Long-distance couples are always looking for fun and creative date ideas—I mean, how many times can you watch a movie together before it gets boring. I know after one too many Skype dates I was left wishing for a shared experience, something that added to our relationship and gave us something to talk about (other than work).
In honor of Earth Day—April 22—here are eight date ideas for long-distance relationships that will not only take you outside to appreciate Mother Earth but will also bring you closer.
Read a Book to Each Other
There is no safer place in the world than when my husband is reading to me. I recommend packing a picnic and heading to the park. Spread out a blanket, pop in your earbuds, call your man and take turns reading each other chapters out of some of the finest nature writing since Thoreau. I recommend A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There by Aldo Leopold or A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson. For those who want something a little bit less daunting, there’s no better Earth Day book than The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.
Challenge Each Other to a Fitness Competition
Research shows that couples who sweat together stay together. It’s much easier to attain your fitness goals when you have someone to encourage you every step along the way. My favorite free run-tracking app is RunKeeper. RunKeeper has a vibrant community where you and your partner can connect with other running buddies and compare statistics. If you aren’t into running, try Fitocracy, an online game and social network that helps users meet their fitness goals. For instance, after a weightlifting workout, you receive points based how much weight, for how many reps, etc. You can get additional points by completing quests. The social networking aspect of the app allows users to follow and comment on other users workouts. In honor of Earth Day, take your workout outside.
Give Each Other a Virtual Tour of Your Neighborhood
If you and your long-distance love haven’t had the chance to visit each other yet, record a virtual tour of your neighborhood with Google Earth. Show him where you go to school or work, where you hang out, where you’re looking forward to taking him when he visits. You can record your voice, too, so make sure to add color commentary. Now, when he pictures you at the gym, he’ll actually be able to picture you at the gym!
Plant a Tree
This year’s Earth Day theme is Trees for the Earth. The Earth Day Network has committed to planting 7.8 billion trees over the next five years. Early spring is the best time to plant trees. If you have your own yard, plant a bare root, containerized, or balled and burlapped tree. If you don’t have the space, help plant a tree around the globe. Choose a region with your partner, and donate a three through Plant a Billion, or donate to The Canopy Project. When you’re done, carve your initials into a virtual tree in the Forest of Love.
Watch Your Love Grow
If a tree is too big of a commitment, try growing plants from seeds. You can grow everything from asparagus and watermelons to hot peppers and passion fruit at home. Buy seeds at Trade Winds Fruit, and plant them at the same time. Compare notes, and watch as the fruits of your love grow. When you eventually close the distance, you can transplant them to your garden.
Capture and Share Your World with GoPro
If you have a really awesome outdoor activity that you want to share with your significant other, strap on a GoPro. Whether you take it on a bike ride, rock climbing or parasailing, it’ll be fun reliving the experience with your long-distance boyfriend.
Share a Sunset
When my husband and I were dating long distance, we could never watch the sunset at the same time. If there are too many time zones between you and your love, show your partner the sunset from your side of the globe and have him do the same. The next best thing to watching together is getting two sunsets in one day.
Support Environmental Protection
Above all else, Earth Day is a chance to honor the Earth and the concept of peace and to support environmental protection. Find an event in your area, and take matters into your own hands. You and your partner can change the world by changing your own little corner of it first. Pick up trash at a local park. Start an online petition urging your local elected officials to make a tree planting commitment. Recycle as much plastic, metal and glass as possible. The Earth Day Network is trying to reach 3 billion Acts of Green. You and your long-distance lover can add your names to the billions already taking action.
Get outside this Earth Day. These fun long-distance date ideas will get you appreciating Mother Earth and each other. How do you and your long-distance love plan on celebrating Earth Day?