Father’s Day is a twenty four hour period of time set aside to let your Pops know you appreciate all that he has done for you throughout your life. Especially for how he resisted the urge to kill you during your rebellious teen years and for all the valuable knowledge that he imparted onto you-  most specifically that money does not grow on trees and that holding the refrigerator door open for longer than fifteen seconds makes the angels cry and the electric bill soar.

While fathers come in all shapes, sizes and temperaments, we should not forget to keep the environment in mind while we put our non-tree growing dollars towards an unique Father’s Day gift this year. No need to  fret, eco-friendly gift giving is simpler than ever before and we have advice for where to shop for your own particular breed of Dad. No, I am not talking “Lecture Giving Dad” or “Frugal Dad”, I am referring to our father’s interest as men outside their paternal tendencies, because when it comes down to it, our Dads just want to get loose and relax on their special day doing what they love to do best- which likely does not involve you, his dear child.

I kid, I kid. Without further ado, here is a handy guide to eco-friendly Father’s Day gift giving!

Classy Dad:  Classy Dads enjoy the finer things in life- champagne, caviar and your new Stepmom who graduated high school two years after you are among his greatest passions in life. This is the rare type of Dad that will not groan to himself when receiving the cliché gift of a tie for Father’s Day, but rather feel a zip of excitement at the notion of broadening his necktie army. His newest fashion recruit does not have to come at a detriment to the environment, check out this fashionable and eco-friendly tie from CROW.

Classy Dads likely have many people to see and numerous places to go, so being punctual is a way of life. This watch by Pulsar is solar-powered and  is the perfect gift  to keep this  go-getter on time  and in style.

Your Dad will likely have plenty of time to charge this bad boy in the Sun as he cruises around town in his convertible with your new Mom. Sorry about the awkward Thanksgivings in your future, brah.

Adventure Dad:
If Mountain Dew had a casting call for X-treme Dads, your father likely would miss that business because he would be too busy base jumping off of cliffs in South America. This is the type of Dad who likes to grip and rip the heck out of life at all times.; the type of man you likely have trouble keeping up with even though he has a good thirty years on you.  For this particular type of Dad you may want to cater to his x-tremeness by giving him some eco-friendly accessories for his next adventure. The Infinit Solar Charging Bag will allow your dear old Dad to charge his portable gadgets while on the go…which is to say, at all times!

Encourage the old man to rest soundly between adventures by giving him the Big Agnes Diversion Recycled Insulated Air Core Sleeping Pad. It packs lightly and tightly and will fit in his aforementioned solar charging back pack. It will also allow him to catch some well deserved zzz’s comfortably while camping out in the latest corner of the world he is attempting to conquer.

Go, Go, Gadget Dad!: This is the type of guy who goes gaga for anything featuring the latest technology. You were probably the first family on the block to a own a microwave, a VCR  and a home computer. Now it is your turn to return the gift of gadgetry this Father’s Day. If you are having a particularly lucrative year or have recently stumbled upon a bag of unmarked hundred dollar bills, this eco-friendly and entirely rad robotic lawn mower may be the perfect gift for your beloved Papa. If this this  ‘green’ battery powered mower is a little steep for your budget, or you blew that unmarked money immediately on scratch tickets and a year’s supply of wine coolers, or your Dad does not even have a lawn,  then check out Mercury Innovations and their clever, yet affordable, eco-friendly speaker and boom box offerings.

B.B.Q Enthusiast Dad: Grilling is like meditation for this kind of Dad. If you see this particular breed of man laboring over his grill, spatula in hand,  you know better than to interrupt  him to suggest that some food stuff might be” done” or in need of “flipping”.  If you follow these simple rules and tread lightly around this grilling machine,  you will likely get to share in the delicious fruits of his labor. This father’s day, say thanks to your father for the countless successful BBQs he has catered throughout his life by purchasing accessories for his favorite accessory, his beloved grill. This innovative grill stone kit, made of recycled glass bottles rescued from landfills, can replace a tired, old rusty wire brush for grill cleaning. This 3 piece bamboo grill set will have your dad grilling in eco-friendly style.

Grilling is not always the most eco-friendly activity, but save the lectures about Organic food and fossil fuels for the Monday following Father’s Day. One eco-step at a time, people.

Bookworm/ Movie Buff Dad:
Perhaps the least emphasized part of the green mantra of  “reduce, recycle, reuse”  is the “reuse” part. You might be thinking:

“Hey, I am not getting my Dad some used junk for Father’s day! That man taught me to drive and used to let me sneak sips of his beer when my Mom wasn’t looking!”

Hey now, I am not implying that you give your dad a tattered old sock you find on the side of the road, but if your Dad happens to be book worm or a movie buff, then why not get more bang for your buck and buy the man some previously used books or DVDs? Not only will you  be doing the Earth a solid, but there are plenty of “good as new “ items available at your local consignment shops that will help you save money. It is the thought that counts, and speaking of counting, your dad will love getting 10 DVDs for the price of 1. The frugal man who raised you to know that generic products are just as good as name brand counterparts will be proud.

The environment won’t think you’re too shabby either.

Lazy Sunday Dad: I have an inkling that most Dads fall under this category. Even the most adventurous father likes to spend a lazy day taking naps on the couch from time to time. Can you blame him? Raising you was not a barrel of laughs. Remember that time you decided you were going to take up the electric guitar? That man shelled out the money for your instrument,  then had to endure  listening to endless hours of you attempting to learn how to play “Smoke on the Water” only to watch idly as you gave up on music forever after receiving your first Playstation, Sega, Nintendo or Atari – depending on what era you grew up in. Reward your Dad for watching you fail and loving you anyways by encouraging him to get his lazy on every so often. Nothing says, “Relax for a spell” like a contraption that forces you to be horizontal and that is surprisingly difficult to get out of once you are ensnared in its loving, rope-like embrace. Your best bet for encouraging your Dad to unwind is to give your Dad an eco-friendly hammock, such as this one that is made out of recycled soda bottles.

If you are feeling ambitious you can always make your own eco-friendly hammock by following these handy directions from Planet Green. It may not be on par with the macaroni art you used to create for him, but I am certain your dad will appreciate it -and that this time your creation will not likely find its way to the trash come garbage day.

Above all else, try to spend this Father’s Day with the man you are lucky enough to call “Dad”. Tell him that you love him and that you appreciate his patience while raising you. Not only is that the gift that won’t stop giving, but it is entirely eco-friendly….unless you speak those words of gratitude while burning a pile or tires, which I would have to strongly discourage.

If you don’t get him a present, I am sure he will understand,  just explain that money doesn’t grow on tress, and wait for a proud look to wash over his face–or for him to slap the back of your head. Raising kids is not cheap business, so he may be looking for some payback.

Happy Father’s Day, folks!

-Meghan Hurley

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