Happy Father's Day! Now here's another bland necktie, boring pack of socks and cheesy 'World's Best Dad' mug to stuff into the closet and eventually send to the landfill.
If you don't want to be that son or daughter giving Dad the same old unimaginative (and potentially wasteful) gifts, think green. There are lots of exciting eco-friendly options for Father's Day gifts that are more fun and far healthier for the environment.
Check out these seven green gift ideas for gadget lovers, bicyclists, golfers and dads who just want to kick back and relax.
Green gadget charger
Give Dad a greener way to charge all of his gadgets like cellphones and mp3 players. Chargers that run on renewable energy like solar and hand-crank power don't have to be plugged in to the grid, giving fathers more freedom to take their tech on the go. The Timberland Solio Hybrid Solar Charger (at right) weighs just 4.6 ounces, has a built-in carabiner clip that attaches easily to backpacks, and provides 10 hours of music when fully charged. The XT Power Hand Crank Flashlight and Cell Phone Charger charges all brands of cellphones, and 2-3 minutes of wind-up gives you 5-10 minutes of talk time.
Solar-powered weather station
Whether he's going fishing or heading to the office, Dad likes to know what to expect weather-wise when he's walking out the door. A solar-powered weather station displays indoor and outdoor temperatures as well as humidity levels without an electric cord, so he can place it in the most convenient spot. The Solar-Powered Weather Station by La Crosse gives basic weather information while the Oregon Scientific Professional Weather Station adds wind speed and direction, wind chill, dew point, barometric pressure and more.
After a long hard day, what's better than lounging in a comfy hammock? Eco-friendly options include the Envirope Recycled Hammock, which is made from 100 percent recycled polyester fiber from soft drink bottles, the Byer of Maine Aruba Hammock made with recycled cotton, hammocks made of renewable hemp, and the Ting Sling, woven from reclaimed seat belts.
Few Father's Day gifts could go over better than a brand-new electric bicycle. Perfect for commuting and recreation alike, electric bikes have just enough extra power to help Dad keep up momentum on marathon trips and get up daunting hills. The Currie EZip Eco Ride has a 250-watt DC Brushed Earth magnet motor and a lithium-ion Smart Charger with an LED status display; The Rebel by Switch is a men's classic mountain bike that can travel up to 22 miles on one charge.
Still tempted to give your father a tie? Do it in an unexpected way with the Recycled Necktie & Suit Wallet, made from unwanted pinstripe suits and silk ties in shades of red or blue. Recycled wallets come in all sorts of cool materials, as a matter of fact, including bike tubes, newspapers and billboard vinyl.
Eco-friendly golf balls and tees
What happens to all those golf balls that are sent soaring into lakes, forests, cemeteries and other spaces outside the course? Most of them just remain there indefinitely, where they leach heavy metal pollutants and take as long as 1,000 years to decompose. Give the gift of a greener world with nontoxic golf balls like those from Dixon Golf. And don't forget about the tees: biodegradable options will ensure less long-term litter.
Gift membership to a conservation organization
Sometimes it seems like Dad already has everything he needs. In that case, consider a gift membership to a conservation organization like The Nature Conservancy, The Sierra Club, The World Wildlife Fund or Friends of the Earth. You can adopt an acre of rain forest in your father's name through Rainforest Concern or sponsor an animal in need at your local animal shelter.