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Greening Dad on Fathers Day
Greening Fathers Day, the celebration of all things Dad. It usually involves gift-giving or "manly" activities. Tools, sports, the obligatory tie, of course, and lounging. Some of the customary Father's Day events and activities have a big eco-impact, though. Read on to find ways to green-up your Pop.
Greening Fathers Day for Greeting Cards
If it's the thought that counts, then why do e-cards get such a bad rap? Dismissed as unthoughtful, the easy way out or even tacky? They're certainly more eco-friendly than traditional mailed cards. Greening Fathers Day your dad into present time with an e-card. He'll probably appreciate not having to keep those old paper cards on display for ages anyway. Better yet, give him a call or make him a card like you used to.
Before blowing off your greening fathers day options as too "newfangled" for dear, old dad think about this: 105 million cards are mailed every year for Fathers Day, making it the fourth most popular card-sending holiday. Beyond the obvious paper waste generated by cards and envelopes, environmental damage occurs before you even pop open that card. Paper greeting cards require the use of virgin resources such as water, fuel and trees. Don't forget the transportation costs (real and environmental) of getting that card to a store for you to buy, then going through the snail mail to reach dad. Once read and displayed for the obligatory amount of time, your card ends up with the rest of the 85 million tons of paper waste we create every year.
Approximately one-fifth of the world's wood harvest goes towards paper production. And although the pulp and paper industry has been vigilant about improving their processes and limiting environmental impact, there still are and always will be, significant environmental impacts in paper-making. Products made from virgin trees are of special concern, beyond the loss of the trees themselves, the virgin timber-based pulp and paper industry is the third largest industrial emitter of global warming pollution, with carbon dioxide emissions doubling by 2020.
Still not convinced an e-card will suffice? Then look for cards made from recycled-content paper. This will likely be printed somewhere (usually on the back) on the card with wording such as "made from X% post-consumer waste" or "made from recycled paper". You can also seek out "tree-free" materials such as hemp, bamboo or kenaf. These fibrous greeting cards are fairly common and come in a wide variety of styles.
Treat Dad to an Eco-brew! Of Greening Fathers Day
Dad a fan of the ol' brewski? Fathers Day seems to bring out the beer-drinker in many a dad, but the ecological impact of beer is rather sobering. Beer is not only an incredibly water-intensive process, it is made from mostly conventionally-grown crops. What's this mean? It means many beers contain some of the chemical, pesticide and fertilizer residues that impact human and animal health as well as pollute waterways and ecosystems. Then there's the transportation issue again. The popularity of beer, especially imported varieties, places additional burdens on the planet via transportation costs and emissions. And, yes, more packaging.
Give dad a unique gift and introduce him to organic or local brews. They may be a bit more expensive or harder to find, but non-mass-produced, watered-down or chemically-treated beers do exist. Organic beers boast organically-grown ingredients, which beyond having no pesticide residue may have better flavor too. Local beers are less carbon-intensive and stressful on the greening fathers day environment. They are generally more sustainable too. Another option is to get dad turned on to home brewing. It's been done for ages, cuts out the packaging concerns, transportation costs and middle-man mark-ups. He can create his own, unique flavors, using all organic ingredients if he wants to.
And how about this? Not only will Dad's beer consumption go green, it'll be better for his health too! Organic and home-brewed beers are higher in vitamins and antioxidants than conventional beers; darker brews yield higher levels.
Dressing Dad in Greening Fathers Day
How many dads do we know who love to clothes shop? Very few. That's probably why we usually find ourselves browsing mens clothing come Fathers Day. You might use gift-giving as an excuse to green up Dads' closet. One thing you'll want to watch out for is conventional cotton. Although, one of the most common fabrics, widely available and inexpensive, conventional cotton comes at a huge environmental price. 24 percent of global insecticide use is attributed to cotton, yet only 2.4 percent of farmland worldwide is used for cotton crops. Of the $2 billion worth of chemicals sprayed on cotton crops every year, the World Health greening fathers day Organization classifies nearly half of them as hazardous and all those chemicals don't stay on the cotton plants. Oh no, they can be found leached into soil and water, contaminating freshwater sources, harming fish and wildlife, as well as beneficial microorganisms and yes, even humans.
Environmentally-friendly fashion choices are hugely popular and are becoming easier and easier to find. Clothe Dad in organic cotton, wool, hemp or bamboo fibers. You can find these materials in everything from sweaters and shirts to jeans and boxers to overcoats and even shoes.
Greening Fathers Day of Dad's Dinner
What greening fathers day would be complete without a hearty meal to celebrate all the dads in your family? But before you head out think about this: restaurants consume more energy per square foot than any other US industry - more than 2 and a half times the energy used by the average commercial building. They also use large amounts of water and contribute 50,000 pounds of trash per year per restaurant. Instead of dining out think about eating in and making greening fathers a totally organic meal - grass-fed steak, home-brewed beer or locally produced wine, organic veggies. Mmmmm, bon appetit!