This Father’s Day, give your dad a gift he will not only love, but one that also won’t hurt the planet nor gather dust on his shelf: quality time together! Here are a few ideas of ways to get outside and celebrate with the father figure in your life as well as some eco-friendly gadgets he will enjoy when you aren’t together.
Visit a national park together
June is one of the best times to visit one of the country’s national parks. Whether your dad is a serious hiker or more of a couch potato, he will love getting some fresh air and seeing a beautiful new landscape together. Most parks have options for easy day trips, walking tours and more intense hikes. Some have visitors centers, museums and cafes, and many have short paved trails that are accessible for a wider variety of ability levels.
Here are a few popular parks for Father’s Day:
Acadia National Park, Maine
This park has miles of rugged coastline that can be too cold for most people during the rest of the year but are beautiful during the summer.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Located near Yellowstone National Park, this park has gorgeous mountain vistas and overlook sites. It is popular in the summertime for mountaineering, climbing, hiking and walking.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Only a few hours from Washington D.C., this park is gorgeous even from a car. There are a number of hikes and waterfall spots for different ability levels, plus you and your dad can brag about hiking part of the Appalachian Trail together.
For more ideas, check out the National Parks Service’s Father’s Day Guide.
Pick your own strawberries
June is peak strawberry season in much of the U.S., and it’s a fun group activity with sweet treats along the way. Bring the loot home and make fresh strawberry shortcake for a Father’s Day dessert!
Here is a guide to where you can go strawberry picking in different states. Make sure to call ahead to confirm that the farm is open, has strawberries left and is still offering a pick-your-own program this year.
Give the gift of knowledge
This year, take your father to a movie about the environment or nature, like The Biggest Little Farm. Not only will it allow you to spend quality time together, but you will learn something new about our planet. If your dad is interested, check out local events or talks about climate change and participate in local activism together!
Sign up for a road race
If you and your dad have a goal to be more active, exercise is a great way to spend quality time together while staying healthy. Research races in your area and pick one that works with your schedule and abilities. The entrance fee typically goes to help charities or medical research. Stick with a 5K or less if you’re a beginner — that is about 3.2 miles. If you’re more advanced, you can look for a 10K or higher.
Buy a bike tune-up
Does your dad like to bike? Maybe he bikes to work, just on the weekends or very little at all, but we’ll bet his bike could use a tune-up to make sure it’s in the best and safest shape possible.
Rent canoes or kayaks
Now that the weather is nice, spend some time together as a family and rent canoes, kayaks or paddle boats. Many lakes and rivers have rental companies where you can pay by the hour or by the day. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you could look at places where you can fish, too.
Snag tickets to a sports game or concert
Spend your money on an experience instead of an item. Do some research to find out if your dad’s favorite sports team or band is in town, and buy tickets to go with him.
Plan a customized rainwater harvesting system
If your dad loves to garden, get him a customized rainwater harvesting system. Many companies will take the time to learn about your dad’s space and needs and send an easy, customized kit to set it up. You can also try the DIY route.
Get environmental gadgets for Dad
Before buying more stuff for your dad, ask him what he wants. A good way to cut down on waste is by buying only something that he would really use. Otherwise, here are some good ideas:
App-controlled light bulbs
Does anyone else have a dad who is constantly reminding you to turn off the lights when you leave a room? Get your tech-savvy dad this app-controlled light bulb that lasts up to 27 years and uses just 10 percent of the energy needed for a conventional bulb. He can set timers for his schedule and say goodbye to the days of following the kids around and turning off lights after them.
Swim shorts that save the sea
Grill tools made from recycled hockey sticks
Is your dad a grill master and a sports fan? This California-based company recycles used hockey sticks to make unique grill utensils. According to the website: “We all know somebody (perhaps ourself) whose burgers always come off the grill looking like hockey pucks. They just don’t have the right tools.”
Stainless steel coffee mug
If your dad is like mine, he drinks a lot of coffee. Get him a sophisticated stainless steel coffee mug that he can take with him on the go or bring to coffee shops. Most shops offer a small discount for bringing your own mug, and some cities like Berkeley, California are piloting a program to start charging customers for using disposable coffee cups, just like plastic bags.
Put a twist on the typical gift for dad and buy him something from a sustainable brand. Check out the sock choices at Organic Basics.
Research the vineyards near you or your dad and find out which ones use organic, sustainable or biodynamic methods on their vineyard. After confirming its environmental impact, gift Dad with an eco-friendly bottle of wine.
Via Earth 911
Images via Shutterstock