For many Americans, dear ol' Dad is the toughest person to find that perfect gift for. But this Father's Day doesn't have to be spent agonizing over what the first man in your life actually wants. Even if you decide you really must buy him something new this year, rest assured that you have an every-growing array of great green gift options.
Messenger Bag from Rickshaw Bagworks
Stylish and functional, these "Performance Tweed" messenger bags from Rickshaw Bagworks are made in the U.S. with 100% recycled polyester. They come in a variety of colors, sizes and styles, including this large Zero Messenger bag.
$100 at rickshawbags.com
Hearst Ranch Grass fed Beef
For the meat-loving grill-master dad, try these grass fed steaks and chops, perfect for sharing with a meat-loving momma, from the Hearst Ranch, a sister brand of TheDailyGreen.com.
($169 for two rib eye, four sirloins and four flat iron steaks, four pounds of ground beef and 2 Berkshire porterhouse pork chops at hearstranch.com. For non-meat eaters, try the wild Alaskan salmon, $30 for up to 1.5 pounds)
Durable and weatherproof because it's made from recycled soda bottles, this hammock is also "as soft and comfortable as cotton." This eco-friendly choice will keep Dad snoozing all weekend long for years to come. Goes great with organic beer.
($139 at gaiam.com)
Shaving is the closest many men come to personal care products, so treat dad to some top-notch care, with Weleda's shaving cream (Starting at $7), toner ($14), after shave balm ($13) and moisture cream ($12). All Weleda products are free of harsh chemicals and created with natural ingredients grown on fair trade biodynamic farms. If he indulges in more pampering, Melvita makes a great line of natural personal care products for men, including shower gel, deodorant, anti-ageing fluid and facial cleanser ($14-$31 at amazon.com)
If he has a good sense of humor, or thinks he does, he'll appreciate these Hugh shorts from Horny Toad. The label will make everyone giggle, but the shorts are made with organic cotton and come in a number of styles.
Earthtec Polo Shirt
Made of half recycled cotton and half recycled polyester, this simple polo shirt will fit almost any dad's style.
($28 at Earthtec.com)
Nau Organic Jeans
Made from organic denim in an undistressed modern look, these Nau jeans are perfect for the Dad who needs nothing ... but could use a subtle style upgrade.
For efficiency with a crystal clear picture, it's tough to beat the Toshiba SL417U. It's flat screen uses LED technology to far exceed Energy Star standards. It should cost just $15 a year in electricity to run – for a year.
For the dad who loves oceans and counts Cheers as his all-time favorite sitcom, there's no better gift than actor and activist Ted Danson's Oceana, a lavishly illustrated and compelling account of the state of the world's oceans, and what we can do to save them. ($20 at amazon.com) Goes great with a pair of fair trade elephant bookends carved out of soapstone ($34 at tenthousandvillages.com)
Other book ideas for Dad this year include:
For a corporate climber: Climate Capitalism, by pioneering green thinker L. Hunter Lovins, and Boyd Cohen; or A Force for Nature, John Adams' account of creating Natural Resources Defense Council into a global environmental organization (review).
For a traveler or adventurer: Plastiki, David de Rothschild's account of sailing around the world on a boat made of plastic; or The Tiger, John Vaillant's gripping tale of the hunt for a man-eating lion in Russia's Far East (review).
For a technology nut: Bottled Lightning, Popular Mechanics senior editor Seth Fletcher's account of the latest advances in electric cars and advanced batteries; Powering the Dream, The Atlantic's senior editor Alex Madrigal's account of the "history and promise of green technology"; or Green Lighting, Brian Clark Howard et al.'s eminently useful guide to energy efficient lighting (review).
If your dad is always obsessing over power usage (especially yours) then give him the power to take matters into his own hands. The Belkin Conserve Socket can be set on a timer so that it automatically shuts off appliances and electronics that would otherwise draw unnecessary standby power.
($10 at amazon.com)
The brand-new ThinkEco Modlet goes a step farther and, by measuring power usage and communicating with software on your home computer, shuts off unused electronics like office and entertainment centers so dad can save up to $200 on annual energy costs.
($50 at thinkecoinc.com)
If Dad isn't that into home energy, he still might appreciate the simplicity of the Sanyo Eneloop USB battery charger – perfect for charging up a wireless mouse or countless other devices.
($12 at amazon.com)
Solar technology keeps a fully charged watch functioning for 10 months, and the look is classic enough to please the most traditional Dad.
($84-$195 at amazon.com)
Fair Trade Dominoes Set
Handcrafted in China from jade, this fair trade domino set is housed in a handsome red leather box.
Sierra Club Expedition Backpack
Donate to the Sierra Club with the purchase of this sturdy, lightweight backpack, useful on or off the trail.
($20 at sierraclub.org)
Whether he worries about the lights going out in an emergency or likes to entertain guests on the deck, this rechargeable LED lantern will please the father who values efficiency.
($20 at amazon.com)
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