that is put on by NASA or the climate change kids site by the EPA.
If you have a tween:
- Take them to a beach or park to clean up litter, have them invite some friends and buy them some yummy food afterward.
- Have them check out EEK! Another great website.
- To persuade them with pop culture check out Global Warming celebrities
If you have a teen:
- Chances are they are more knowledgeable about the environment than you anyway….
- Grab them a documentary like the 11th hour, an Inconvenient truth or Food inc.
My 6 year old has been into Calvin and Hobbes comics lately. The other night I came across a great story. Calvin decided he and Hobbes were going to Mars, because the Earth is too polluted. Wow, even Calvin and Hobbes (in 1990) are hip to the fact that the earth is in trouble.
From Calvin and Hobbes "Weirdos from another planet"
Check out Climate Mama, she is hosting the Green Mom’s carnival to get people moving on 10-10-10 and celebrate climate solutions!