The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
6 Outdoor Gift Ideas for Father’s Day
Father's Day is Sunday, four days before summer officially kicks off. So many traditional Father's Day gift ideas—from fishing gear to golf balls—emphasize outdoor activities. Here are some eco-friendly gift ideas that will help you and your Dad enjoy some time in nature together, while showing it as much care as your father has shown you.
1. A Gas Grill: Nothing brings the family together like a backyard BBQ. Grist did the math back in 2015 and determined that gas grills are the best outdoor cooking option for the environment. Charcoal grills release ozone and particulate matter into the air, which cause air pollution, and also have larger carbon footprints. Gas grills are even better for the environment than indoor cooking during the summer, since they are more efficient than ovens and don't heat the house, forcing AC to work overtime. This is a more expensive option, though, so maybe consider it as a joint gift if you have lots of siblings who want to collaborate on a gift for Dad.
2. A National Parks Pass: Give your dad a ticket to a year's worth of adventure, and support America's breathtaking public lands in the process. The America the Beautiful—The National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass gives your father access to 2,000 Federal Recreation sites including national parks and national wildlife refuges. If your dad wants to take the family, the pass will cover the vehicle fee for one car and all of its passengers, or four adults at parks with a per-person entrance fee. Children under 15 can always enter for free. This costs $80 for the year, unless your dad is over 62. Then you can buy him a lifetime pass for only $10!
3. Recycled Gear: More and more, companies are devising ways to help you enjoy nature while also cleansing it of plastic pollution. Repreve turns plastic bottles and other recycled materials into strong fibers that many companies incorporate into outdoor equipment. Parley for the Oceans has partnered with Adidas to make shoes and other athletic clothing from plastics gathered from oceans and coasts.
4. Bird-Watching Starter Kit: Fishing and hunting are perhaps the archetypal dad-and-child outdoor sports, but if you want something that includes the potential bonding time of long hours spent waiting for wildlife without harming any animals, why not get your dad a field guide to birds in your region and a pair of binoculars? Ask a Biologist's Beginning Birders' Guide recommends regional guides by Roger Tory Peterson and David Allen Sibley and binoculars with power x lens-width measurements of 7 x 35 or 8 x 42.
5. Eco-Friendly Socks: Socks are another Father's Day staple, but good, comfy socks are truly essential for any outdoor activity that requires boots or shoes. Why not treat your dad, and the planet, to Sierra Club's official socks. Parker Legwear is a three-generation family-owned sock maker in North Carolina that uses recycled materials and organic cotton to produce comfortable socks using limited amounts of energy.
6. Second-Hand Books: Not every outdoor activity has to work up a sweat! One of the best things to do in summer is sit out on the grass with a good book. Hit up your local used bookstore or thrift shop for a budget-and-tree-friendly previously owned title to get your dad started on his summer reading.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Emily Deanne
Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.
By Lorraine Chow
Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.
States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.
By Kristin Ohlson
From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.
Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.
By Hans Nicholas Jong
Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.
It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."