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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.

sustainable date ideas
Written by
Calin Van Paris
"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

sustainable date ideas
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

sustainable date ideas
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

sustainable date ideas
Whether you and your partner share a home (and thus a
) 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

6. Take a Walk

sustainable date ideas
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

sustainable date ideas
There's something so romantic about wandering through a
. 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)
or craft brewery to learn about new methods of eco-friendly fermentation while you indulge in a beverage.

10. Cook Together 

sustainable date ideas
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

Grab your gear and head to your favorite
spot for a night spent telling stories by the fire and sleeping under the stars. Remember to keep waste minimal and practice the
principle to keep your site as pristine as can be.

12. Try Foraging

sustainable date ideas
Does your romantic meal call for
? 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.

13. Stargazing

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

sustainable date ideas
Become one with your favorite natural landscape with a date-day
. 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

sustainable date ideas
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)
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

sustainable date ideas
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

sustainable date ideas
Wash away your daily worries in a local body of water. The
, rivers, lakes, and ponds are calling you and your date for a day of sustainable splashing.