Eco-dating tips!

Secure a date with a hottie by loving the natural world

Welcome to Green Town, a new column by Sena: Eco-Warrior Princess, which will rotate every other week with Green House, her bi-monthly musings on SN&R’s green building project.

Do you desperately want to be asked out on a date? Ugh, how passé, you should be totally embarrassed to admit that. But, hey, I’m not one to judge! All I care about is being a good neighbor and helping people out. So if you’re intent on succumbing to this outdated social norm, at least consider doing it stylishly: Here’s my personal concoction of eco-dating tips for Sacramento to guide the way to your happily every after.

To find a match in the dating cesspool, you need to be willing to pull out all the stops. Once you’ve narrowed in on the potential love of your life, immediately execute an eco-friendly pickup line on said person. Might I suggest casually name-dropping every possible green nonprofit organization you can think of. This is absolutely critical.

Watch my lead: “My favorite group is Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk. They’re so awesome. They protect the threatened Swainson’s hawk, which are really big birds that rely on farmlands through the Sacramento region for survival. During the summer, chicks fledge and fatten up to prepare for their long flight to Mexico and Central America for winter. Have you ever seen one soar? Oh, they’re beautiful.” Repeat these sentences verbatim and you’ll secure a date with the hottie.

Now for the date! Go for a bike ride along the American River, making sure to have packed a picnic basket with organic produce from the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op. Stop for a break at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Ancil Hoffman Park, and enjoy the 77-acre preserve with trails that run next to the river and through riparian oak woodlands. You might even see deer, coyotes and migratory songbirds and wild turkeys along the way.

Hyped on bird-watching? Grab some friends and carpool to the Cosumnes River Preserve, located about 25 miles south of Sacramento, for a group date in the wilderness.

If you’re dating someone you met online who’s not from around here, explore our city together with rented bikes from Bikes and Bites, a downtown shop that lets you borrow a bike for $30 a day. Use this as an opportunity to express your civic-mindedness by promising your date that you will e-mail mayor-elect Kevin Johnson and demand to know what he plans to do about increasing mass transit throughout the city.

Walking is conducive to good conservation on a date, because you don’t actually have to look at the person and get all nervous. So go for an urban hike, starting on Front Street in Old Sacramento, over the Tower Bridge to West Sacramento.

Now refuel with some tasty green grub! Sacramento has plenty of eco-friendly restaurants from which to choose. There’s Au Lac Veggie, a vegetarian Vietnamese cafe on Stockton Boulevard (not the best romantic ambience); Andy Nguyen’s vegetarian eatery on Broadway; and Udupi Cafe, an Indian restaurant on Sunrise Boulevard in Rancho Cordova, where you can order vegan curries to share. How sweet!

But say you take the expensive route and eat at The Greenhouse Restaurant and Brewery in Roseville—the only spot in the Sacramento area to be certified by the Green Restaurant Association. As you sip an organic margarita, impress your date with knowledge of how sustainable food supports healthy eco-systems, and rack up the brownie points by stating how much you enjoy organic, seasonal produce grown by local farmers that don’t use toxic synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, irradiation, sewage sludge or genetic engineering. And if you want to order the halibut, don’t fret: Environmentally responsible eateries such as this one prepare fish that’s been sustainably farmed or wild-caught.

This awesome date is not over yet! Check out The Beat in Midtown and browse through used CDs before heading back to your place, where you’ll light some beeswax candles and read passages from Walden, pausing a moment to express your undying appreciation and love for the natural world.

Except, generally speaking, you should probably go easy on the love part. You don’t want to freak out your date by appearing “too eager.”