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Gifts for the Eco Dad

by Myron Mariano

I do not know whether I’m the exception or part of the majority, but I’ve always had a hard time finding a present for my eco dad, regardless of the occasion. He’s the type of man who, if he wants something, he goes out to buy it.

I do not mind giving him a loaded gift card at his favorite establishments every now and then, but I prefer more to actually get him something that’s well thought out. (The fact that he’s started becoming more eco-minded lately adds another layer in the process.)

If your father is like mine, consider the following gift suggestions for his special day.


Bluewater Distilling Organic Vodka

Sometimes, all that a dad wants is to kick back and enjoy a glass of spirits. This vodka is USDA-certified organic. $26, www.bluewaterdistilling.com

Want to mix things up? Try the Cucumber Spritzer, concocted by Brent Rathof, a New Jersey-based bartender.

Muddle two round cucumber slices in a glass.
Fill the glass with ice.
Add 1.5 ounces of vodka, a splash of simple syrup, and a splash of freshly squeezed lime juice.
Fill with club soda.
Garnish with lime and a three-inch slice of cucumber peel.


Shwood Eugene Sunglasses

A classic sunglass shape made eco-modern with the use of sustainably sourced wood. $185, www.shwoodshop.com


Howard Shoes

One of the things that dads everywhere got right is that they never wore socks with boat shoes; it should always be bare feet.

These Howard boat shoes are comfortable—they have holes that let air in, keeping foot sweat at bay—and stylish enough for a barbecue (where he’ll happily volunteer to be the grill master) or for a stroll at the Boardwalk. $60, www.nativeshoes.com


Recover Bamboo Case

One of the biggest pros of having a smartphone is the ability to video chat with someone—granddads who live far from their grandkids can now ‘see’ each other, albeit in pixels. One of the biggest cons of having the same is that they’re fragile: Drop it a few feet, and you can kiss your couple hundred dollars au revoir. Give your phone an extra layer of protection with this inexpensive bamboo case. $38, www.getrecover.com


Fjällräven Gear Duffel

His Queen (i.e. mom) can have all the bags her heart desires; an ultra-versatile bag is all he needs. This heavy-duty duffel is roomy, versatile (he can use this to store large gear, boots, or just make it a travel bag) and gives off that understated-yet-cool look. $120, www.fjallraven.us


Helly Hansen Lerwick Rain Jacket

This handsome fisherman’s raincoat is not only a showstopper (it’s available in blue and black, in case yellow is too much for your old man), it’s also a practical layering piece for a host of weather conditions. It’s wind- and waterproof, comes with welded seams, and a storm flap for bizarrely tempestuous summertime days. $120, www.hellyhansen.com


MSR Strike Igniter

A handy fire-starter that would work even if wet. The striker doubles as a bottle opener—after all, there’s nothing left to do after the campground fire is ready except to sit back and relax with a local brew. $15.95, www.cascadedesigns.com


Outdoor Tech Orcas Wireless Earbuds

Whether your dad’s idea of exercise is running on pavement, gardening, or mowing the lawn (it’s quite cathartic, I’ve been told), these earbuds would keep him entertained minus the intrusive wires that always seem to get in the way. The company, Outdoor Tech, would donate a dollar for each pair of Orca earbuds to the Whaleman Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation and care of cetaceans (dolphins, whales, and porpoises) and their natural habitats. $99.95, www.outdoortech.com


Lululemon Men Freestyle Polo

You don’t have to tell him that this polo is made with seaweed that’s been bonded with cotton, as scientifically awesome as that sounds. All he needs to know is that this is going to be his favorite shirt. It wicks moisture and has Lycra that helps keep its shape for a long time. $78, www.lululemon.com

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