Monday, March 4, 2013

Celebrate Spring with Eco-Friendly Dates

Amazing by Inna on Grooveshark

The anxious-law-firm-associate in me was a little startled and worried to find that it's already MARCH.  That Spring daylight savings is around the corner (the 10th) officially heralding the end of winter.  That the end of Q1 of 2013 is approaching!  Deep breaths.

Instead of anxiety about the future, let's celebrate the present.  I've advanced so much.

Okay, first let me get out there that I love a night out on the town just as much as anyone else, whether it be with girlfriends or with an awesome date, having a delicious dinner at an interesting restaurant followed by champagne and dancing and having a blast...well...who doesn't love that? As long as we keep the trainwrecks under control, it's a fun night all around.

But if drinking & dancing is the only night you can tolerate with your girlfriends/significant other, I hate to break it to you, but you have no relationship, there is no depth, you can't know someone until you have different types of experiences with them.

In celebration of spring and renewal here are some ideas for eco-friendly dates that can be shared with anyone:

1.  A yoga class.

It doesn't have to be a super sweaty and intense Ashtanga session, it can be a sweet, gentle and invigorating restorative yoga class (so that the girl can keep her hair looking pretty if it's a date...priorities) or any of the other million classes that focus on form, breathing and meditation.  Guys, not only will you have the perk of seeing your date look sexy in clinging yoga pants and tight athletic top, you will get your blood flowing everywhere, take yourself to a relaxed state of mind and reach spiritual peace.  This is a sexy and enlightening date = win win all around.

2.  Farmers Market & Cooking

Supporting local producers is a huge industry now and farmer's markets are everywhere.  The produce they sell is nutritionally optimal as it has just come in from a local area (instead of being transported for days) and most times it is also organic. Print out some healthy recipes from the mountain of on-line sources available (I like this onethis one and this one) or just wing it and head on out for a nice walk and market shopping followed by cooking and of course the best part, eating.

If this is all too much work, try a pre-arranged cooking class, there are many in every city.

3.  Go for a hike!

I love this one.  Google your area + hike and you should get a bunch of trails.  If there aren't any trails nearby, type in your city name + walking tour and you might be surprised at the walking tours someone has gone to the effort to lay out and post on the internet.  If not, try a walk downtown or by the beach or anywhere scenic.  The point is to get out and move your body and enjoy where you live.

One of the best hikes of where I [used to] live in San Diego was Torrey Pines on the cliffs of La Jolla Beach.  If you take a certain trail, you end up right on the beach and it's perfect for getting hot and sweaty on the hike, then getting down to your bathing suit and going for a swim.  LOVE it.

4.  Go for a bike ride, pack a picnic.

Aww, Paris really is super romantic.
5.  Visit a museum.

Maybe it won't be the Louvre, but in whatever city you are in, museums are almost always located in a beautiful, romantic building.  If there's a lecture or a special exhibition, so much the better.  It doesn't always have to be about paintings or the fine arts...I think a date to see dinosaurs would be immense fun!

6.   Watch the sunrise.  

This doesn't necessarily mean you spent the night together, but sunrises, especially in the spring and after the sun withdrawals of winter, are beautiful.  Make a Starbucks run, grab a blanket and watch the sun come up somewhere.  Awesome start to a day.  

7.  A classical music performance.  

This one is not really an ecologically focused date, but it's a special way into my heart and many others.  And instead of a huge, symphonic production (which is great as well) why not pick a small, intimate affair, like a recital by a famous pianist or a chamber music performance.  That way there are no huge crowds to fight and parking to deal with, it's easy, it's beautiful.  

This is a starter-date kit.  Now you have no excuse to not go on awesome dates - with either a romantic interest or your friends - in time for Spring!  

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