Windsor Star

Green the new colour of love

Eco-sensitive singles find a romantic outlet

- DENISE CANWEST NEWS SERVICE VANCOUVER

IBY

RYAN t’s hard to believe using “eco” to describe your sexual bent will help you land love, but “green” is the latest trend in dating. Although staying home and getting naked with the one you love is probably as green as it gets in the dating department, eco-sensitive singles are like anyone else: They have to find that special person first.

To fill the green gap, eco-dating websites are springing up, and green jargon has now expanded to include the word “ecosexual.”

The term, coined by San Francisco magazine, identifies this particular anthropolo­gical subset as “an evolving breed of city dweller for whom keeping green is every bit as important in their romantic life as in their choice of household cleanser, dinner food or wall paint.”

A perusal of one of the popular internatio­nal green dating sites, greenpassi­ons.com, might confirm your worst suspicions about ecosexuals.

For the most part, the assortment seems, well, terrifying­ly natural.

On one major site you could date someone who goes by the handle “Wolfeather­s,” and describes herself as “psychic” and with “a few extra pounds,” but is not afraid to show her largish midriff wearing a witchy maxi dress in a woodland setting.

Or there’s the “seeker” who resembles neither male nor female, but is gamely seeking an “eco-friendly, polyfriend­ly, bisexual, hippie” to date. Must love cats!

An alarming percentage describe themselves as “naturists.”

In other words, they like to go around wearing nothing but their own body hair.

But Boyd Cohen, a business professor at B.C.’s Simon Fraser University, hopes to change the image of green daters with his new website 3rdwhale.com.

“I want to challenge the stereotype of green people as being all pot-smoking hippies,” he said.

The eco-lifestyle website, which went live at the end of April, features an exclusivel­y green dating component.

Although there are only a handful of eager young greens on the site so far, they are an attractive assortment with at least two things in common: They want to meet potential mates, and they, well, get off on doing eco-friendly things like recycling and not driving cars.

Cohen, who offsets his carbon emissions, shops with a burlap bag and rides a bike to work, met his fiance on a regular dating website last year.

“I used a range of dating sites, none were focused on that niche and you couldn’t screen out who was green. It was my preference to meet someone who shared an interest or passion in environmen­tal issues.”

At the same time that he was constructi­ng 3rd Whale, he said he wanted it to be “a dynamic, interestin­g social networking site for sustainabi­lity including dating targeted for people who care about green issues.”

He decided to include the dating component.

So how many people share enough of an interest in green issues to put that foremost when looking for a mate?

Well, so far there are only about 28 people on the 3rd Whale site.

“We haven’t had anyone go on a real date yet,” said Claudia Li, 3rd Whale’s dating editor.

But Li, whose green dating “vlogs” explore issues such as “Is naked dating green dating?” is confident the site will catch on.

“When you talk about urban cities like Vancouver that have a high percentage of people that care about green lifestyles, the idea of being able to find someone else who shares your own values is enticing.”

Li, who is single and goes by the handle “green bean” online, has thought a lot about what her perfect green date might be.

“Not going to restaurant­s and movies,” she said — although she believes it’s important to support local businesses — they’re high-consumptio­n, high-carbon-footprint activities.

“My ideal green date would be if my date asked me to meet them somewhere outdoors. We’d take our bikes and meet up for a ride, maybe end up on the beach where we’d have a meal out of Tupperware containers.”

Emily Jubenvill, 22, who was recently voted the greenest person in Canada, understand­s how putting your green needs first might turn off a potential love-interest.

But it’s important enough to her that she’s got a profile posted on the 3rd Whale dating site.

She’d love a man who planned a noimpact picnic, she said, or knew the carbon footprint of the date.

However, her ideal mate doesn’t have to be as environmen­tally aware as she is — just willing to learn. “If they weren’t totally green but were open to making changes, sure, I’d date them,” she said.

 ?? Vancouver Sun photo:
Jenelle Schneider ?? GREEN LOVE: Claudia Li, also known as "green bean," is the editor of a Green Dating website.
Vancouver Sun photo: Jenelle Schneider GREEN LOVE: Claudia Li, also known as "green bean," is the editor of a Green Dating website.

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