From Dean Dowd on June 19, 2009 in Green Remodeling
Every Dad has his day. It’s called Father’s Day and it comes every year as spring starts its sunny transformation into summertime. Which for dad might mean project-time, garden-time, hiking, camping, or home repair time. Whatever your dad’s passions might be, Father’s Day comes at a time when our world is as green as it gets—forest canopies are fresh and dense; lawns, landscapes and parks are vibrant and vital.
Now there’s no reason why gifts for dad should not be as green as the surrounding flora, and there are green gifts to fit any dad’s tastes and tasks. They range from small to large, tangible to symbolic. And you’ll be surprised to find out how affordable most of them are. Here are 25 green home gift ideas for dad this year, enough to guarantee that he’ll be tickled green at home or wherever his stone may roll.
- Solar LED Flashlight. Solar powered flashlights can fit on your key ring or tabletop and are constantly evolving. Check out SunNight’s latest line of solar flashlights—they’re heavy duty, helping out the third world, and could make dad’s next camping trip that much more eco-friendly.
- Homemade Artwork. Great for the younger Father’s Day gifters and the environment. Simply take an old section of cardboard, paint a picture for dad, buy some recycled matte-board, and either build or pick up a thrift-store frame. Put all the pieces together and give dad something heartfelt, unique, inexpensive and most of all, green.
- Performance Chips. These aftermarket performance chips for dad’s car or truck work by increasing power, control, and torque in the car, thereby increasing performance and fuel economy. Chips exist for most makes and models, and work especially well for diesel engines (i.e., dad’s big, gas-guzzling pick up). Have a look at streetbeatcustoms.com.
- Solar Garden Lights are very common nowadays, but that doesn’t mean every dad has one. These plug-free, solar lights simply stick in the ground along garden paths, landscape borders, or at the base of trees to provide wireless, energy-saving, smooth accents to any garden or walkway.
- Reusable Water Bottle. Stainless steel or aluminum, BPA-free reusable water bottles are all the rage right now. They avoid using plastic, disposable water bottles, they are recyclable and reusable, and the water just tastes better. A must-have for anyone, even dad, who is on the go and eco-friendly. Check out Klean Kanteen, CamelBak, and REI for some examples.
- Bamboo Bath Robe. Make dad’s lazy Sunday mornings comfortable and eco-friendly with a new bamboo bath robe (among many other available bamboo products).
- Recyclable Wallet. New wallets are something dads always seem to need but rarely buy. Now dad can be on the green revolution front even while carrying his greenbacks. Choose between a recyclable nylon wallet or a recycled rubber wallet.
- Solar Chargers. The amount of solar chargers on the market nowadays is staggering. We have palm-sized, strap-on, flexible, ultra-thin, and more. Now you can go anywhere and never be without your iPod, iPhone, or other portable electronic device.
- Energy & Gas Conservation Kit. This unique home energy saving kit comes with a low-flow showerhead and kitchen and bath aerators, a shrink-fit window kit to save moola during winter, foam weather-strips, draft stoppers, and a helpful Energy Wheel for more eco-friendly tips —all for only $25.
- Homemade Card. A little craft time makes a big difference in the environment. Cardboard, construction paper, poster board, printer paper; these are things most families have lying around the house. Take the time to make dad a card this year and help save energy and trees. Or at least check out recycled greeting cards.
- High Efficiency Grill. A new grill is the mother of all Father’s Day gifts, and this year you can help dad take a step up the environmental ladder with a high efficiency gas, propane, electric, or hybrid grill. These are all much cleaner and more efficient than charcoal grills or wood fires, especially when you consider the toxins that go into making most charcoal products (not to mention your steaks!). Electric are by far the most efficient, followed by propane and natural gas. Here is an example of a hybrid grill that can meet the needs of both the energy economist and grilling purist in any dad.
- All Natural Charcoal. If dad’s is a hardcore charcoal griller, fear not, you can find natural charcoal, such as these from Cowboy Charcoals, made without coal, chemicals or fillers.
- Eco-Friendly Clothing. In addition to bamboo, there are plenty of other eco-friendly and fair trade clothes out there for any dad. Try sites like BuyGreen or White Apricot, and more sweat-free retailers like Ecolution, Patagonia, or American Apparel.
- Waterless Car Wash. Help dad save water, stop toxic run-off, and still get the roadster clean with waterless car washing. One example: EcoTouch—a full line of affordable, waterless car wash solutions. You can find their products in Whole Foods and many other nationwide outlets.
- Community Supported Agriculture. CSA subscriptions, or weekly delivery of locally grown vegetables, are a great, super-green gift for the dad who loves to cook. Not only are you supporting the local economy but you’re taking the waste and pollution out of food purchasing, (i.e., packaging, transportation, and processing). See localharvest.org for a list of CSAs in your area.
- Renewable Energy Credits. Help dad go green in his car by purchasing him carbon credits to offset the emissions from daily driving. BeGreenNow has packages (ranging from $42 to $126) of credits to offset dad’s auto emission from now until next Father’s Day ... an excellent gift for the energy conscious yet mobile dad.
- Plant a Tree. Add your dad’s name to a new tree somewhere, a tree helping to absorb all the extra carbon floating around and to make our lands healthy, wealthy, and green once more. You can also adopt an acre of forest or coral reef in his name through the Nature Conservancy.
- Organic Coffee. Does your dad need a cup or two to get going in the morning? You can make his next cup a little greener by purchasing organic, fair trade coffee beans this Father’s Day from retailers like Equal Exchange. Get better coffee and feel better about it at the same time—even better if you can find it from local coffee roasters.
- Solar Backpack. Is dad an outdoorsman? Perhaps he needs some help keeping his GPS locator, fish-finder, iPod, even cell phone charge while he’s out and about. With a solar powered backpack he can charge his devices while he’s carrying them! For more urban dad’s check out a solar messenger bag.
- Upcycled Gifts. Upcycling is actually another recycling term used for creating something(s) out of otherwise landfill-bound materials. Take, for instance, this bowl made from old bike chains, or these wallets made from old cassette tapes. C’mon, how many dads still have their cassette tape collection? Well it turns out you can still invest money in old cassettes.
- Black & Decker Power Monitor. Smart meters may be the wave of the future smart grid, but in the meantime you can help dad monitor how much power appliances are using with the Black & Decker Power Monitor—help him learn where to start paring back energy usage and learn which appliances are the biggest consumers of it.
- Solar LED Workbench Light. Now here’s a cool home gadget, especially if your dad spends long Saturday evenings out there in the shop tooling around with his own gadgets, motors, and handiwork. This solar workbench or shed light will make life easier and safer when dad’s out working into the night.
- Solar Grill Light. On that same note, help dad get the grilling done after a long day at the workbench with a solar LED grill light. It clips onto the grill and hovers, sort of like a desk lamp, over the work area for easy grilling after dark.
- Tesla Roadster. Um…just in case you have a little over $100,000 lying around to spend on dad this year. Okay, maybe not for most of us, but Tesla Motors is just too cool; a great example of what electric cars can be, as soon as they can make them price competitive. For now…maybe…a picture of it?
- A Local Hike. Save money and enjoy time with dad simply by taking a hike on a local trail or at a local park. A big part of being green is simply to get to know your environment, enjoy it, relish it, love it, and protect it. Sometimes a simple walk in the woods can say more than any amount of money, green or not.