Dad: We love him, but this guy sure is hard to shop for.
He's a good sport no matter what we deliver -- gamely wearing that outlandish tie for years to come. Yet -- wouldn't it be nice to gift something easy on the earth that actually makes his eyes light up? With Father's Day around the corner (June 15!), we compiled a little green inspiration for those eco dads out there.
Folding Strida Bike
What's only 22 lbs, folds in a snap without greasy fingers, tackles traffic in cities like New York, and hangs from a meat hook?
The Strida 5.0 Folding bike ($800), and TreeHuggers are addicted to this two-wheeled wonder like tap water. Dad will be too. The triangular aluminum frame pushes down to a compact shape in five seconds flat and some smart technology makes it grease-free -- so no black smears on your organic threads. Available in silver, red, black, dark blue, pink, white, yellow, and a cream special edition. ::Strida available through ::Areaware
The Magno Wooden Radio
The Magno Wooden Radio by Singgih Kartono is so eco-posh. And not just because of the two-toned mod design made of sustainably-grown wood: This radio also helps provide jobs for workers in Indonesia.
Although simple in design, Magno is compatible with the most current mp3 player electronics. The price starts at $200 and it's available in three sizes. Available through ::Areaware
TreeHugger the Book
Maybe you're just a chip off the sustainably-harvested bamboo block, or perhaps dad (like us), needs a little prodding or some good tips on how to do his part reversing climate change. Say TreeHugger rolled up in one eco friendly bite. Ready, Set, Green: Eight Weeks to Modern Eco-Living by TreeHugger founder Graham Hill and TreeHugger editor-in-chief Meaghan O'Neill is that and more.
The handy pocket-sized TreeHugger offers simple adjustments which are easy to take in and easy to incorporate in daily life. For example, ditch the chemicals and choose healthier cleaning products. Or embrace the dishwasher -- and save 5,000 gallons of water annually. Small changes with big results can help dad restore balance to his daily life -- and positively impact the future of the planet. Available through ::Amazon
The World's First Suit Made From Recycled PET Bottles
Take out the trash in Japan and voilà , you have the world's first suit made from recycled PET bottles. Produced by U.K. Fashion house Bagir, EcoGir is now available in the U.S. at Sears.
Fabricated from 100 percent post consumer waste, EcoGir is only about $200 and helps you take a pass on harmful dry cleaning chemicals, thanks to its machine-washable construction.
Is dad a business traveler on the go? He can even wash EcoGir in the sink for a fresh take on tomorrow's meeting. To find it at Sears (only in the U.S.) search for the label Covington. ::Sears ::Bagir
Electric Lawn Mower
Imagine the smell of freshly mowed grass -- without the roaring engine and the lingering whiff of hazardous air pollutants, particle pollution, and volatile organic compounds. The grass is greener on the other side of this fence. Dad will be the envy of the neighborhood with his new Black & Decker Lawn Hog 12 Amp 19-Inch Electric Mulching Mower ($229 on Amazon). Fast facts: Lawn mowers are big backyard polluters. According to the EPA, trading in 1,000 gasoline-powered lawn mowers for electric mowers can slash volatile organic compound VOC emissions by 9.8 tons per year. That's equivalent to taking 230 cars off the road.
The Electric Mulching Mower is quiet, self-propelled, and leaves the trimmings behind to nurture new shoots. Not green enough for you? Check out the bicycle lawnmower. ::Black & Decker
Multi-gadget Solar Charger
Keep Dad's gadgets juiced up with the Solio Hybrid 1000, the solar charger that TreeHugger staffers are touting as the best on the market.
Why? The solar panel-battery combo is portable, charges just as fast as if you had plugged into the wall, and conveniently runs from a USB port and a power outlet, in addition to our green friend the sun. The cable and carabiner are built-in, and everything tucks into one slim case. At $80, the price isn't bad either.
Most importantly, it's universal so you don't need to carry 10 chargers for 10 gadgets. Cell phones, iPods, digital cameras, game players, and GPS systems -- bring 'em on. ::Solio
High-efficiency Solar-powered Laptop Case
Sunbathing laptop cases are the wave of the future. We can't get enough of the Voltaic Generator, the new Voltaic laptop bag and the first solar bag packing a power punch hefty enough to charge Dad's laptop.
While some manufacturers cheaped-out on low-grade solar cells, Voltaic went high-efficiency with its solar panel. It generates up to 17 watts, fully-charging a laptop after a day of direct sunlight. Another plus, it comes with a battery pack and common adapters. The sturdy case is available in silver, orange, green or charcoal and made up of recycled soda bottles (PET). We think all these perks make it worth the $599. ::Voltaic Systems
Recycled and Recyclable Wine Rack
Help Dad keep his collection of organic wine in order with the Six-Pack Wine Rack ($40) by Kelly Smith and Chris Grimley and available through online store Branch. This earthy-friendly storage item is made from 100 percent industrial renewable and recyclable wool felt and held together with nylon stitching. About 85 percent of the felt is factory scraps and 15 percent is mixed fibers. Since the scraps collected are never quite the same, each piece is unique. The best part? When the wine's all gone, there's no empty rack reminding you: It folds up flat and easily slips into a drawer. ::Branch
Muji Collapsible Cardboard Speakers
Dad's music is not necessarily your music, but he can blast away Puccini and Abba on repeat from remote locations (please!) with these Cardboard Speakers from Muji ($42), the Japanese brandnow in the middle of an international rollout. As the name implies, they are made of naturally light-weight cardboard, and can be folded down flat-pack style to fit cozily into the included pouch. They also don't break if they fall off a table, nice! ::Muji Available through ::MoMA Store
Benromach Organic Whiskey
Slip a little Benromach Organic Whiskey (about $57) in dad's toddy, and know that he's drinking only the finest distillation of Scottish organic barley, organic yeast and pure spring water, matured to the highest standard (according to the firm).
After dad tells you how much he appreciates the "rich and fruity with sweet, resinous flavors," you can reveal that the maturing process takes place in virgin American oak casks made from sustainable wood. Handmade by two men, Benromach Organic Whiskey is also the first bottled Single Malt Whiskey fully-certified by the Soil Association. Available through Bibacity More Organic Whiskey ::Organic Grain Whiskey by Highland Harvest
More Gift Guides
::Mother's Day Guide 2008
::2007 Green Gift Guide
::2006 Green Gift Guide
::Holiday Gift Guide 2005