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noun [countable]

a person who has a very strong interest in environmental issues, affecting their lifestyle and choice of romantic partner




noun [uncountable]

'Ecosexuals are an evolving breed of city dweller for whom keeping green is every bit as important in their romantic life as in their choice of household cleanser, dinner food, or wall paint.'

San Francisco Magazine November 2006

'Ecosexuality is still relatively new, so the community is still rather small. This can make it difficult to find another who shares their desire to make a difference in the world and has made a true commitment to protect the environment.'

Ezine Articles 8th July 2007

The last time you bought a heart-shaped box of chocolates for the most important person in your life, did you make sure that the choccy was fair trade and wrapped in environmentally-friendly packaging? If so, steady on now, before long you might be labelled an ecosexual

Being 'environmentally-conscious' appears to be so fashionable these days that it, too, has joined the trend of social stereotyping which gave birth to a productive pattern of word formation. First there was the metrosexual, the heterosexual male who paid careful attention to grooming. He was closely followed by the retrosexual, the 'classically male' type – unshaven, T-shirt and jeans, hands covered in engine oil. Along the way, metro- gave birth to a gadget-loving off-shoot, the technosexual, a well-groomed guy with a fondness for electronic devices. Along then came the ubersexual, the handsome male with strong ethical principles – think Bono, lead singer of the rock band U2. And just when the girls felt they'd been left out, in swaggered the contrasexual, a superconfident female, contentedly single and with motherhood firmly off the agenda. And now, finally, a gender-neutral term, the ecosexual, a male or female for whom leading an eco-sensitive lifestyle is so vital that they couldn't imagine sharing their days with anyone who isn't equally concerned about the environment.

lonely ecosexuals have the opportunity to meet like-minded partners by visiting 'green' Internet dating sites

Archetypal ecosexuals are city-dwellers who are heavily into recycling. They take definite measures to reduce their carbon footprint, so they cycle to work, use low-energy light bulbs, and take holidays that do not involve air travel. They typically eat organic, locally-produced food, which, if wrapped, has environmentally-friendly packaging .

Lonely ecosexuals have the opportunity to meet like-minded partners by visiting 'green' Internet dating sites such as planetearthsingles.com or greensingles.com.

These websites have suddenly become incredibly popular, perhaps because the generation of youngsters who have grown up in an era of escalating concern for the planet have now hit the age where they are looking for romance.

Background – ecosexual

On the model of the earlier terms metrosexual and retrosexual, the word ecosexual is used as both a countable noun and an adjective, and has spawned a related noun ecosexuality. If you couldn't see yourself as metro- or retro-, but are wondering whether eco- just might be you, here are one or two tips for ecosexual dating:

  • Travel to your date by bicycle, and if you really want to impress a potential partner, arrive in a hybrid car (= an environmentally-friendly vehicle which has more than one power source).
  • If you want to give a gift, don't use packaging which will be thrown away. Better still, choose 'alternative' gifts, like membership of an eco-conscious organization.
  • When getting ready for a date, avoid shampoos or cosmetics that use animal products or synthetic ingredients, and make sure your bathroom cabinet is full of products bearing a 'certified organic' label.
  • Use dimmer lights, low-energy light bulbs and, to save water and energy, shower together!

by Kerry Maxwell, author of Brave New Words

This article was first published on 24th September 2007.

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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