Green Gift Ideas for Father's Day

You can honor your father with gifts that aren’t bad for Mother Earth.

By Jean Nick

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If Dad likes to cook (or could use some help or ideas), a cookbook and/or some healthy cooking classes may be appreciated, especially if you can go together. If he likes to run the grill, how about a Barbecue Tool Belt with quick-draw holsters, or a wireless meat thermometer so his grilled goodies will be safe for everyone to eat. Include some locally raised, grass-fed-cattle steaks so he can try everything out.

If he likes his beverages, he can save some money and avoid the greenhouse gases involved in producing and shipping store-bought brands by making his own. So how about a starter home-brewing kit, with everything he’ll need to make and bottle a batch of Organic 7 Bridges Red Ale? What’s a more fun way for him to be ecofriendly than by brewing his own beer? And it is guaranteed to taste better than the homebrew my Pop produced in the basement in an open antique crock, using canned blue-ribbon malt and table sugar. I didn’t have much of an opinion of beer back then, though I remember the production and bottling routine vividly. But friends who were of drinking age at the time still say it was truly vile stuff.

If your Dad doesn’t do alcohol, a root beer kit is fun, too, and it makes a perfect project to do with kids or grandkids. Just be sure to age the bottles in a cool place: My kids have a fond memory of hearing bottles explode in our hot pantry, and I have less-fond memories of cleaning up the truly spectacular results. Or get him a soda-making kit from my favorite soda maker, Sodastream. He’ll be able to enjoy fresh seltzer or soda without all those bottles to carry home and get rid of. Whatever you chose to do on Father’s Day, here’s hoping your Dad gets to do just exactly what he wants…even if that is nothing at all!

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