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12 Sustainable Alternatives to Girls’ Night Out

Looking for an eco-friendly alternative to girls’ day out? Check out these pro-planet, sustainable alternatives to girls’ night out that are fun and eco-friendly.

A couple of weeks ago, my eco-enthusiastic buddy Jess and I nerded out at Rodale Institute’s Annual Field Day at their headquarters in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. In scorching July heat (thank you climate change heat waves), we traversed down dirt roads between farm fields to hear about some of the latest innovations and most important initiatives in regenerative organic agriculture.

Fittingly, we started our day at the master composters presentation. Rodale Institute’s farm director shared his wealth of knowledge about composting and organics recycling. Much to my delight, his methods are pretty lazy. By no means does that make him lazy, but he understands and appreciates the power of nature to do most of the heavy lifting for him.

When I share about composting and encourage others to try it out, I often highlight similar facts. Despite the precise science underlying perfect composting, most of us just need a basic formula of:

carbons + nitrogens + oxygen + water

… to let the microorganisms do the work they’re so good at doing.

After the crash course in composting, we headed over to learn more about soil and watershed health from Stroud Water Research Center scientists. They shared about ongoing projects and experiments that help farmers and land managers better understand how different farming methods impact soil health and the surrounding ecosystems. As a marine biologist, this was Jess’s moment to really geek out.

12 Sustainable Alternatives to Girls’ Night Out

While not a traditional girls’ day out, this field day was a perfect example of an alternative to Girl’s Night Out that better suits our eco-nerd interests and passions. If you’re up for outings with friends that are a little kinder to Mother Nature, here are a dozen pro-planet alternative girls’ day/night out activities.

Join a guided day hike

You can find guided hikes at many national parks and glamourous travel destinations. But you can also find lots of guided hikes at local and regional parks. For example, over the winter, Jess and I took a guided ice hike through Ricketts Glen State Park in Pennsylvania with a handful of other nature-loving ladies.

We climbed hills covered in snow and ice, admired frozen waterfalls, and enjoyed the company of other women with similar interests while basking in the beauty of Mother Nature.

Try a litter pickup

You can do a litter pickup with a friend just about anywhere and for any period of time. Maybe you even do this on the way to or from another part of your night out. Jess and I did a litter pickup outing in the past, so check out this post all about tips for doing a litter pickup with friends.

If you’re looking for something involving a bit more physical intensity, consider plogging, the act of jogging and picking up litter along the way.

Plan a beach clean up

If you live near a beach, beach cleanup days are so important and so rewarding. Our oceans get far too little attention and care for the value they provide to our communities and the health of the environment.

You could choose to go for a walk along the beach and clean up litter on your own. Alternatively, there are many organizations that host beach cleanup events. Find one in your area, and sign up with a friend.

Visit a local farm field day

Many local farms host field days during which they open their farm to the community to learn about the everyday comings and goings on the farm. You may get to see their animals and crops.

Some field days, like the one at Rodale Institute, invite guests to speak at the event to educate attendees about important matters related to local agriculture. No matter what they offer, it’s pretty neat to see how our food goes from farm to table right in our community and share that experience with a friend or two.

Go on a secondhand shopping adventure

It’s like going to the mall together but better. Ditch the shopping at fast fashion stores and traditional retailers. Instead, hit up a handful of local consignment or thrift shops for a day of mindful and environmentally responsible updates to your wardrobe, home decor, and more. You could even stop to grab lunch at a local eatery to step up the day.

Volunteer together

Although not always a specifically environmental-related activity, most volunteer activities support the strength and resiliency of our local communities. Healthy and robust communities are typically more invested in protecting and caring for the overall well-being of the area. Find a way to volunteer together that suits both of your passions.

Help out at a local community center garden day

Many organizations like community centers, libraries, senior centers, and similar places have gardens and green spaces that need regular maintenance. Most of these organizations operate on small budgets that do not support paying for robust landscaping services.

Find a friend or two and offer to spend a day cleaning up the garden or green spaces at a local community center. A few patrons at my local library offered to do this earlier this summer when the weeds around the entrance took over. This was incredibly helpful to the library, a great way to engage the community, a good chance to get outside, and a useful way for local gardeners to share their expertise about garden management.

Attend an environmental justice protest

Protests aren’t for everyone. But if it’s up your alley, attend a local environmental or climate justice protest with some friends. Not only will you raise your voices about important matters, but you also spend the day together with important people in your life.

Host an eco-enthusiast book club

Are you a voracious reader? Start a book club with a few friends that focus on books in the environmental genre. They could be fiction or nonfiction. There are so many books that address matters of climate change, environmentalism, and climate justice. This list is growing as the climate crisis continues to be top of mind around the world.

You could choose your own books. But I also prepare a monthly book club list that you could use to generate ideas for books to read with your buddies. Much like any book club, this can be a fun opportunity to read books together, hang out and enjoy some snacks, and have some adult time away from the daily grind.

Attend a local farm-to-table dinner

Some local farms or farmers offer lunch or dinner events during which they serve meals using the food they grow on their own land. In our area, there’s a nearby farm that hosts a monthly farm-to-table dinner series during the summer that always sells out quickly.

Invite a friend to be your dinner date and enjoy delicious, seasonal fare while supporting local farmers in your area. It’s a win for small businesses and reduces food miles for your meal.

Check out a pro-planet documentary viewing event

An eco twist on movie night, make plans to attend a showing of an environmentally focused documentary. Pack your own snacks from the bulk section at your grocery store. Bring your own drinks in reusable or recyclable containers. And you’ve scored a perfect pro planet movie night with friends.

Take an environmental class together

Many organizations offer classes to teach people in the community about topics like gardening, planting for pollinators, cooking with seasonal food, and other similar matters that help us become more educated and capable environmentalists in our daily lives.

Some of these classes may cost money, but you also might find them available for free at places like your local library. Just a few weeks ago, my local library hosted a free class on pollinator gardens led by a local master gardener.

If your library doesn’t offer a class like this, consider asking them if you can host it. Libraries are often looking for new content for community programming, especially when they know it’s a topic that engages their patrons. It can’t hurt to ask, and it may be a great entryway to bring more environmental enthusiast educators into your community.

Do you have any other ideas for a pro-planet girls’ day or girls’ night out? Share your ideas in the comments so we can all check them out and connect with others well also being imperfectly eco-conscious.

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Jen Panaro

Jen Panaro, founder and editor-in-chief of Honestly Modern, is a self-proclaimed composting nerd and advocate for sustainable living for modern families. To find her latest work, subscribe to her newsletter, Stepping Stones.

In her spare time, she’s a serial library book borrower, a messy gardener, and a mom of two boys who spends a lot of time in hockey rinks and on baseball fields.

You can find more of her work at Raising Global Kidizens, an online space to help parents and caregivers raise the next generation of responsible global citizens.

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