Blogger’s Block (and Green Dating Services!)

Thistles rock! (But they don't taste very good)

Thistles don't taste good

I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m already writing about the environment every week at the National Post; maybe it’s because I’m busy with the book, the house, the boy, and life in general; or maybe it’s just that I keep reading all these great posts over at Crunchy Chicken, Treehugger, Re-Nest and so on, and it leaves me feeling as though I have nothing else to add. Whatever the case: I’ve got a case of blogger’s block, and for that I apologize. There I went, claiming I was back online, out of fake-retirement, ready to offer you some stimulating green dialogue and debate — and then, not so much.

The answer to this, I think, will have something to do with finding my niche in this over-saturated blogosphere. Before, that was easy: No one else was making 366 changes to their lifestyle all at once. But now, I’m not sure what to do with this here Thistle (see photo, courtesy of Jacob) — I can’t simply focus on random subjects at random times and prattle on as if I know what I’m talking about; that’s boring. And besides, I do that every day, both in the real world and in print.

It’s time for something different.

Maybe I should leave it up to you readers to decide. What do you wish there was more of when it comes to this stuff? Do you want something practical? Funny? Informative? Cynical? Earnest? All of the above? Do you want more food and less science? Lots of images and links? You just want to look at puppies sitting in pumpkin patches, don’t you? I knew it.

Well, anyway — I’ll try to give it some thought, but if you’ve got any ideas, please don’t be shy; let me know what you think.

In the mean time, I’m going to use Green as a Thistle today for the sole purpose of requesting interview subjects. See, I’m writing a story for my Sense & Sustainability column about green dating sites, but it’s been hard finding people who will talk to me about this topic — I tried using my Facebook status update to ask all my “friends” for their thoughts, then I tried using this service called Help a Reporter, but it didn’t really produce any good sources. So here goes nothing:

I’ll be writing about such websites as and, as well as the people who frequent them. If you’ve ever used a dating service that focused on environmental issues, or even just considered using one, let me know. In fact, even if you’re not sure, but you’re currently single and you think it’s important that you end up with someone who shares your beliefs about taking care of the planet, comment below or email me at and we’ll chat! Here’s the only catch: I really need to talk to people who live in Canada (yes, I realize that probably rules out most of my readers, but what can I say… it’s for a story in a Canadian newspaper and my editors in Toronto aren’t particularly interested in what random people in Des Moines have to say about green dating. Sigh.).

In the mean time, be healthy and happy — and not too smug about it!

16 Responses to Blogger’s Block (and Green Dating Services!)

  1. Hmmm. Maybe you’re going about it all wrong.

    Maybe you should focus the article on a different angle. Like how green online dating in general is. Think of all the savings of wasted gas, energy, etc. avoided from bad or blind dates.

    In fact, maybe online dating is the only way to go if you really want to be green. I mean, only meeting online, not in person. Sure, there’s the small energy cost in moving all those 1s and 0s around, but you could always generate that with a laptop solar battery charger. Think of the possibilities – no transportation, heck you don’t even need to get out of your chair! No need to get dressed up (saving money on clothes), take a shower (saving water), burn petroleum candles. It’s a winner, I tell ‘ya!

    Looking for more than companionship? If you think email sex is a little too cumbersome, hitch yerself up to an IM service and Skype your night away! It’s the ultimate in low impact lovin’!

  2. Perhaps, my dear Green Thistle you can use your blog to help me find a green and ethical man. Two birds ya know… I’ll let you write about it, come along on the dates, take pictures, even veto rights on the bad ones that I insist are good (cause clearly I have no ability to make such judgments on my own). I’ll provide you with a fresh batch of soup, cocoa balls, carrot cake, granola, jam… whatever you want, for every quality date you hook me up with. Alright. Ready. Next available evening would be Sunday.

  3. Kristi Jalics says:

    I’m not a regular reader, but wanted to point out that the plants in the picture are not thistles but teasels.

  4. Doug Appeldoorn says:

    Hey Vanessa, I love getting the automatic emails from you even if it is only once and a while. I also really enjoyed the 366 changes and following that entire experience. But I think you do have something to contribute on a regular basis. Not being much of a fan of the National Post, I would have to say I’d really like to see your column (or a version of it) published right here on your blog. The upside to that is I would get it from you automatically. Just a thought. Keep up the great green work!

