Admit it: Environmentalist hippie chicks and crunchy tree-hugger gals can be hot. Also note: Boulder is full of them. But if you're a meat-and-potatoes-eating, big-truck-driving, or single-use-plastic-bottle kind of guy, you may be at a loss when it comes to suggesting an eco-appropriate getting-to-know-you activity.
You don't have to be a green freak to date one, but being sympathetic to her interests will go a long way toward highlighting your long-term potential. Score yourself a few points with these green date-night ideas for the big spender, the do-it-yourself-er, and the penny pincher.
If you're up for a big night out, it may not be too late to get tickets to the hottest do-gooder environmental event of the season: The 21st annual Microbreweries for the Environment benefit at the Boulder Theater ($22/person; 2032 14th St.; bouldertheater.com). Proceeds from the Friday-night booze-a-thon benefit initiatives from five local environmental organizations, and the entertainment includes music by a Fort Collins bluegrass quintet (and institution), Whitewater Ramble. There will be beers on tap from more than 20 Colorado microbreweries ($2 for pints, or $12 for an unlimited tasting glass), and a feel-good date-night vibe field by your favorite beers -- not fossil fuels. Bonus: Walk or ride your bike to help the event break even on its carbon footprint.
Feeling like something DIY? Despite this week's freakish wintery weather, spring is on its way. But, instead of relying on the farmers' market or King Soopers for your fresh veggies, put in a few hours with your gal-pal this weekend and start a garden together. You don't have to go all-out, grow an entire menu's worth of food or even have a patch of your own land -- a few pots, some soil, and some seeds will be enough to dig into the fun. Start with a trip to One Love Garden Supply (3620 Walnut St.; onelovegardensupply.com) -- even if you end up buying garden supplies somewhere else, the side-trip is entertaining and educational. For the best results, consider easy-growing, hearty crops that'll be good for fun times all summer: mint for mixing mojitos, cilantro or habaneros for spicy salsa you can share, and cucumbers or arugula for picnic salads.
Looking for something a little lower budget? You don't necessarily have to spend green to be green. Ever heard of Earth Hour? It's a worldwide, annual event -- this year's was March 23rd, so you can suggest a make-up effort if you missed it -- sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund. And it's pretty simple: Turn off all your non-essential lights to reduce your consumption and help raise a little awareness and solidarity about climate change. Suggesting a shut-off of your own doesn't quite have the worldwide impact as the actual event, but it's a great excuse for setting a romantic scene in the name of going green. First, unplug or turn off your lights, TV, cell phone, heat and anything in your house with an "ON" switch -- with the exception, maybe, of your date. Then, treat your love interest to an organic candle-lit meal, play a quiet card game, or just catch up under a couple of cozy blankets in the chilly room. If you get lucky, your Earth "Hour," could turn into an all-nighter.
Kristy Holland writes about date-night ideas once a week for the Colorado Daily. Tell her about your date ideas firstname.lastname@example.org.