What to get Dad for Father’s Day? This question seems to get tougher each year. A man has room for only so many ties in his closet, after all! Rather than getting Dad yet another tie, why not get him something that will show him you care and help him care for the earth? Here are our top picks for energy-saving Father’s Day gifts:
Energy monitor. An energy monitor is an instrument that reveals exactly how much power an electrical device uses. They are available as inexpensive single units (such as the Kill-A-Watt, starting at around $40), to more elaborate units that can monitor the entire home.
Energy monitors are fun to use. If your dad is already eco-savvy, he will love plugging in all of his devices to see just how energy efficient they are. If he’s still low on the energy-saving learning curve, the device will help him understand just how much he could save by turning off the TV when he leaves the room.
Reel lawn mower. Does your dad value peace and quiet, and enjoy yard work? Then he might appreciate an old-fashioned lawn mower. Reel mowers are surprisingly effective, and are actually better for your lawn because they shear the blades of grass more cleanly than a power mower. The only noise they make is a pleasant snick-snick-snick that won’t drown out the songs of the birds in Dad’s garden, and he won’t have to breathe in clouds of gasoline fumes, either. Best of all, they cost nothing to operate, and give off zero carbon emissions!
Reusable water bottle. According to the Pacific Institute, for every pound of PET plastic that goes into disposable water bottles, three pounds of carbon are released into the atmosphere. Disposable bottles also use twice as much water to produce as they actually hold.
Reusable water bottles and flasks are a great gift, and are available in all shapes, sizes and colors. Stainless steel bottles, such as the ones offered by Kleen Kanteen, are popular since they are practical, attractive and do not leach harmful chemicals into the water.
Local food. Everyone loves food! Why not seek something truly special for Dad at your local farmer’s market? How about a loaf of homemade bread with locally produced handmade jam? Or surprise him with a Father’s Day feast featuring local, grass-fed steak, just-picked sweet corn, tender baby veggies and luscious homegrown strawberries. Wash it all down with a local brew and watch his smile grow. Local ingredients taste better, require less fuel to reach your table, and help support your local farming scene as well.
Solar oven. If your dad loves to cook, and is intrigued by unusual gadgets, consider getting him a solar oven. This is a simple device that cooks with passive solar heat no panels needed! Solar oven cooking is the ultimate in slow food. Don’t try to cook broccoli in it (solar ovens tend to turn green veggies to brown mush), but it will slow-cook meat to scrumptious perfection. It’s great for baked goods, too!