Inside: Not sure what to get the dad in your life this Father’s Day? Read on for practical low-waste Father’s Day gift ideas that he’ll love and that are eco-friendly.

A guest post by Cora Gold

Father’s Day is just a couple of weeks away, so you need to start thinking about gift ideas. Instead of procrastinating and buying a greeting card or dollar store gift, do something special this year to show appreciation for the father figure in your life.

A great gift doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. In fact, you should avoid going over the top and take a more sustainable approach. Gift wrapping is an expensive and wasteful practice, consuming millions of dollars every holiday season. 

An estimated 30 million trees are cut down to produce wrapping paper. It’s used once and then takes up space in your closet or joins the piles of pollution at landfills.

Whether you’re shopping for your dad, grandfather or the father of your children, you can find the perfect gift without breaking the bank or the environment. Here are some low-waste Father’s Day gift ideas.

low-waste father's day gift ideas

Low-Waste Father’s Day Gift Ideas

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Unsure of what to buy the man in your life? Check out these low-waste Father’s Day gift ideas.

1. Insulated Cooler

If your dad likes ice-cold beers or sodas, chances are he has a favorite cooler. Most coolers are large, plastic tubs that don’t offer much in terms of efficiency or portability. He needs a green insulated version to optimize his beer enjoyment.

Some eco-friendly coolers are made from recycled plastic and other reused materials, while others come from tree cellulose in ethically managed forests. These unorthodox materials keep drinks cold longer than cheaply made coolers.

Your dad can use this cooler indefinitely and carry it anywhere, saving him time and money that he otherwise would’ve spent buying more ice. Instead of wrapping it, give it to him with a six-pack and ice already inside. That gesture alone will put you in his good graces.

2. Reusable K-Cup

Coffee drinkers go through a lot of disposable K-Cups which in turn creates a lot of waste. If your dad is one of these people, give him a reusable one on Father’s Day morning.

He can refill the same device with his favorite coffee grounds each day rather than creating a pile of garbage in the trash can every week.

What better way to start the day than making a hot coffee and helping the environment? K-Cups are small items, but just like wrapping paper, they add up quickly. Encourage your dad to stop contributing to the waste and start using sustainable products.

dad hiking with son

3. An Outdoor Adventure

If your father or spouse is an outdoor enthusiast, Father’s Day is the perfect time to engage in his favorite activity with him. Whether that be camping, hiking or canoeing, he will be thrilled to share the experience with his family, especially if he usually goes alone. 

If you want to give a few gifts to go along with this experience, go for eco-friendly items, like reusable utensils or sustainably-made athletic clothes.

However, the time spent outside – without any disposable packaging or wrapping paper – will be the best way to celebrate Dad without causing harm to the planet. Everyone in the family can enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors together.

4. Energy-Efficient Appliances

Houses have tons of appliances that use precious energy, but you can reduce energy consumption by switching to greener products. Join your dad on Father’s Day weekend and finally replace that appliance that is on its last leg. A DIY project with dad is the perfect way to spend time together.

There are many appliances to choose from, but you can start with something simple, like switching to LED lightbulbs. They use up to 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 25% longer.

Skip the gift wrapping and go straight to the installation phase for whatever products you choose. 

low-waste father's day gift ideas

5. Portable Solar Charger

Dads love their electronic gadgets, but charging them consumes a lot of energy. Get your father or husband a portable solar charger so he can power all his devices on the go with a renewable source.

These chargers can provide power to cell phones, laptops, GPS devices and other handheld tools. They can also charge multiple items at once, though charging takes a little longer.

Dads are often excited about embracing the newest technologies and a solar charger is one he’ll love. The environment will appreciate the gesture, too. Every home’s transition to renewable energy sources has to start somewhere.

6. Air-Purifying Plant

An air-purifying plant is a perfect gift to spruce up your dad’s workspace. Plants add life to a room, create sweet aromas and improve indoor air quality.

They also increase productivity, as the color green has calming effects that help people focus.

Your dad will think of you every time he looks at his plant. That sentimental value alone is enough to make a small plant a worthy Father’s Day gift.

You also don’t have to worry about wrapping, so it’s a win-win for the environment.

low-waste father's day gift ideas

7. Gift Cards

Some people say cash is the best present. If that’s true, then gift cards aren’t far behind. Get your dad some gift cards to his favorite stores (or Amazon) so that he can pick out that gift he’s been wanting.

You could also get him one to a fancy restaurant and spend Father’s Day over a gourmet dinner.

Other options to consider are a gift certificate for a local golf course or some other activity that the dad in your life would enjoy. After all, Father’s Day only comes once a year. Plan something fun for him.

8. Honorary Tree

Do you want your gift to last for generations? Plant a tree in your dad’s honor this Father’s Day so his legacy lives on for the foreseeable future.

You can plant it in a private location or in a national park or forest through a nonprofit conservation group to help restoration efforts.

You can also choose which tree species to plant. If your dad loves a particular tree, now is your chance to show off your knowledge and knock his socks off. Who wouldn’t love their own personal tree?

family meal

9. His Favorite Home-Cooked Meal

Dads love gifts like everyone else, but they don’t ALWAYS like when people make a big fuss.

Maybe the only thing your dad truly wants is to sit down with his family and enjoy a home-cooked meal. Make sure he gets that experience this Father’s Day.

Cook his favorite foods, serve his best-loved beverages, turn off the TV and engage in conversation with him. Quality time with his loved ones is the best gift he can receive. Nothing else comes close.

Honor Your Dad and the Environment this Father’s Day

People are supposed to show appreciation for dads on Father’s Day, but that often leads to excessive spending and wastefulness when buying and wrapping presents.

This year, you can honor your dad, husband, or father figure and the environment by ditching the paper and getting a low-waste gift. He will use it for years to come, and you will contribute to a more sustainable future.

Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of Revivalist magazine. She loves writing about family and living life to the fullest. Follow Cora on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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