Eco Father’s Day gift ideas

I know it’s late. I know it’s last minute but isn’t that how most of us will be buying our Father’s Day gifts? Hey it’s not until Sunday, we still have tonight, Friday night, Saturday … and even Sunday morning.

The worst thing to do when you’re up against a deadline like this is to rock up to a department store and wait for something to leap out at you. (How did the Day come so quickly anyway and why do I always know it’s coming up but don’t know what day it actually is?)

Something won’t leap out at you and you know if you make it leap out, you will convince yourself that Dad won’t know how he lived without the 10-in-1 tool you’re about to get him.

So here’s some sustainable Father’s Day gift ideas to suit all budgets.

Gift an experience

This is a great way to not buy more ‘stuff’ that won’t get used. Starting from the less adventurous …

  • A movie pass for two – Gold Class if you must
  • Netflix or Stan subscription
  • Spotify subscription or iTunes voucher
  • Dinner for two
  • Tickets to a theatre or a comedy event
  • A workshop voucher – perhaps he’s always wanted to learn how to take better photos, do a walking tour to understand the history of the city he lives in. Look for an adult education centre near him. Victoria has some really interesting day courses through CAE
  • A massage
  • Rides – go karts, a racing car simulator (if he’s not prone to motion sickness), indoor skydiving, outdoor skydiving.

Gifts that return to ashes and dust

  • A book, bookshop voucher, magazine subscription – they will all decompose (or be passed on) once he’s finished with them. Digital versions are even better
  • Food – chocolate (look for organic and/or Fairtrade certification)
  • Beer or wine – again lots of organic options available.

Gadget gifts

If you’re buying electronics such as computing, mobile devices or home entertainment have a look at Ethical Shopper to buy from a company that’s worthy of your dollars.

Socks and jocks

Ah the fail-safe option. This doesn’t mean they have to be run of the mill and boring. If your dad needs clothes why not get him a voucher from an online shop that stocks organic, that way he chooses what he really wants. Blessed Earth has a good range of underwear and basics, so does Bhumi Organic.

If you’re dashing out to the shops to grab a t-shirt check the company against the Behind the Barcode guide before you buy.

Good on You also lets you search fashion, skincare and sports brands to find out if they’re worth it. These are quick checks that won’t have you feeling so guilty after spontaneous buys.

Aftershave or beard care 

Lots of sustainable options in this category. Look for organic logos to make sure it doesn’t have any nasties in it and doesn’t test on animals. If it’s not organic, these cruelty free logos will at least help you choose a product that’s not tested on animals.

Hmm, now with only two days to go it’s time for me to follow my own advice!


Kathy Cogo is the founder and editor of Sustainable Shopper. A journalist of 15 years, she's been a senior reporter with the ABC and has managed communications and media for a range of not for profit organisations including Australia's largest organic certifying group, Australian Certified Organic.

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