Eco-friendly and environmentally conscious trends have been on the rise. Everything from clothes to shopping bags that end the “paper vs. plastic” debate have been developed in hopes of giving back to our Mother Earth.
Well, with these efforts becoming more prominent, it is not uncommon to meet someone who might be a little hardcore about the movement.
So, if you happen to fall for a smokin’ hot hippie or a beach-cleaning bombshell, impressing them with environmentally-friendly know-how might become a more crucial part of planning a date.
Even just around UT, there are plenty of little known eateries specializing in organic ingredients around UT.
One of my personal favorites is Pizza Fusion, a natural pizzeria within walking distance from campus that claims it is “Saving the Earth, One Pizza at a Time.” This casual, yet modern, setting is perfect for a first date when you want to keep things light and steer away from talks about baby names.
Most of their ingredients are organic and they are sure to alert you on the menu as to which ones are not. They also offer many vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
Though they are known for their pizza, which is light and won’t leave you feeling gross at the end of a meal (also good for a date), they have other options, like salads and sandwiches — and they’re all delicious. Their selection of specialty drinks and wine is another thing that puts them far above ordering in from Pizza Hut.
One of the great things about using organic products (besides the lack of potentially harmful pesticides) is that most are brought in from local sources and farmers. It’s not only better for your body, but better for the community of which you are a part.
But if pizza isn’t your thing, or you want a different atmosphere for your date, type our zip code and “organic restaurants” into Google and go after it. Some options near campus also include Grassroots and Rollin’ Oats Market and Café.
If you are feeling a bit more on the creative side, nothing can be more romantic (and environmental) than a well-planned picnic. UT is across the street from a gorgeous park.
Pair that setting with a big blanket, a basket of organic veggies and a solar-powered iPod player (they exist!), and you are set for a low-emission afternoon.
Though a classic picnic is always a charmer, don’t be afraid to venture outside the norm. I once planned a midnight picnic for a boyfriend’s birthday, switching out the juice boxes for something sparkling and nabbing some candles to supply a sultrier mood.
Did you know you can get organic candles? Yep. Some are made from soy, some from organic beeswax. Now you know.
Speaking of sultry, you are probably wondering when I’m going to get to the good stuff. If you want your sex life to earn Mother Nature’s seal of approval, start with your bed sheets. Organic cotton mixes are out there, but my personal eco-friendly favorite is bamboo sheets. They are incredibly soft and only only become more so with each wash.
Companies like Dream Weave Bamboo Bliss sell 100 percent organic bamboo blends. You’ll not only get fantastic sheets, but you’ll sleep soundly knowing you did a little to give back.
After you wow your partner with your environmentalist bedding, remember that there are ways to give back to good ol’ mama Earth during your, hopefully, flourishing relationship.
Pick up flowers from the farmer’s market instead of the grocery store or grab a bottle of organic wine to have with dinner.
I’m a firm believer that couples who give back together have a better chance of making it through tough times. There is something about doing something right and doing it together that can bring you closer.
Steps toward environmentalism during dating may sound small, but it could make all the difference.
Hannah Webster can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.