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Friday, June 18, 2010

Last Minute Ideas For A Green Father's Day By Jennifer Gannett

So, it is almost Father's Day and you have the best of intentions but limited resources (I include time here) -- and you'd like to keep your gifting footprint as small as possible.  I know the feeling.

Here is a nice roundup of some simple ideas that are more eco-friendly than a last minute gift from a big box store.  Many can be paired together and all will certainly make the father figures in your life smile!
1.  Small but crafty options might include recycled bottle candle holders or a paper bag journal.  

2.  Unique planter ideas will brighten Dad's or Grandpa's (and anyone else's) day.

3. Have some empty frames lying around?  Want to craft your own (I love these from toilet paper rolls)?  Or hit the thrift store for some?  This customizable, printable eye chart is a quick, fun project.

4. Etsy, Craigslist and ebay all have options to plug in locally and find out what sellers are near you for last minute, out-of-the-box shopping without worrying about shipping!  Find Etsy's shop local page here.  

5. From the kitchen: mini-pies in a jar (for Dad to keep in the freezer until the mood for pie strikes), whoopie pies, homemade granola (any sweetener will do, vegans!), ketchup, bbq sauce or for a more exotic condiment, why not try something like this rhubarb, lemon and chile preserve?  Don't forget that you can give a hand-made gift certificate for anything! (or you can print some out - here are some from the venerable Martha Stewart)

6. An adventure: how about a picnic without disposables (a thrift store sheet is perfect for a picnic blanket or a table cloth) and a visit to a pick your own fruit stand (click here to find a listing near you) or, if you are located in the New York area, a booking into an edible wild plant foraging tour with WIldman Steve Brill?

7. A book!  A used book or two is a great idea.  A free book can even work - check out BookCrossing.  Children can make their own book and fill it in. 

8. An iTunes gift -- while we can certainly make many points about the environmentally unfriendly effects that computers, phones and mp3 players have on our planet, this is not the post in which to do so.  If the dad(s) in your life enjoy music, tv shows, movies or would be tickled to get some new apps, then a gift certificate would be a welcome choice!  No need to buy the plastic card-- just head over to the iTunes store and they will be happy to take your information and email the recipient.  You can also purchase specific content and have it emailed via iTunes.

9. Here are a few more good low impact ideas applicable to any gift giving season.

Have fun thinking about, honoring and showing love to the papas in your lives!
Jennifer Gannett lives outside of New York City with her family.  A long-time environmentalist, in her free time she enjoys cooking and eating mouthwatering vegan fare, daydreaming about crafty projects and advocating for animals and the environment.  She is a frequent contributor to


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