by guest blogger Maya Rodale, writer of historical tales of true love and adventure
This Sunday marks the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day, which will probably be commemorated by a bunch of depressing articles about global warming, the dangers of chemicals, and the great Pacific Garbage Patch (so that's where all those lost Barbie shoes are!) This will probably be followed by a list of EASY things YOU can do to make earth day EVERY DAY!
All of which make me want to slink off and watch a sitcom or something.
It's like Valentines Day. Once a year, the pressure is on to be the most romantic or the most environmentally friendly. One day in which we turn out the lights and demonstrate our love for the earth--wait, that came out wrong.
As a writer of historical romance novels, I spend a lot of time thinking about creating romance...but set in a time before boxes of chocolate laden with GMO high-fructose corn syrup and shrink-wrapped in plastic, given on a once-a-year Hallmark holiday. Earth Day, like romance, can be about every day pleasures. In honor of that idea, here are my...
5 Tips for a Romantic Earth Day
#1: Turn off the lights...and light some beeswax candles.
For you: Nothing suggests romance like candlelight, probably because nothing is more flattering to the complexion. Plus, an open flame = an element of danger, which gets one's heart pounding.
For the earth: Besides not using electricity or toxin-loaded candles, using beeswax candles purifies the air, and they are free of chemical fragrances and other harmful stuff that pollutes your indoor air.
#2: Dine like a 19th-century duke and duchess.
For you: Mmm...roasted wild game or local pasture-raised meat, organic vegetables fresh from the garden, all accompanied by some organic wine and spirits smuggled in by a band of pirates.
For the earth: Dining on fresh, local, and organic food cuts down on a deluge of toxic chemicals in the air we breathe and the water we drink, but also, organic farming replenishes the soil and keeps us healthy so we can indulge in more delicious dinners.
#3: Take it off! (Keep your shirt on--this is about perfume.)
For you: Romance heroines are always intoxicated by the hero's scent, which is often described as "indescribably male," which is another way of saying the man hasn't drowned himself in cologne or some other artificial stink. Ugh. Let's all skip the fragrances, if for no other reason than it tastes bad when someone is feathering kisses along your neck.
For the earth: "Parfum" and "fragrance" are other ways to say "chemicals" without naming which ones; these often includes ones that are bad for you and the environment by causing all sorts of weird mutations and health problems (let's save that for paranormal fiction, not real life).
#4: Enjoy long walks on the beach...or wherever.
For you: Indulge in a long walk à la Elizabeth Bennett in Pride & Prejudice. You never know what handsome stranger you may encounter as you do--especially if there is a freak rainstorm and you have dashed out without an umbrella and must seek refuge in that abandoned gazebo over there...with said handsome stranger. Cars do not lend themselves to romantic chance encounters.
For the earth: Yeah, yeah, you know about fossil fuels, gasoline, global warming, etc, etc.
#5: It's in his kiss (or hers).
For you: Real romance isn't about trinkets and presents (well, except for the occasional conflict-free jewelry). Real romance is the daily, caring attentiveness and affection for another person. Good news: This is free, and a renewable resource!
For the earth: Do you know what's not romantic? Garbage piles and cute baby animals in distress. Don't contribute to that. A good kiss is better than stuff any day.
I'm not saying we should return to 19th-century living. Or that we should watch TV instead of becoming informed about some real tragedies perpetrated on the planet. But we needn't always be so preachy and guilt inducing about it. Celebrating and loving someone or something shouldn't be a chore. It can be a pleasure.
Maya Rodale is the author of multiple historical romance novels, as well as the nonfiction book Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels, Explained. She has a Master's degree from New York University and lives in Manhattan with her darling dog and a rogue of her own. Her latest book is The Tattooed Duke. Learn more at mayarodale.com.
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