20 Sustainable Date Ideas to Help Make Every Day as Special as Valentine's Day
Dates are even more memorable when they prioritize the planet. Read on for a list of sustainable date ideas that are simple, romantic, and fun.
"Date" is a loaded word for a fairly simple (and sweet!) concept—intentional time spent with someone you care about. The pressure that comes with the term often lends to overwrought plans that feel more flashy than genuine, when in reality, the best dates are easy, relaxing, and serve to foster connection. If you're eager to rethink your definition, these sustainable date ideas will help inspire your new approach.
Mindful outings feature a menu of eco-options like an outdoor setting, a celebration of human creativity, good (and local!) food, and more. More importantly, the best dates keep the focus on celebrating your relationship—all with minimal waste.
Here, 20 sustainable date ideas that demonstrate your love to your partner and the planet.
20 Sustainable Date Ideas
1. Have a Picnic
Skip the restaurant and take your meal outside instead. Not only will you save money, you'll also get a chance to converse and snack while breathing fresh air, touching grass (or sand, as you please), and generally incorporating Mother Nature into your experience.
2. Visit an Art Gallery
Turn your appreciation for each other into an opportunity to appreciate some art. Strolling around a museum or gallery is a chance to analyze how you and your date interpret things, as well as what you find beautiful.
3. Go Thrifting
Nothing says "getting to know you"—or "celebrating the 'you' that I know so well"—quite like a joint shopping venture. Ramp up your wardrobe while honoring the environment with a fashion show at your local thrift store.
Take time to pick items out for each other, or simply support your partner's sartorial selections. Either way, you're sure to find some treasure and have some fun.
4. Plant a Garden
Whether you and your partner share a home (and thus a garden) or not, tending to saplings, greens, and flowers is the perfect way to show you care, not just about one another, but about the Earth.
Gardening is also a welcome reminder of what can happen when you plant seeds, nourish growth—things flourish.
5. Find Some Seasonal Blooms
If you don't have a garden, head to a nearby meadow or botanical garden to observe some blossoms there. We'd argue that taking a moment to enjoy the colors, textures, scents, and patterns of living flowers is even better than receiving a fresh-cut bouquet.
6. Take a Walk
This one's easy: Just take a walk! It could lead you to another activity, a meal, or just around the block, but a stroll in good company is a simple means of slowing down.
7. Enjoy a Concert
Music helps us to feel truly alive. Soak up the vibrations and get your body moving to strengthen your bond with (and appreciation for) your partner, the people around you, and the planet.
8. Peruse a Used Bookstore
There's something so romantic about wandering through a bookstore. Explore history, art, stories, and more, sharing covers and passages with your partner as you go. Who knows, you may find a new favorite.
9. Have a Sustainable Sip
Visit a local (and sustainable) winery or craft brewery to learn about new methods of eco-friendly fermentation while you indulge in a beverage.
10. Cook Together
Instead of having someone else cook for you, take matters into your own hands and prepare a meal together. Co-creating your dinner date means you both have a say in sourcing ingredients, building a menu, and more.
11. Go Camping
12. Try Foraging
Does your romantic meal call for mushrooms? Hit the woods with a guidebook in hand (or join an existing group) and track down your favorite fungi. Be absolutely certain of your find before you ingest it.
Look up! Step outside after sunset to observe the stars and planets as they put on their sparkly, radiant, nightly show. The date-night activity is free and accessible to everyone.
14. Take a Hike
Become one with your favorite natural landscape with a date-day hike. This sustainable day idea allows you to incorporate many of the others on our list, work on your cardio game, and even enjoy some awe-inspiring views.
15. Go Birdwatching
Bring your binoculars and your spirit of discovery and spend some time observing and identifying birds in your area. You'll be surprised by the wide variety of winged creatures you may have missed!
16. Get Crafty
Encourage one another's creativity with a joint arts and crafts session. The point should be fun, not pressure, so choose whatever medium speaks to you—even if it differs from your date's.
Time spent making together will foster inspiration. Once you're done, your pieces may even become gifts.
17. Make Dessert
For a date that's down to indulgence, team up to whip up your own low-waste (but infinitely delicious) dessert.
Baking in the comfort of your own kitchen reminds us what goes into our favorite treats—and offers ample opportunities to taste batter and frosting.
18. Go on a Bike Ride
Exchange your usual transport for a scenic bike ride. Life on two wheels is fun and reinvigorating, whether as an aspect of your romantic endeavor or as a date in and of itself.
19. Window Shop (Local)
Champion community businesses and makers with a quick trip to your local downtown or business district. Pick out handcrafted gifts for each other, or just take the time to get to know area business owners and their wares.
20. Get Swimming
Wash away your daily worries in a local body of water. The oceans, rivers, lakes, and ponds are calling you and your date for a day of sustainable splashing.