Last month, I wrote a tribute to moms in honor of Mother's Day, asking friends and family far and wide to share the best green advice they ever received from their moms. Now it's Dad's turn.

Father's Day is right around the corner on June 19, and it has me thinking about all of the great eco-savvy tidbits that dads have passed down over the years. I asked friends and family to share their favorites and came up with these inspirational pieces of advice:

"My dad, a farmer and general contractor, taught me about "Yankee Ingenuity"— using critical thinking to solve problems starting from where you are and using what you've got. He also believed we'd learn more in a day on the farm than a week in a classroom, and we stayed home a few days a year to do just that. Those experiences have shaped how I teach my environmental science and botany classes, through experiences in nature. My dad also taught us it's important to be involved in our community and has been an elected volunteer on our town council for most of my life, where he fights to preserve the agrarian character of our town. He keeps our family's farm going and is currently planning a huge celebration for our 365th anniversary! (365 years in the Rose family, arguably in the top five oldest family farms in the country.) He taught me to treat animals like they're family members, even if you plan to eat them, and to grow food, make maple syrup and apple cider."  - Abbie, The Farmer's Daughter

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"My dad grew up on a small island in Canada where his family pretty much survived on what my grandmother grew in the garden and what my grandfather fished from the sea. They had no indoor running water in their house and no electricity in the house until the mid '50s. Needless to say, "waste not, want not" was the creed they lived by, and which my dad passed along to us — along with "turn off the lights, turn down the heat, limit the a.c." and re-use it — again and again and again." Diane MacEachern, www.biggreenpurse.com

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"When we were kids, my father rented a small plot of land for our family, which was part of a community garden. I vividly remember our weekly trek to our garden plot, lugging milk containers filled with water. We would watch the vegetables grow and would ultimately eat them. I had little appreciation for this weekly ritual as a kid, but now I am filled with gratitude. We had an opportunity to learn about gardening (I have forgotten everything!) and experience a direct connection with our food.  My dad was and still is a greenie at heart — for economic as well as environmental reasons. As kids we bought many things in bulk, reused food containers over and over for storage and carpooled everywhere in our rust colored Ford Gran Torino station wagon."  Lori Popkewitz AlperGroovy Green Livin™

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"[W]hen building a house, make your builder work around existing trees. Nice, mature trees = good cool shade!" - Megan Williams, Luray, Va.

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"My Dad is really into taking care of your belonging and being grateful for what you had. He explained to me that you never know when you can't afford to buy something again. He taught me to keep what I have until it basically disintegrates. I have a hard time "upgrading" when what I have works perfectly fine. He also believed in hard work and at any early age, we picked dandelions then weeds when we were older. Mu siblings and I all worked either babysitting or mowing lawns as soon as we were old enough. He was also a DIYer and fixed items in the house. I learned to try and fix everything rather than throw it away. I just wish he had taught me how to use his tools. Maybe I was too much of a klutz. He also grew a victory garden during WWII and but laughs at how much of a "farmer" that I am especially when I grow corn."  Anna Hackman, Green Talk

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"I learned that we never got anywhere in this life by wasting things. To help people because that's what you do when you can help someone who needs it. I learned to take care of my things and that we don't throw things away when they break because my Dad can fix just about anything. I'm Mrs. Fix-it around the house because of him. He never kicked me out of his workshop or when watching him fix or do a DIY project. He let me "help" him build a step stool for me out of scrap wood when I was a toddler so I could reach the bathroom sink and brush my teeth. He said we built it even though I mostly watched and handed him things. My mom still has that step stool and won't let me have it!"  Lisa Nelson-Woods, Condo Blues

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"He didn't teach me anything about being green, BUT he did teach me about standing up for a cause and not being afraid to be different." - Beth Terry, My Plastic-Free Life

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"Turn off the lights when you leave the room!" -Jane Quadri, Luray, Va.

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"Ditto to Jane's, verbatim! Also, don't waste the water. Dad also taught us to grow our own food by dragging us out to the garden and making us do it! I still remember planting corn when I was just a tot; he gave us each a board with holes drilled in it, laid the board in the furrow, gave us a little can of seeds, and told us to put one seed in each hole. My job as also to hunt for and crush the potato bugs. No pesticide there!" Sandy Schaberl, Luray, Va.

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"I wouldn't consider my Dad as being very green but he was put to work full time at 12 years old in his own father's auto body shop so cars are his thing. He taught me from a young age not to buy new cars and essentially throw away money on something that depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot but rather to take care of what you have and fix it over and over. That applies to lots of "products" in life so I guess that did help to instill some green values in me. Right now our main vehicle is 12 years old and our "new" second vehicle (a truck we drive only a couple times a month) is 25 years old. My husband's co-workers jokingly ask him if it is the same truck Jed Clampett drove to Beverly Hills. I think my Dad's values helped me to put more value on quality that lasts and less on shiny, new." Tiffany Washko, Nature Moms

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"[H]e was the first to introduce me to some sustainability when it came to food. He grew an enormous garden one year that, even though I was quite young, I still remember vividly. And then there were the summer boating trips in the San Juan Islands where we caught a tremendous amount of fish, crab, shrimp and was very encouraging to me. Today, he grows a ton of banana plants in his San Diego backyard (you can see them in my Backyard Tropical Fruit video). And, he always focused on buying quality products even if it cost more because, in the end, they generally lasted longer." Deanna Duke, The Crunchy Chicken

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"My dad is an avid hunter and he instilled the value of taking care of our mountains!!!" Tina Switzer, Luray, Va.

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"My dad was probably the first person to teach me to be concerned about toxic chemicals. He also gave me a DIY ethic, as he did pretty much everything himself. Fixing the car, doing carpentry work, teaching himself gold-smithing and running his own business. And he also valued quality over cost."  Amber Strocel, Strocel.com

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"If it's pee, let it be." - Kira Newman, Luray, Va.

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"I see my father as well in many of the DIY guys, Mr. Fix it, making sure that his "girl" could do everything he also taught my brothers to do (and that I could do it better). We did spend time outdoors, but just because ... not that he pointed out any special appreciation for nature, just time together spent "outside," winter and summer. The "waste not/want not" mentality as well as the "turn off the lights" commands, were also prevalent in my house, but these ideas are based I believe in the concept of saving money vs. saving the environment ... a by product, I think, particularly in the case of energy use that we should "go with" today, as many people are much more open to learning how they can save money, by saving energy, as opposed to taking the time to hear why it is good for the environment as well!" - Harriet Shugarman, Climate Mama

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"One of the greenest things he gave me was a love of nature. He allowed my brothers and me to have any weird pets we could catch. We had a skunk, a racoon, a hawk, an alligator and many snakes (grew up in Texas). He built a special snake cage outdoors where my twin brother and I kept our snakes. My dad then built a special rat cage to raise food for the snakes. I was happiest when outside playing in the woods. I was always bringing home some orphan baby animal to nurse to health. My parents have both passed away but I thank them both for allowing us kids to be free to play outside. I thank them for not teaching us fear of the outdoors (which I see happening a lot now). Nature gives me peace and I am so glad to have been taught to love it." - Linda Anderson Citizen Green

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