By Amelia Quint
Let’s be honest: you’ve probably felt pressure at one point or another to make date night a luxury extravaganza. There’s a lot of conspicuous consumption that goes into romance, but having a good time together doesn’t have to involve spending a lot of money and resources. In fact, it’s a good thing, for both your partnership and the planet, to make your plans sustainable.
Ahead, we’ve picked out 10 eco-friendly date ideas to get you started! Whether you use them to start a conversation about your values or just to get some fresh air with your Bumble match, they might just leave your relationship—as well as your environment—better than when you started.
Go on a hike
This tried-and-true date is a classic for a reason! You’ll take in some beautiful scenery, get a bit of a workout, and see a side of your date that might not come out over the typical dinner or cocktails. You’ll also have plenty of time to get into a real conversation that dives deeper than the usual “get to know you” questions.
Shop for plants
Whether you’re already a dedicated plant parent or just want something to spice up your video conferencing background, grab your date and visit your local garden shop! Remember that plants need TLC too, so if you take one home, select one that’s right for your environment, whether that’s a porch garden or apartment windowsill.
Make a furry friend at the animal shelter
Every town has rescue pets at adoption agencies that need love before finding their new homes, so for your next date, go to the animal shelter and volunteer together. You could walk the dogs, cuddle a few critters, or even foster if you’re considering taking a bigger relationship step together.
Head to the farmers’ market
Spend the afternoon at your nearest farmers’ market for a few hours of sampling goodies and checking out the produce. Shopping from the farmers’ market helps support local businesses, which means that their goods use up less fuel and resources to get to you. Plus, when you buy fresh food there’s less plastic waste than when you get it from the grocery store.
Whether you opt for strawberry fields or a pumpkin patch, there’s something undeniably cute about escaping the daily grind and getting your hands dirty together. Buying some produce there is an easy way to support agriculture in your area—plus, if you’re ready for it, the farm backdrop will make for some amazing “soft launch” social media snaps.
Go on a picnic
If you want an out-of-the-ordinary setting for your regular dinner date, go outside and have a picnic! Instead of opting for the obvious charcuterie choices, pick organic foods or ones produced locally. Bonus points for sticking to reusable materials and leaving your sitting area cleaner than you found it!
Look at the stars
If you and your date are both night owls, stargazing together is a magical option. Check out an observatory in your area, or see if there’s a meteor shower happening that night. It’s a great way to tune into the cycles of nature, since the visible constellations change from season to season.
Be the cleanup crew
No matter what environment you live in, local nonprofits will host cleanup days to help reduce litter, limit pollution, and protect the ecosystem. Find an event in your city, and ask your match to join. Whether it’s a beach, riverbank, or forest, participating means you’ll make the space more beautiful while spending quality time with your date.
Go vintage shopping
Want to really get to know your date’s style? Go vintage shopping together! Try a secondhand clothing shop, a record store, or an antique mall and pick a few things out for each other. You can treat one another to a gift that’s sweet and memorable without contributing to excess waste.
Go for a bicycle ride
If you’re looking for a zero-emissions date, you can’t do better than a bike ride! It’s a great way to get active with your Bumble match as well as take in the sights of your city or local park. Make it even cuter by hiring a tandem bike that you can ride together—and why not cycle to a coffee shop for a sweet treat, too?