For the environmentally conscious soul in search of romance, the days of wearily scrolling through one-line Craigslist ads or clicking “not interested” on profile after profile of non-recycling, animal-indifferent and camping-resistant potential mates on Match.com are over. Several new (and old) eco-friendly dating websites have come to the rescue. Below are reviews of some of today’s most popular online sites aimed at the green heart:
- Green Friends - Claiming to be “the world's first, largest and most effective site for singles interested in vegetarianism or environmental protection,” Green Friends’ database is searchable only after joining. Membership appears small, but the site offers many features: sending a “wink” or “IM” (similar to Match.com), blogs, greeting cards, forums, and linking to other friends in Facebook, MySpace and other community sites. Standard membership is free and Gold Membership starts at $30 per month.
- Green Singles - Launched by a sweet-looking couple in the 1980s—first as a newsletter, then blossoming into a website—Green Singles boasts more than 15,000 members and success stories from recently married couples to punk-rock teenagers enjoying their first experience of love. The site’s “Ramblings” section contains news stories, thoughts on ecology and poems, and has a market area for members to advertise green businesses. Basic membership is free. Not only does this site seem to be extremely popular (increasing your odds of finding that perfect Earth-loving honey), but also the founders donate 5% of their profits to organizations like Greenpeace, Amnesty International and Oxfam.
- Concerned Singles - Launched in 1984, the site is home to mostly 50+ straight women interested in nature and meditation. Unfortunately, the site doesn’t publish photos of members (it says photos are “inconsistent with our strict policy of protecting our members' identity”) and membership costs $84 per year. Most are from America, but a few reside in other countries. If you’re a man looking for a female hiking enthusiast over 50, this site is where you should start.
- Green Speed Dating - This west-coast-based organization, which holds monthly events at classy locations like wine bars and hotels, seems directed at the more fashion-oriented, media-savvy, Prius-driving single. It will most likely appeal to eco urbanites and green young professionals. A portion of the admission fee of $20-25 per event goes toward helping Nicaraguan communities gain access to electricity via solar power, and participants get the chance to meet 10 – 20 people in three-minute intervals. Nights may be themed by age: 21+ or 30-50. Overall, the site looks much sexier than other online dating venues. It seems to emphasize spirituality and hiking. Currently, events are held only in California, but others are welcome to start local Green Speed Dating events and should contact
- Eco Dater - A young but enthusiastic site, Eco Dater currently offers its premium membership for free. This provides advanced search options and allows unlimited photos, along with its standard membership features of contacting other free members and contributing to the site’s blog. While the membership is relatively small, its pleasant interface, friendly attitude and encouragement of user feedback should quickly draw more users.
- Vegan Passions - This is part of the Passions Network alongside more than 100 other dating sites ranging from California Passions and Recovery Passions to, and this is no joke, Zombie Passions. Joining one gives you access to all of them, and membership is completely free. With thousands of participants in the US, plus more around the world, your chances of meeting someone are increased. And it seems to have an interest group for every imagination.
For those with lifestyles based on eco-consciousness and social awareness, the wide array of membership plans, styles and niches offered by green dating sites are impressive. So rather than typing “environment” or “spiritual” in the search bar of the Craigslist personals, why not try one of the sites above? For anyone queasy about online dating, the sites offer tips and date ideas; most also have forums and chat rooms for those looking only for an online community. Even if you don’t find a partner, you’ll be joining a similarly minded group of folks with connections to related organizations and causes.
Searching for romance on sites that cater to the masses can seem like a futile pursuit. It makes more sense to increase your chances of finding a quality relationship with someone who cares about the Earth by joining a site specifically tailored to eco-lovers like you. Here’s hoping you find that special green love.
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