Eco Father’s Day: Green Gift Ideas for a Great Dad E-mail
Tuesday, 04 June 2013 00:00  |  Written by Jennifer Zhang | Article

Father with Son on Shoulders photo by MoekatIt seems just yesterday that we gave Mom her eco-friendly Mother’s Day gift and now, without a moment to catch our breath, Father’s Day is almost upon us. If Mother’s Day has left you fatigued from gift hunting, or if you are one of those many who find it inexplicably difficult to shop for Dad, we’ve made it easy with environmentally friendly Father’s Day gift suggestions in the following categories: DIY, tools and gadgets, fashion, land and, of course, beer. The hardest part is deciding on whether to get him that one requisite gift, or two or three...

Breakfast in Bed… Yes, for Dad
Breakfast in bed has traditionally been the go-to DIY gift for Mom. Dad might not have cared, thinking that sort of pampering is only for mothers. Or perhaps Dad has been envious all these years! Either way, a meal served in bed is the sort of care that everyone deserves and anyone can appreciate. Just be sure to make it more meaningful by choosing ingredients that are organic, sustainable, Fair Trade and vegetarian (both for good health and the environment).

A good place to start, as locavores already know,  is your local green or farmers market. But if you want some brand suggestions, Organic Kitchen has been “growing a list” for just such an occasion and is a great place to start. For the B-in-B staple, pancakes, choose from an organic batter mix such as the one found on TheFind’s Green site. Perhaps he'd prefer Veg.com’s Blackened Scrambled Tofu and Garlicky Grits or one of its other delectable breakfast recipes. Add Dad’s favorite roast of sustainable coffee and, voila, you have DIY deliciousness made especially for your family's king.

Tools and Gadgets
Dads (and Moms too) categorize them as necessary, but they’re really just toys for grown-ups. If your father is always searching for a new tool for home improvement (read: to tinker with), EcoHearth’s Eco Shop has some great products that are sure to please his inner techie. For example, for the meticulous Eco Dad, how about an Electricity Usage Monitor, like the P3 International P4460 Kill A Watt EZ, which measures whether plugged-in electronics are unnecessarily draining electricity—and his wallet.

Solar Watches
Shopping for men's jewelry is hard enough even when the recipient likes cufflinks, rings, bracelets, etc. It's a good thing that watches can double as a fashion accessory and a tool. Choose a solar watch that matches Dad's personal style from the following watch categories: sporty, casual and dressy.

For the casual dresser, consider the Citizen Men's BM8180-03E Eco-Drive Canvas Strap Watch. Neither too sporty nor too metallic-shiny, it matches the polo and khakis, or jeans and T-shirt look. Think easygoing yet fashionable. And it charges in any type of light—casual Friday artificial light at the office or weekend outdoor sunshine. So whether it's a staff meeting or a trip to the in-laws, you won't be late with the Citizen Eco-Drive Dad.

If your father is a bit more formal, the Seiko Men's SNE039 Solar Black Dial Watch delivers an experience similar to both its sportier relative, the GW810-1V G-Shock and Citizen's BM8180-03E Eco-Drive. But the difference is that the LIW500DJ-1A Edifice is a very handsome watch. Whether you tell Dad it's masculine, sleek or cool, it’s definitely a classy timepiece. This is the dressy solar watch option for those fathers who are fashion savvy and want to look good while doing right by the environment.

Recycled Inner-Tube Wallet
Every so often, Dad’s wallet gets worn out and looks a little shabby and forlorn. This is the moment that family members swoop in to gift a replacement money-holder. If you are planning to give Dad a new wallet this Father’s Day, why not give him a new old wallet and go green? The Green Guru Gear Bike Tube Bi-Fold is a wonderful choice. Two other great options are the Eco Rubber Bi-fold by Reclaimed Wreckage and the Cyclus Bill Wallet made of reused tyre inner tubes.

Green Loungewear
Father’s Day is about celebrating Dad and for him that means no lawn mowing, sink fixing or taking out the trash. Think: a lazy summer day, relaxing around the house, cool drink in hand, khaki shorts and comfortable shirt. Patagonia offers many casual organic shirt options Of Patagonia’s many philosophies on environmentalism and business is its commitment to use “business to inspire solutions to the environmental crisis”. So when Dad finally wants to retire the shirt after many a wear, he can recycle it at Patagonia’s Common Threads Recycling Program, just one of many of the company’s green initiatives.

Land Conservation
Real estate is considered one of the safer long-term investments and that’s no less true for Mother Nature. It seems counterintuitive that we have to purchase parcels of wilderness to conserve natural habitats for Earth’s future. But human intervention has threatened the balance of life for the existing plant and animal inhabitants. World Land Trust (WLT) is one land-conservation organization with a truly commendable track record of purchasing, saving and protecting threatened habitats around the world. Give Dad and the Earth the gift of land by purchasing a gift donation. Choose from WLT’s many endangered-habitats conservation projects. And perhaps you’d even like to choose a nice recycled frame to go along with Dad’s WLT’s Certificate of Appreciation so that he can proudly display his gift on the dining room wall.

Green Beer
This Father’s Day gift list started with breakfast in bed and it may just end with a nice green cold one—and we’re not talking St. Patrick’s Day green. For many breweries, the beer is green all year round. Whether it’s renewable energy sourcing, refitting their buildings by green design, organic ingredients or recycled bottling and packaging, companies like New Belgium have an Earth-friendly agenda so that we can enjoy the hops-y results of their labor.

With the choices for green beer growing all the time, here are two things to keep in mind:

  • Buying local cuts down on transportation fossil-fuel usage and pollution and supports smaller, local microbreweries. So choose Dad’s state from the dropdown on the Brewer’s Association brewery directory to find his local brew craftsmen.
  • There’s nowhere more local than at home. Dad can brew his own organic beer with Brew Organic’s brew kit. Once he’s got the hang of it, he can create his own formula from their certified organic ingredients shop to try out his new brew-master skills. Maybe he’ll share his frothy concoctions with you!

Hopefully your Father’s Day will be filled with good family times, whether it’s a gathering, a long phone call or a nice card. However you celebrate, if you’re gifting this year, we hope that this guide has given you some interesting and unique environmentally conscious ideas. Happy Father’s Day!

Additional resources:
A Father's Day Gift for the Dad Who Has Everything

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