Whether you will be honoring your dad, your husband, or other relative or friend this Father's Day (June 15), how about doing so 'greenly?' I'm talking about avoiding the waste involved with gift giving. How many times have you received a gift you don't want, have no use for, and don't know what to do with? And we can only imagine how many such gifts we've given others! Of course all the ties, boxes of candy, sport shirts, books, and gadgets that we buy have an impact on the planet. And that impact is all the more unfortunate when the items wind up stuffed into the back of a closet, never used.
So how can you honor the Dad in your life in a green way? Here are a few suggestions:
**Instead of anxiously hoping to find a gift Dad will actually like, how about doing something fun together? Perhaps you would both enjoy setting aside some time for a bike ride or a walk in a nearby park.
**Do something for Dad. Make him a lunch, a special dessert, breakfast in bed. Or clean a part of his home. Tidy up his yard or garden. Organize a small gathering of people he enjoys being with.
**Is there something that's hard for Dad to do but easy for you? Maybe he would be grateful if you organize his papers, put his photos into an album, help him buy the new computer or appliance he has found difficult to choose on his own.
**Show Dad how interesting he is. Interview him for posterity. Sit with him and ask him to tell you family stories he heard growing up about his own parents and grandparents. Ask about his childhood, his career, about funny things he remembers from raising children. Write up what he tells you and share it with Dad and other family members. Very likely, Dad's reminiscences will be treasured by your family for years to come, and Dad will feel very loved.
**Make a donation to a charitable organization in Dad's name. Does Dad have a pet cause--the environment, poverty, health care for children? If so, you can go online and easily make a donation to an organization working on behalf of his cause. Then give him a card letting him know what is being done in his name to further a cause he cares about. I tried this approach with several friends last Christmas. I made donations to the Nature Conservancy in their names. They were all very enthusiastic, and some reported that they will try the same approach with folks on their gift lists.
**If you would really rather give a tangible gift, make sure it's something Dad actually wants. A good way to do this is to give a gift certificate to a store he likes. When Dad picks out his own gift, you'll know he's getting something he's glad to have.--April Moore