Are you in a situation where Papa does preach about eco-friendly living? Or is your Dad a pale greenie with ample room for improvement? Giving green, home-centric Father's Day gifts can be a bit more tricky than Mother’s Day (unless Dad’s wild about organic lavender satchels and recycled glass vases) and if you gift Dad with a gadget or tie you run the risk of giving him something that will promptly (but discreetly) be placed in the depths of his closet and never see the light of day.

What to do? Consider these six Father’s Day gifts that will get excellent mileage in various parts of the house — rec room, garage, garden, laundry room, or living room. 

Eco-friendly Cardboard Coasters @ ($18.89/set of four) Does Dad enjoy an ice cold Duff — or Diet Coke — after a long day at work? Supply him with these recyclable coasters made from newspaper, kraft paper, old corrugated containers, and straw. They’re tough n’ masculine looking so Dad doesn’t have to suffer though the humiliation of setting his favorite beverage down on a linen doily.

Green Depot Gift Card ($10 – $500)

Dads can be picky customers, which is why a Green Depot (think Home Depot but entirely eco-friendly) gift card makes for a fine Dad’s Day gift idea. A few things Pops can choose from: a recycled plastic 5 gallon bucket for painting and other home improvement projects, a countertop composter, a bamboo gong brush, or a planter made from repurposed wood.  

Hand Powered Portable Washing Machine @ Clean Air Gardening ($49.99)

Have a fitness freak of a father that just happens to be allergic to doing laundry (I’m unsure if my Dad knows how to operate a washing machine)? Is he also vigilant about keeping utility bills low? This portable, hand-powered washing machine requires no electricity, little water, and works like a charm. Plus, all that hand cranking (handle should be turned once per second) should burn a few calories.  

Vers 2X ipod Speaker System – Cherry @ The Conran Shop ($179)

My Dad sure does enjoy his 60s Pacific Northwest garage rock and his Dusty Springfield. He doesn’t have an iPod (yet) but if he did, I know he’d enjoy this energy-efficient (Vers is partnered with ENERGY STAR) and nontoxic (no lead, mercury, cadmium, etc. components) iPod sound system made from sustainable cherry wood.  And the sound? It’s sure to please the most discerning audiophiles. 


Woolly Patch @ Woolly Pocket Garden Company ($45)

This modular plant container for horizontal gardening (vertical gardening options are available) is made from recycled plastic bottles. The genius of Woolly Pockets is that they’re flexible so Pop can move 'em around and have fun. They’re breathable —unlike clay pots — which is beneficial to plants. Available in three colors. Soil, seeds, and naked lady not included. 

LEHR 25 CC Propane Powered Eco Trimmer @ Home Depot ($199)

Does Dad tend to the lawn and garden behind a stinky, unsafe haze? Give him the gift of clean air. LEHR's Eco Trimmer is an EPA Clean Air Excellence Award-winning alternative to standard gas-powered, smog-generating, toxin and carcinogen-spewin' weed whackers and trimmers. The LA Times described the Eco Trimmer as a weed whacker that "exhausts angel's breath." 

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

The Greenfather
Giving green, home-centric Father's Day gifts can be a bit more tricky than Mother’s Day (unless Dad’s wild about organic lavender satchels and recycled gla