Greener Father’s Day Gifts

fathers-day Father’s Day is coming up on June 21 in the US, Canada and the UK. This year, rather than buying dad another tie (unless he needs or wears a lot of ties), or something else that will sit around and collect dust, try giving a gift that is both thoughtful AND green. Most of the things that we buy consume a lot of resources just in the making and shipping of them. Why not consider a gift this year that’s consumable, or something that will improve the world a bit. I’m listing a few ideas below, but it would be great if you’d add any ideas you may have in the comments.

Plants. If your father is in to gardening, consider berries or fruit trees. They’ll provide food for him year after year. If he’s into yard improvements, consider a decorative shrub, tree, or perennial. It will be a reminder of you for years to come.

Event Tickets. Match the tickets to your dad’s interests. If he’s into sports, get tickets to a game. If he thinks Riverdance is cool, find out when the show is coming to his area. How about tickets to the symphony? The movies? Area museums? A season pass to state parks? The options are virtually unlimited.

Donations to Charitable Organizations. Appeal to your father’s inner philanthropist. For the man who has everything he needs and wants, consider a charitable donation that reflects his values and interests. Check out Charity Navigator for ideas.

An Experience. If there’s something your dad has always wanted to do, but didn’t want to spend the money on, consider footing the bill for the experience. Use Google to find companies in his area that allow you to purchase packages for skydiving, helicopter rides, and NASCAR driving to name a few.

Something of the Month Clubs. If there’s something your dad really enjoys, consider getting him a subscription to try a new version each month. There are beer of the month clubs as well as clubs for coffees, teas, wines, fruit, plants, books, etc.

Homemade Gifts. Never underestimate the meaning of homemade gifts. Take the time to make something that has special meaning for your father. Maybe it’s a scrapbook that includes memories from a particular time in his life, or a collection of photos, or maybe some coffee cuffs made from all those ties you’ve given him over the years.

Update: After I published this post, I thought of a few more ideas. . .

Food. How about a gift certificate to his favorite restaurant, or a restaurant he’s been wanting to try? An even better idea, which Vin left in the comments below, have grass-fed beef delivered to his door.

Classes or Individual Training Sessions. Pay for your dad to take a class in an area of interest to him. There are lots of options: cooking, woodworking, photography, computers, art. The list is nearly endless. As for training classes, you could go for a one-on-one session with a golf or tennis instructor, or if your father is interested in getting in better shape, try a session or two with a personal trainer or nutrition counselor.

The main thing is to think about something your father would really enjoy and try to find a related gift that he can actually use. Get creative. The fewer materials that go into a gift, the greener it is, and greener gifts can also be the most thoughtful.

Photo Credit: fauxto_digit


  1. Great suggestions, Beth! How about a new diet? 🙂 I’m trying to get my father to eat healthier and plan on having grass fed beef sent to him. It’s not so green in the sense that it will require shipping, but it does support sustainable and responsible farming!

  2. Great idea, Vin. After I hit the “Publish” button on this post, I thought of getting gift cards to his favorite restaurant, but your idea is even better.