When you Care About the Environment but your Partner Doesn't


People are increasingly the importance of preserving the environment and saving it from further degradation in the name of economic progress. If you are part of this growing tribe but your partner isn’t, then having a life together may make for some amount of friction. Here are a few tips on how you can go green and encourage your partner to see your point of view.

Start simple

Very often the complex narrative of environmental discussions like carbon footprints and greenhouse gas emissions can leave regular people cold to the simple need of caring for the earth. In fact taken too far such talk can get couched in rather negative terms and leave a depressing picture of the future. While there is no need to lie about the risks of environmental degradation, painting too grim a picture of the days to come is hardly likely to win your partner around. So at first don’t lecture him/her or read out lengthy reports of environmental doom. If you are living together avoid pushing in major changes into your household; instead start small and try to inculcate simple green habits into your domestic routine. for instance replace one regular lightbulb with a new compact fluorescent bulbs and the pollution reduction would be equivalent to removing one million cars from the road. Doing your laundry when you have a full load, using both sides of paper to print, brushing without running are all easy ways to care for the environment.

Make it part of your romantic life

Your partner will better respond to your efforts in going green if they are made part of a positive romantic experience. So sneak in a shower with your loved one to start the day on a spicy note. Not only have you made a wise choice for the environment, but you may notice some other added to your relationship. similarly planting a tree together will not only make for better bonding but it’s good for the air, the land, can shade your house and save on cooling (plant on the west side of your home), and they can also improve the value of your property. again When an opportunity to try something new as a couple arises, whether it’s choosing a massage oil or a new toy, go “au naturel.” massage oil is scented with a blend of reputed aphrodisiacs, including rose, jasmine and ylang ylang, are sure to make for an intimate night with your beloved. Likewise see if your partner can work out an arrangement with his/her employer that you work from home for some portion of the week. Not only will telecommuting save money and gasoline, but you both may get to have a quickie in the afternoons too.

One of the best parts about going green is that you would be spending a great deal of time with your partner in the healthy outdoors. For a date, you and your partner could go hiking up mountain trails or biking through the countryside. If you both are water-birds, you could go surfing, swimming or simply laze around on the beach sunbathing. However avoid burning firewood or paper to make a bonfire, no matter how romantic a beach sunset looks. Also while exploring the wild outdoors, whether the mountainside or the sea, be careful not to cause damage to the fragile ecosystems of nature.

Show the practical benefits

Yet another effective way to get your partner around to environmental causes is to show what he/she gets out of it in terms of saving money. For instance by turning off your computer instead of leaving it in sleep mode, you can save 40 watt-hours per day. That adds up to 4 cents a day, or $14 per year. If you don't want to wait for your computer to start up, set it to turn on automatically a few minutes before you get to work, or boot up while your partner is making the morning cup 'o joe. Get a clothesline or rack to dry your clothes by the air. Your wardrobe will maintain color and fit, and you'll save money. Skip rinsing dishes before using your dishwasher and save up to 20 gallons of water each load. Plus, you're saving time and the energy used to heat the additional water. Convince your partner to use your cruise control in the car for which he may have paid extra. When using cruise control your vehicle could get up to 15% better mileage. Considering today's gasoline prices, this is a boon not only for the environment but your budget as well. Also get him/her to maintain their vehicles. Not only are you extending the life of your vehicle, but you are creating less pollution and most importantly saving gas. And it might not hurt to clean out the trunk—all that extra weight could be costing you at the pump.

Gradually introduce bigger changes

Once your partner begins to see the practical advantages in going green, you can pave the way for bigger lifestyle changes like staying away from materials like leather and fur which are responsible for a lot of cruelty to animals. In contrast, opting for natural fabrics like cotton, linen, silk and wool is not only kinder to the environment but they are less allergic as compared to synthetic materials and thus good for your skin too. In fact these days a lot of experimentation is going on with organic fabrics and some like jute and bamboo are not only good for the environment but look and feel incredibly stylish as well. If things are going well, you can even show your partner how having one less meat-based meal a week helps the planet and your diet. For example: It requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. You will also save some trees. For each hamburger that originated from animals raised on rainforest land, approximately 55 square feet of forest have been destroyed. then you can also go on to create an eco-friendly bedroom by using environmentally friendly laundry detergents to wash bedding—in cold water—and, when the old one gives out, investing in a natural foam or rubber mattress. Bigger green steps in your home could include removing and not replacing worn-out wall-to-wall carpeting and buying furniture made only of eco-friendly materials.

Decide on your priorities

Though your partner may not be consciously opposing your environmental commitment, his/her basic habits may have been formed too long to change. sometimes these may not even be his/her choice - they may be rooted in underlying cultural, societal, family-of-origin and even gender-role values; For example, your partner may have been raised in a household where financial hadrships or emotional neglect were much bigger concerns than care for the environment. Finally bear in mind that going green involves making big changes in the way a person lives, eats, works and travels. If despite your best efforts you are unable to make your partner environmentally more conscious, then you may have to select your life priorities with care.