  5. Mariano Renteria says:

    I think that kind of sites only discriminate people, I know we are all different and shouldnt be mind closed to find love there… I guess the traditional way is better, and you may find a green girl or make it green as in my case happened.

    Sorry I’m from Mexico

  6. veronica says:

    Hey Vanessa

    I have not tried the two dating websites you mentioned, but I did spend a fair bit of time a few years back on Lavalife. Ultimately I gave up because I couldn’t find men who shared my values through it. I suspect that the green/ethical websites would have too small a pool of men to draw from since one of my criteria is that the guy live in Toronto.


  7. Jeff says:

    Hey Vanessa,
    Have just started reading your website. (It was mentioned in “Hot, Flat and Crowded”)
    I didn’t even know there was such as thing as a Green Dating website. That’s kind of cool. And I have to disagree with the comment above, being open is one thing, but there are certain ‘issues’ that most certainly get in the way of a relationship. It’s nice to know going in that a person has similar committments as you to the environment, and thinks a certain way. I can think of lots of issues that could get in the way of ‘love’.
    That said, I would be happy to be interviewed, although I have not used the sites yet, I am going to now that I know about them and since I am single.
    I live in Guelph, Ontario, so that makes me Canadian too!
    By the way, are you single? 🙂

  8. Oldnovice says:

    I’ve always enjoyed reading whatever you felt like writing, Vanessa; I think you just have a way of making the mundane sound more exciting than one might imagine.

    Topic-wise, I wouldn’t mind reading about the period when you went off to write the book somewhere. I’d also like to hear about how you like/don’t like the new house you bought, more stories about living where you live (for us USAns), working where you work, other stuff which may/may not seem related to environmentalism at first glance [thinking back to how you turned my collar to the coral reef exhibit in Chicago, which I toured on my next trip there, BTW). I’d stay away from food topics; seems like everyone is talking about food these days.

  9. Lara S says:

    Hi Vanessa, here are some topic suggestions:
    * you could write about small groups of people who gather to discuss green stuff (you could do some research and find groups in different countries around the world, that can be quite inspiring to people like me -I’m from Argentina). Write about groups of ppl who gather to solve specific problems, and those who just want to greenify their lives…
    *write about some big green accomplishments which are unknown to most people (in which people opposed to a source of contamination, for example). Again, I’d like to read about things that happened all around the world!
    *write about how non-green corporations make their way into culture even in somewhat ancient traditions (I read a few years ago, about a tribe in Amazonas who now uses Coke bottles in their rituals… that’s interesting! – And scary).

    I’ll write more suggestions if something else comes up. I hope you get the ideas, but if something’s not clear, e-mail me!
    BTW I LOVE reading you.

    Lara S

  10. Luke says:

    I signed up at GreenSingles and if you want I can give you my impressions. Hadn’t heard of it before reading your post. A long time ago I tried LavaLife and gave it up quickly. (Meghan knows who I am.)

    While I’m single, I’ve not been looking, but I am curious if GS is just like every other dating service or if it’s honest. (I’d assume with the green theme there should be less silliness.)

  11. Luke says:

    One topic for writing would be the different neighbourhoods across Toronto. In some it’s easy to be green, in others, very difficult. Which ones and what makes them green? That the neighbourhood is “green”, is that convincing people to be green who wouldn’t otherwise have thought of it?

    What has been the trigger for people going green? What were some of the biggest surprises (ie, finding out something about shampoo, for example).

  12. Tanya says:

    Congratulations on being mentioned in Thomas Friedman’s new book!

  13. Lara S says:

    Please update! Your readers are waiting anxiously!


  14. I think that it is a very interesting and amusing article. Practically all its main points are true.

  15. I was going to write a similar blog concerning this topic, you beat me to it. You did a nice job! Thanks and well add your rss to come categories on our blogs. Thanks much, Jon B.on line Dating

  16. MikeAmateur says:

    actually your blog is one of those i will bother to revisit. most i saw today are full of useless informations and advertising. thank you for providing some real content to the world 🙂

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