Over a year ago, I had this zany idea to set up a website where people share their ideas for ways we communicate about anything to do with looking after our planet. I was finding the websites I was coming across are fairly 'highbrow' and academic in their analysis of environmental communications, and I really felt that we all need to be on a similar level when discussing these important issues.
So as we are past our one year anniversary, I thought I'd keep this post even lighter green than usual, in celebratory mode, as it's also the onset of spring down here in the Southern Hemisphere, in Melbourne, Australia and a very balmy 23 degrees Celcius. So what better time to talk about something light and fluffy like - err .... going out and painting the town green, and eco-dating!
This topic is different from most, because it is concerned with who we choose to communicate about greenie issues with, rather than how. A while back I raised the notion 'greenie extinction status', and the idea that greenies could be unwittingly rendering themselves extinct by marrying within the movement, choosing to have small families, or not to have children, at all, as is the case with many of my greenie friends and relatives. Now that concept was arguably far-fetched, as there are probably loads of people being born in large families who have an environmental conscience, but if we take the idea of greenie extinction status, a little further, we get on to the topic of eco-dating (eco love, eco-sex, and all the other variants of the one theme) ! When we talk about intentionally meeting likeminded people we can actively narrow off the community we are engaging with. And this is not a good thing. As I say, repeatedly in my book - Green Spin - Promoting the Green Message - I believe, we need to be extending our reach, rather than narrowing it, if we are to get inside the hearts and minds of other people. If environmentalists circulate predominantly with other greenies, we are literally deoxygenising the debate that we need to be having. My beaux have mostly been men who shop frequently and consume gazillion plastic bags, and have varied to the degree to which they have cared about the planet (each one has had their good aspects, admittedly, but none of them has owned up to wanting to be called a fully fledged greenie), so there was plenty of room for debates!
Now the thought of going out with a plastic bag guzzling consumer may be unbearable for some greenies, but mixing in more broadly makes for a much more interesting dialogue amongst more moderate environmentalists, as we greenies and non-greenies have much to learn from each other about how to communicate on green matters. One notices the internet abounds with eco-dating, eco love and planet earth singles websites, so I am merely putting this different angle out there, as I wonder whether or not we should be seeking to close ourselves off from the rest of the world or let those with slightly different views in. In our home lives, there has to be some give and take - as to whether one has one or two cars, the use of recycled toilet paper, opting for a small dog over a large one etcetera. I can see that some of these matters have to be non-negotiable (devout veganism or a home composting toilet for example!)
So when we go out actively seeking a like-minded person for a partner or even just seeking friends why not consider the degree to which the relationship can be spiced up a little, and a bit of difference might actually be a good thing!