Sunset Kiss

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome May: A month that unofficially marks the beginning of summer, the period of perpetual outdoor activity, grilling and, for the luckiest, romance. Here at OA, we always like to find the best ways to mix the Earth’s business with much-needed pleasure; what better mash-up than the hottest season of the year and a love affair?

Below are four ideas and elements for a smokin’, Earth-approved date night, equipped with extracurriculars from the great outdoors to, well, the great indoors. And, given the season’s propensity to break the bank, we’ve identified some of the most budget-friendly activities out there. ¡Viva La Romance!

Walking

This idea, though probably the most obvious, is one that an appalling number of people neglect. It’s free, outdoors and a fantastic way to get to know someone.

It’s also an ideal activity for those in long-term relationships who may have fallen into a rut of staying in… in silence. Getting outside for a stroll is a great way for strangers and couples alike to enjoy fresh air, physical activity and, with hope, stimulating conversation.

Not sure of the best walking routes in your neighborhood? Check out MapMyWalk, a website and mobile app that allows visitors to view and plan walking routes by address. Plus, log activity and view routes established by other members.

Yoga

For those familiar with yoga, there’s a very apparent element of sexiness to it. Not only is the body bent into shapes and contortions uncommon in daily life, but, combined with the positive mental effects of yoga, also come more flexibility and openess to physical activity.

Historically, yogis abstained from sex to divert any energy required by it into their practice. Today, however, researchers and yoga enthusiasts alike know the power of the practice’s “full-body sensuality,” according to Psychology Today, when translated into the bedroom, with such tangible results as stress reduction and enhanced orgasm.

Worried about the cost or availability of yoga classes near you? Check out findYoga, a searchable website for lessons and events by state, zip code or instructor.

Whole Foods

Yes, we know: How is anything concerning Whole Foods budget-friendly? As it turns out, Whole Foods stores across the country are always sponsoring free, community events. Whether it’s a cooking class, public barbeque or movie night, local Whole Foods franchises are constantly making efforts to engage neighborhoods into environmental awareness through very fun means. New York’s Union Square store, for example, is putting on Weekend Theater Demos through the end of April, while L.A.’s Brentwood location is sponsoring the “Do Something Reel Film Festival” through early May.

If nothing else, a Whole Foods date night certainly breaks up any sort of monotony, as most couples, new or old, don’t typically ask each other, “What can we do to learn about helping the planet tonight?” But at these events, partners can bond over both a fun activity and a shared passion for environmental issues.

To find a Whole Foods event near you, visit the store locator.

Protection

Ah, yes. While many of us enter a date with a certain sexual goal in mind, it remains imperative to do so safely. Now, thanks to certain condom manufacturers, the responsibility of safe sex has gone both global and environmental. Sir Richards Condoms, for example, has a specific target audience of “discerning, responsible individuals who seek to align their purchases with the change they want to see in the world.” How so? For every condom purchased, Sir Richards donates one to a developing country where there is often a lack of available contraceptives and, therefore, a higher rate of STDs.

Kimono Condoms, distributed by the socially responsible Mayer Labs, is another eco-friendly brand and, according to one press release, “the leading [condom] brand in natural food stores.”

image: pudgeefeet