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Lesley Lammers headshot

Green Love is in the Air, Says Timberland, OKCupid Survey

By Lesley Lammers

Green is the new red this Valentine’s Day, or so say the results of Timberland’s Eco-Love Survey released this week, revealing that 77 percent of people regard eco-consciousness as an appealing trait in a potential mate, while 50 percent of Americans are attracted to those who practice eco-friendly behavior around the house such as conserving water, recycling and turning off the lights. The online poll surveyed over 1000 men and women 18 years of age or older and was conducted in January 2012, just in time to provide those searching singles out there with some environmentally-sound dating advice for this year’s Lover's Day.

Vice president of global marketing for Timberland, Jim Davey, tells TriplePundit, “As a company that’s committed to protecting the outdoors, we were really excited to find out that most Americans consider eco-minded qualities attractive in a partner. It’s clear that environmental values are becoming more and more integrated into the average consumer’s mindset.”

Timberland took the survey findings to the next level, partnering with dating gurus from the free dating site OKCupid to create the Timberland Green Guide to Dating and Love, full of tips for those on the hunt for their eco-sweetheart.

Enjoying the great outdoors seems a common thread for companion seekers, with 58 percent of participants stating they would prefer to meet that special someone in the outdoors and 54 percent viewing an outdoor adventure as the ideal setting for a date. Forget that awkward blind dinner date or speed dating event your buddy signed you up for against your will. The guide recommends looking for your soulmate in open-air settings like the local farmers market, your neighborhood community garden or on a trek with the local hiking club. Risk taking that first date outside by touring a botanical garden, fruit-harvesting at a local you-pick farm, planting a tree or gardening together.

52 percent of people say they would have doubts about dating someone who engages in environmentally irresponsible activities like littering, denying climate change, refusing to recycle, or driving a gas-hungry vehicle. Timberland's guide cautions singles to think twice next time you don’t feel like recycling or are looking into buying a Hummer, because you might just be sabotaging your chance at true love!

On the other end of the spectrum, nearly half of respondents say a date who is an “environmental zealot” is a turnoff. 45 percent of men would reconsider a second date should someone on the first date be too pushy about ordering environmentally-aware food (local, organic, etc.), while 46 percent of females say they would rethink dating someone who picks them up for a date on their bicycle. The lesson here is to find that balance of sticking to your values without shoving them in your date’s face.

30 percent of people are more attracted to those who are more aware of the impact the products they purchase have on the environment. This is where Timberland, an outdoor gear focused company, not surprisingly plugs their product, encouraging the unattached to “dress for success in eco-conscious gear” while leading readers to a link for their “Earth-conscious” Earthkeepers footwear and apparel. Regardless of whether the company's intention with this survey and guide is to help the environment, help them sell more outdoor wares to that untapped environmental singles market, help eco-love flourish, or all of the above, Timberland’s advanced CSR efforts should be lauded.

Lesley Lammers headshot

Lesley Lammers is a freelance sustainability consultant and journalist, focused on the intersection between the environment, food, social impact, human rights, health and entrepreneurship.

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