How do I make myself sound less sexy? I tell guys I’m plant-based. The diet rarely scores me points – minus one vegan date. We went for drinks but should have discussed no meat alternatives over dinner. Evidence suggests millennials care about sustainability – Instagram shows we also prioritise fast fashion. And luxuries and travel and pumpkin lattes with our names on the cups. While I want to care more and do my part, I don’t want to resemble a tree-hugger (no offence to them). The question is: How does sustainable dating become a turn-on?
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What can make sustainable sacrifice feel appealing when relationships are based on indulgence? Yeah, I’ll drink at 4pm, I’m on a date. Okay I’ll finish that box of chocolates, I’m with my partner. No, I’m not lazy lying in, I’m with my boyfriend in bed. If you remove the partner in these scenarios, I go from romantic to troubled.
With climate change worrying us and eco-friendly choices equally worrying us (I’m that girl who forgets her water bottle and then hides buying water from a friend I’m encouraging to be more mindful), here are 4 simple yet effective strategies to try:
Adding sexiness to dates
When I visit charity shops, I usually browse. Maybe I’ll stumble upon a good-quality jumper or some never worn trousers. I don’t think: Date night, let’s hunt for a recycled fashion outfit. Or let’s surprise a guy with some racy, sustainably made lingerie.
By saving our eco-friendly purchases for practical reasons, we confine sustainability to its uninteresting box. There are several ways to limit fast fashion: Online vintage shops, choosing clothes made from sustainable materials, repairing old garments, visiting a tailor, spending more money on longer-lasting items. We don’t associate organic to luxury – we often discuss recyclable fashion as an affordable substitute. A feel-good option and not necessarily an attractive one.
This is what removes the sex appeal. The next time you’re shopping, look for something sexy. If it’s luxury you’re after, buy second-hand designer. Make sustainable dating a thing with the outfit you wear. My sister gave me some evening dresses she’d worn only once, and they look as good as new.
Add romance to your home
Other than the lack of extravagance linked to sustainability, the limited choices don’t exactly scream romance. Needing to research the ethical values of a company and cancel out options. In our instant gratification society, we’d rather quick decisions. I hate to admit, I can swiftly forget the guilt from buying an environmentally damaging piece. But our impatience for waiting, has arguably, one however.
Being romantic. With love, we appreciate craft, time, elegance – beauty over ease. Sustainable dating therefore, shouldn’t be difficult. A great place to start is with home dining. Growing your own fruit and vegetables, or purchasing from a local farm shop which sells chemical free produce. At the dinner table, you can use candles made from natural candle wax. You could write a love letter using a recycled letter set. Perhaps take a bath with a natural, handmade soap. And afterwards, turn down the central heating and cuddle up with a blanket made from organic cotton. If you make your biggest eco-friendly swaps the most romantic, your perception on sustainable dating can change.
Plastic-free, desirable gifts
Now, I’m not suggesting this as a lavish Christmas gift (rather as a random cute present): A Plastic free, waxed canvas lunch box. If you’re living with a partner who likes the idea of helping the environment, getting them something sustainable and useful has got a sexiness to it. I’ll paint the scene:
Their heading downstairs ready to make a sandwich or salad to eat at work. When they enter the kitchen, you’ve already prepared them lunch in their new eco-friendly lunch box. Oh, and inside, they’ll find a note with a description of what will happen in the bedroom later – this is a sexy sustainable dating guide after all.
In the average home, plastic items sit in every room. I know I’d be grateful if my toothbrush needed replacing; I’m in need of new deodorant, perhaps craving chocolate… and my partner decides to buy me these items from a good-quality, eco-brand. We’ve become complacent to supermarkets and mass-produced products – I’m terrible at remembering to research a company’s ethos before buying.
Possibly the best eco-friendly gift for 2021, after a year of losing memories to staying in: Booking an experience to enjoy with a partner. What’s not sexy about a sustainable spa?
Sustainable Dating: Making its lust a habit
With each person I speak to, I’ve not heard someone say, “I don’t want to help out”. We know the planet is suffering and we each have a role to play to help. Yet taking that message and putting it in practice day-to-day can feel complicated. It’s part habit, part initial research (to know which brands to regularly shop with), and part judgment.
Editing our train of thoughts to stop making sustainable seem unappealing and not luxurious. While nature-friendly might not initially sound sexy, deciding to live non-eco-friendly sounds more unsexy.
Why not read: Chemicals in Beauty Products: How Dangerous Are They?