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.
1. Golf is a perennial hole in one with dads, but conventional courses have often wreaked havoc on the environment through loss of wildlife habitat, heavy use of agricultural chemicals and high water consumption. Audubon International and others are working to change that. Bond with your dad by taking the group''s Green Golfer pledge together. Then head out for a game on one of the courses they''ve certified for environmental stewardship. Gold certified courses include Old Greenwood near Tahoe in California; the Old Collier Golf Club in Naples, Florida; and Palisades Golf Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. Check out the silver certified Audubon Park Golf Course in New Orleans. Find the complete list here.
2. Another traditional gift favorite for dad is socks, so why not pick out something that has style and conversation, as well as conservation, value? Sustainably harvested bamboo is super soft, itch-free, ultra-breathable and naturally antibacterial. Get three pairs of black or white bamboo socks for $15 from Gaiam, or check out the different styles of Spun bamboo socks (price range $5-$8).
3. For the man on the move, why not get him a backpack, messenger bag or beach tote that does more than just hold stuff? Designs from Reware (price range $249-$275) and Voltaic (price range $199-$249) include thin solar panels, which allow the wearer to charge up iPods, cell phones and other devices from the sun.
4. Most people know how important it is to stay hydrated, especially when the weather's hot or during physical activity. However, many of us too often go thirsty or pick up unhealthy sugared sodas because we didn''t think ahead. Give your dad some motivation for rehydration with the cool stainless steel water bottles from Klean Kanteen. The Space Age bottles promote reuse, last a long time, and avoid the issue of potentially harmful breakdown products that may leach from plastics.
5. Satisfy your dad's hunger for craftsmanship and thirst for a cold one with a unique organic beer brewing kit from Seven Bridges Cooperative ($129.50). The California-based Coop has been offering organically grown brewing ingredients since 1997. For something simpler, why not treat him to the award-winning, organic 2004 Sangiovese red from California''s Frey Vineyards ($13)? Frey is the oldest and largest purely organic winery in the United States, and is the country''s first producer of eco-sensitive Biodynamic wines. None have added sulfites, which are among the compounds many people are allergic to, and all are vegan friendly. Other notable selections include the vineyard''s Biodynamic Zinfandel ($16-$18) and Biodynamic Chardonnay ($12.25).
6. Spend some quality time with your old man on the beach, in a park or even in your backyard by tossing around a recycled Frisbee. The iconic toy was first invented by recycling old pie tins, but familiar models have long been made of conventional plastic. Today, order a colorful Wham-o recycled Frisbee ($10) emblazoned with the Leave No Trace mantra.
7. For the minimalist, or the dad with already over-stuffed closets and an over-flowing garage, consider a gift membership to a worthy conservation organization. To find a local preserve he could support, contact the Trust for Public Land. Adopt an acre of threatened tropical forest in his name for $50 from The Nature Conservancy. A $50 TNC gift membership will also include a subscription to the beautiful Nature Conservancy magazine. For the animal lover, gift memberships are available to the National Wildlife Federation (prices begin at $15), which includes that group''s award-winning magazine.
More Ways To Appreciate Dad:
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