If you're heading out on the town to enjoy an evening with friends, family or your spouse (with or without your children), EnviroCitizen.org has found that there are many ways to make your evening eco-friendly. By simply planning ahead and making some smart, green choices, you can enjoy your evening without a side of guilt and a big carbon footprint.
To start, consider what you're going to wear. If you plan to buy new clothing for your night out, think twice about heading to a department store to buy a new outfit. Instead, consider buying second-hand. Even if you want to get a nice gown or outfit for a fancy event, you can find great buys at second-hand stores, especially if they're boutiques or consignment stores. If you want to buy new clothing, you can still buy something that won't come with a huge carbon footprint. Many retailers now offer eco-friendly clothing, like eDressMe, an online retailer that sells upscale (though not incredibly pricey) gowns that are made with biodegradable materials. eDressMe is a great resource for anyone wanting beautiful clothing that is also eco-friendly.
Once you're dressed in your eco-friendly or second-hand clothing, consider how you're going to get to where you're going. Though a public bus is not nearly as romantic as being swept away in a limousine, it's far more eco-friendly. If you live in a city that offers other forms of public transportation, like a rail, subway or train system, those forms of public transportation are great because they are far more efficient than driving in your personal vehicle. If you really want that limousine, however, you can find eco-friendly limousine or luxury car rentals in many cities. These companies are now offering hybrid and fuel-efficient rental limousines and cars, so you can arrive in style. You could also consider walking, if your destination is within a few miles of your home or hotel. This is also a great option if you plan to have a few cocktails (public transportation also offers the same benefit). If taking a bus or renting an eco-friendly limousine for the evening won't work, the best substitute is carpooling.
Now, you need to decide where you're going to go. Most cities now boast dozens of eco-friendly restaurants that serve local, organic food. These restaurants often market themselves as “farm-to-table”, or as part of the slow food movement. Try to find a restaurant that offers local food, since you'll cut down your carbon footprint by not consuming food that traveled from a far distance to get to your plate.
Some cities now even offer eco-friendly nightclubs. One such nightclub, Bar Surya (named after the Hindu sun god), is located in London, England and has been dubbed the world's first eco-nightclub. It is powered by on-site wind turbines and solar panels and is furnished with recycled furniture. Bar Surya's dance floor is made of crystals and, according to the club's owner, Andrew Charalambous, the dance floor plays a big part in the club's air conditioning system. So, if you're in London, Bar Surya is a great place to go. If you're staying the United States for your night out, you can still find eco-friendly options. At the end of the night, EnviroCitizen.org knows that you'll have had a great time with a smaller carbon footprint, thanks to a bit of planning ahead and by making conscious, green choices.