From the extravagant to the economical, there are many eco-friendly ways to fete your dad this Father’s Day. Let’s face it – dads are often hard to shop for, and it is easy to find ourselves fretting over the perfect gift for dad, and then settling on the same old thing (new tie anyone?).
However, these once-a-year holidays also offer a great opportunity to keep dad up-to-date on the latest green gadgets and organic offerings. With a little imagination, you can find an environmentally friendly Dad’s Day gift for any lifestyle or budget that is sure to turn his friends green too…with envy.
Old Greeting/New Medium
Ever given dad the same card two years in a row? Don’t worry, chances are he forgave you or didn’t notice! Either way, be sure to avoid that misstep this year by foregoing a paper greeting altogether and sending an e-card. Several sites such as Someecards and egreetings now offer thousands of free and paperless e-greetings.
If a card is a non-negotiable facet of your Father’s Day celebration, be sure to send one that is made with a high level of post-consumer recycled paper.
Green the Gadgets
If your pop is the kind of guy who always wants the latest technology, green gadgets abound and are sure to impress. From the practical (solar powered chargers, rechargeable USB batteries or a home energy monitor) to the slightly sci-fi (an energy monitoring orb), you are sure to find a green gift that will assist your cutting-edge dad in his efforts to be more efficient.
Experience the Environment
From a round of golf at a course that is partnering with the Audubon Society to make golf courses also function as wildlife sanctuaries to a trip to an eco-friendly lodge, giving dad an experience is a great way to make more excellent memories without consuming goods or leaving an unnecessarily large footprint. Of course, if your gift involves travel, consider purchasing carbon offsets as well.
Something He Loved…Twenty Years Ago
A gift of an album, vintage t-shirt or a rare book may require the extra time needed to scour thrift stores, but it will also show dad that you were paying attention to those stories he always tells about the good ol’ days. Secondhand shopping is also an inexpensive way to give a gift that takes no new resources to produce. Further more, a gift of sentimental significance confirms that dads are not the only things that get better with age.
Just Add Popcorn
Perhaps a viewing of Planet Earth or An Inconvenient Truth has changed the way you think about conservation or has altered your habits and you want to share this new-found appreciation with the guy who taught you lots about appreciating the earth. DVDs make great gifts and will also give you and Dad something interesting to discuss over popcorn and beer (organic, of course).
Gifting the Great Outdoors
Everyone wins when you give dad a gift membership to one of your favorite environmental organizations such as The Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy or Defenders of Wildlife. Your money will go towards conservation and advocacy efforts, and your dad will receive updates about current campaigns and actions he can take to further help preserve our most precious resources.
Kiss the Cook
Along with an apron emblazoned with “World’s Best Dad,” offer to cook dad a meal with organic, seasonal, local foods paired with some biodynamic wine or organic beer. If you are still mastering the fine art of boiling water, treat dad to a meal at your favorite sustainable restaurant.
The Old Standbys
If your dad is the kind who counts on you to update his collection of ties, belts and socks every year, green options abound in the accessory category as well. From bamboo socks and hemp wallets to belts made from recycled tires, dad can still count on you to keep him hip. In general, search for products that are organic, sweatshop-free or made by local artisans using recycled materials.
Read more from Libuse Binder at Weekly Way.