- Before I don my fave organic-cotton dating costume, I'll take a shower for:
As mentioned in "How Green Is My Bathroom," the number of gallons you use depends on your showerhead. But if you aren't careful a long shower can mean using 40 gallons of water. Installing low-flow heads that range from 1.5 gallons to 2.5 gallons a minute is a good idea. Besides, you'll earn points with your date for your moral fortitude.
- The chocolate I give to my love-bunny is:
Buying organic and fair-trade supports responsibly manufactured chocolate. Re-gifting is also okay, as long as it wasn't nibbled on already, as Charlie did in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."
- I'm planning a low-carbon first date, so we're going to:
While a quick trip to the City of Light might make a heck of a first impression, it's definitely not a low-carbon alternative to chocolates and flowers. If you live near the coast, the right answer is (a), because that's lighter on the planet than building a fire. But if you're in Kansas, hit a park or a lakeside bench -- the sunset is nice wherever you are.
- Uh oh... your blind date picks you up in a Hummer. You:
Speak up! Who knows, you might be tempted to bail right off the bat, but stick around long enough to educate a nice person. Staying mum is probably the worst thing you can do. And buying carbon offsets after each date can get awfully expensive.
- The playground in my pleasure kingdom (okay, my mattress) is:
You really want to avoid the toxic chemical PBDE. That said, if you're mixing and grilling pancakes at the same time, the hot, vibrating bed might be more energy-efficient. Water beds... not so green. And not that comfortable, either. For more on mattresses, click here. And the next time you shop for some bed sheets, consider silk, organic cotton, or hemp.
- To set the mood, I always add a little lighting ambience with:
As Ray Charles sang, "The night is the right time." And if you're looking for carbon-free fun, the best thing to do is turn off the lights and have a go at it. Daylighting is the same concept, but that's only good for nooners. We'll give you 10 points, though. We also like candles because you can turn the lights off. But we'd recommend candles made of soy or beeswax. CFLs are far better than regular lightbulbs, but artificial lighting isn't all that romantic, right Romeo?
For more on what daylighting is, click here.
- My sweetie pie and I:
In this age of online dating and networking, it's easier than ever to spark romance with someone who lives on the opposite coast. Hopping on a jet is not only taxing for the bank account but also can leave a mark on the planet. In comparison, walking or biking to see your mate is totally free of carbon emissions. If you find yourself falling for people in different time zones, consider becoming a "loca-sexual."
- Which of the following is the most effective means of birth control:
If you're in a situation where you need birth control, then the birth control pill, patch, or injection will be the most effective, statistically speaking, followed by the condom, then diaphragm. That said, using hormones in any capacity is not ideal, so do some research and weigh the pros and cons before using them -- and support scientific efforts to find a means of birth control that is effective, but not as possibly risky, as altering a woman's hormone balance artificially. Of course, if you're rollerskating, then you're not exactly putting yourself at risk, so we'll give ya points for that choice, too. Find out more about the effectiveness of various means of birth control from Planned Parenthood. You can also learn how population affects the environment from the Sierra Club's Global Population and the Environment program.
- My lover:
If you said "no carbon footprint," then something's wrong here. Everyone has a footprint. Even cavemen built fires. If your true love is a friend of the planet, then give yourself 10 points. If your Valentine has vices but is also pro-environment, then you've still got a keeper. All people have their weaknesses. If you're taking this quiz and your significant other is a global warming denier, you might need couples counseling.
- You want to give flowers to your Valentine, but you also want to be sustainable. You should:
In the U.S. up to 90 percent of roses are imported for Valentine's Day, mostly from Latin American greenhouses. These roses are saturated in pesticides and the impact of shipping them adds plenty of pounds of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Latin American workers in these greenhouses also do not enjoy the labor law protections that we have here in the U.S. Ordering an organic bouquet online solves the issue of pesticides, but not the issue of transportation. But you can click here if you want to order a carbon-free, organic bouquet. Perhaps the best statement you can make on Valentine's Day is to find something seasonal and from the local nursery. And cooking for your Valentine is always a great choice.