couple smiling to camera

Embracing Green Love: Falling For Mr Right And An Eco-friendly Lifestyle

6 mins

How to fill your life with green love together – and yes that might mean teaching him how to do the recycling and cook vegan dishes

Remember when you were convinced he was The One with his impossibly chiseled good looks, chivalrous behaviour and impeccable manners? He opened doors, unlocked your heart and suddenly you only saw life – and love – through rose-tinted glasses. 

Then he handed you a single-use plastic bottle of water, took you to a drive-thru to order a burger and threw the packaging into the trash on his way past, not stopping to pick it up when it missed and landed on the ground instead.

Suddenly it was goodbye Mr Don’t-Care-About-The-Planet and hello new search for hunky Mr Eco. But what happens if you don’t find him and settle down to live happily ever after? While most of us aren’t going to fall for someone as equally eco-conscious, we can encourage our next partner the art of green love: respecting and caring for Planet Earth.

Green Love

man on electric scooter taking flowers for a date: concept of green love
This date is going to be electric (well the scooter is)!

So how easy is it to teach your new Mr Right – who does care but isn’t that clued up about an environmentally-friendly lifestyle – to become a green crusader?

While it isn’t very romantic to remind your other half to rinse plastic pots before throwing them into the recycling, we at The Ethicalist are here to help you keep the flame of green love burning – ensuring that it doesn’t sear a hole in the ozone layer. 

It is possible to engage in an eco-friendly lifestyle while inviting green love to join the party. Incorporating sustainable living into your romance as you become a couple, and perhaps later a family, later, – is important as it will give you added shared interests and align your values. 

And the deeper you delve into all things green, the stronger the feelings and connections between you will grow. Here’s how to fall in love with each other and a green lifestyle together…

Eco Dates

couple on a picnic date, smiling and laughing

From botanical gardens to beautiful beaches, a walk doesn’t have to be just around the block. And what about stargazing? Is there anything more romantic than a pair of binoculars, a blanket and a plant-based picnic to spark lasting green love? 

A movie date may sound cliché, but it does stimulate good-old fashioned conversation afterwards to discuss personal opinions on the film. Don’t forget to take a reusable container for your popcorn and drinks. 

Find out where local artists are holding an exhibition and support the art community and galleries. Reduce waste by learning to dance together. From salsa to the Lindy hop, forget Strictly on TV; de-stress with a strictly-eco hobby to get pulses – and hearts – racing instead.

Plant-Based Diets

couple shopping for vegetables and fruit together in a shop
Green Love Is…A Vegetable Aisle

Sourcing sustainable food is more complex than just being plant-based or entirely organic. Shopping in the vegan section of the supermarket isn’t all it takes. You need to consider labour, food access, and land management, too.

Start by trying to limit your processed food intake, support local farms and learn about foods native to your area. Why not start each weekend together with a trip to the farmer’s market? Aim to get most of your protein from plants, cutting back gradually from animal sources. 

Dry beans, lentils, peas, legumes and nuts are great ingredients to experiment with, and you could limit dairy to one daily serving, with one additional serving of poultry, fish, eggs or red meat. Home-cooking encourages sustainability because you can control the food waste and save leftovers for a delicious lunchthe following day. 

A Green Baby

baby in sling

Let’s have a baby! But, uh-oh. Environmental concerns ramp up at the thought of babies; disposable nappies, plastic toys, mushy food that just ends up on the floor…

Parents throw away an estimated three billion disposable nappies each year in the UK, about two-three per cent of all household waste. Reusable nappies are much kinder to the planet – especially if you line dry them – and they are a long-term money saver, especially if you have more than one child. 

So while you’ll be instantly smitten with your newborn, ensure you’re exploring green love as a family, too. When out walking, wearing a baby sling is more fun for your little one than being strapped into a car seat, and you’re likely to enjoy being out and about for longer. 

You can still find toys and cute clothes together without buying brand new, too. Baby clothes are rarely used more than a couple of times because they grow out of them so rapidly, so buying pre-loved garments is keeping them out of landfill. And as we know too well, plastic toys last almost as long as wooden ones – sobuy second-hand, give them a wash and breathe new life into them.

Family Nature Outings

Get off the screens and into the wild. Children love getting close to nature and when the kids are happy, life is easy. Finding a love for camping (or glamping!) is great way to immerse families in nature and minimises the environmental impact when done responsibly. 

Become a gang of birdwatchers and hang out in the local nature reserve. Birdwatching encourages an appreciation for local wildlife and it is fun – as well as educational –  for little ones to spot the different species. Set up bird feeders in your garden, keep a bird identification book handy, and your shared love of birds will thrive together. 

Fancy something more adventurous? Paddling on water is a low-impact, eco-friendly way to explore natural surroundings, so rent a canoe or kayak. 

And to unleash family inner-creativity, find an upcycling workshop and find the joy in giving new life to discarded items. Turn old jeans into a bag and plastic bags into fruit baskets. Set your imagination free. And when you’re all hungry, find the nearest vegan ice-cream parlour – or make some zero-waste tutti fruitti – for a delicious treat.

Home Made Fun

an adult hand  around a child's hands clasped around a young plant

Make growing your own veggies a family hobby and ditch supermarket packaging and short car rides. Imagine your kids’ faces when they see their homegrown strawberries. 

Getting crafty doesn’t mean buying a new toy with stickers, plastic and glitter either. Encourage making creations using an old egg box and every kid loves to play with an empty box, right?

Sitting down together to cut, stick and draw can be bonding, making memories where kids feel safe and loved. You might even feel the glow of nostalgia from your own childhood. And while you’re at it, listen to your favourite songs and start a family playlist.

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