Our sex columnist offers a few date ideas that are fun, inexpensive, and easy to plan.

Green Sex is our regular column on sexual health and eco-friendly romance. Got a question? Need answers? Leave a comment below.

The old dinner and a movie has been around for far too long, not to mention has never been particularly exciting, particularly creative, nor particularly green for that matter. If you really want to impress your date, I suggest you replace the old stand-by with something a little more green...and a whole lot more enjoyable!

Have Your Own Earth Hour

If I know some of you Huggers out there, you might prefer to make it a few hours (wink...wink). Get out some candles, turn down the heat and cuddle up to keep warm, or turn off the air-conditioner and cool each other down with a coupe of ice cubes. Whatever your fancy, keeping an evening simple can help a couple re-connect in areas (both physical and mental), that have sometimes been lost by too much technology (cell phones, e-mails, voice messages, instant messaging, televisions) separating them. It is much better to foster an actual relationship...than a virtual one!

Try Gardening Together

There is actually no better way that to grow and prosper in your relationship, than to learn about the fundamentals of all things beautiful and natural. Sometimes people say that children can bring a relationship closer because of the joy, satisfaction, increased bond, and mutual connection they offer. Well, growing your own garden together has a few of these same key elements. Okay, there are some big differences here, but the experience does allow you do accomplish a goal together, learn to communicate and work with one another, and in some ways, it allows you to catch a glimpse of each other's nurturing side. Planting a tree is also a very satisfying and memorable date idea.

[b]Walk to the Zoo[b]

Walking is a great way to get to know someone. The act of motion in itself has a way of calming the nerves and making it easier to be yourself. The animals will offer you plenty of subjects to discuss, and there will be plenty of other stimulus surrounding you in case you need a few more conversation starters. With this said, not all zoo's are created equal, so please only support your local zoos who support both the animals by providing natural habitats, and the environment by reducing their carbon footprint wherever they can.

Meet at Farmers' Market...Dine Together Afterward Farmers Markets can sometimes be somewhat of a festival when they are organized properly. There will be interesting vegetables to see, interesting conversations to be had, and when it is all over, you wind up with an armful of fresh organic food that you will be dying to eat. If you and your date know each other reasonably well, you can bring your treasures home and cook them together. If this is a first date, then perhaps you might find it more appropriate to wash off your treats, and have a picnic nearby at a park or other natural habitat. Sign up for Community Project Together This may be an oldie here on Planet Green, but it is also a goodie, so it's worth repeating. Volunteering together is a great way to share interests while helping the planet, and it also helps to get to know a love interest beyond their surface hobbies and the other small talk that generally comes up during your typical date. If you are a staunch environmentalist, this will also allow you to gauge your compatibility with the person, including their values, initiative, goals, beliefs, etc., before you decide to spend any more time with them. Have a Board Game Night Once upon a time families used to play board games a lot more than they do today. It later became associated with hanging out with the family, and was uncool by most teenage standards. In today's world however, board games have become a bit of an eccentric anomaly, which is what makes this such an interesting date idea. A few ideas right off the top of my head are Checkers, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Sorry, etc. If you can make it a green board game, that may very well score you some bonus points with your date. Plan a Romantic Evening Star Gazing When was the last time you really took the time to spread out a blanket, bundle up, and stare up at the midnight sky? Well, hopefully you live in a smog free area that allows you to do so, but if you don't, then perhaps it is time you get out of town, get reacquainted with those stars, and don't forget to bring a friend (a.k.a. love interest). Looking up at the stars brings so many deep and interesting thoughts to one's mind. If you ever really want to get to know someone beyond their standard regurgitated interests, hobbies, and job stories; sit underneath the broad sky staring up at the millions of stars and planets. Moments like these are great reminders of who we are, where we want to go, why we want to get there, and who we want to be there with. The kind of connection and communication achieved through any one of these dates would almost never be found at the movies, the ballgame, or an evening out at the theater, plus you are helping to reduce your carbon footprint. Talk about a win-win...