Dads are the ones who teach us how to throw a football, reel in a big fish, and grill a mean steak. They’ve earned the right to be celebrated, and while gifts aren’t the only way to show dear-old-Dad he’s appreciated, there’s nothing like seeing the look on his face when he unwraps the perfect gift. So don’t just get him another sweater. We’ve got five awesome gift idea’s for this Father’s Day (June 17th) with an added bonus: they will shrink his carbon footprint and a few will shrink his energy bill. Now what Dad wouldn’t want that?
List and captions courtesy of EarthTechling
Nest Smart Thermostat
If you've ever head your Dad say, "Who messed with the thermostat!? Do you want to pay the bill?" then this might be the perfect gift for him this Father's Day. The <a href="http://www.earthtechling.com/tag/nest-learning-themostat/" target="_hplink">Nest smart thermostat</a> learns about one's behaviors, preferences and surroundings to create a custom heating and cooling schedule. Within a week, it's able to learn your personal schedule, automatically turning down heating or cooling when you're away, cutting energy costs by up to 50 percent (and I don't know any Dad who wouldn't love smaller energy bills.) The Nest is now available at Lowe's home improvement stores and online through Apple retail for $250.
Steampunk Pocket Watch
Your Dad might have everything, but we're betting he doesn't have a <a href="http://www.earthtechling.com/2012/01/steampunk-pocket-watch-winds-via-solar-power/" target="_hplink">solar powered steampunk pocket watch</a>. This watch is the old fashioned, wind-up kind -- with the added bonus that it can be wound up by the sun, via two turbine blades on the outside of the watch that actually spin in the sunlight. (Of course, if the sun isn't shining, your Dad can always use old-fashioned elbow grease.) The piece features a quartz movement and magnetic fastening hatch, so he can look quite dapper, snapping it open to ensure his precise punctuality. $149 might be a big chunk of change, but for the old-fashioned and punctual Dad, it could be the perfect gift.
For the music-loving Dad, there no better gift than these one-of-a-kind earbuds, and the fact that they're made of reclaimed wood is even cooler. <a href="http://www.earthtechling.com/2012/06/reclaimed-wood-earbuds-deliver-sound-the-way-nature-intended/" target="_hplink">WoodTones</a> combine the aesthetic and acoustic benefits inherent in real wood, resulting in great-sounding and great-looking earbuds. By using wood as the main material, the earbuds are able to accentuate vocals and bass while also improving sound volume, meaning users can listen at lower volume levels than usual while still enjoying the same caliber of sound. They're a steal at $29.99.
Ultrapower Recharge Mower
If your Dad is anything like mine, it's easy to say that he's serious about his lawn. If your Dad is still pushing a noisy, smog spewing mower around the yard, maybe it's time to upgrade him to the clean, quite glory of the new <a href="http://www.earthtechling.com/2012/05/electric-lawnmower-promises-not-to-skimp-on-power/" target="_hplink">Ultrapower Recharge Mower</a>. That is, if you're willing to drop some coin for your old man. The mower is priced at $679, but we think you'll find it's worth it. The mower's battery pack promises to deliver over 45 minutes of continuous cutting time, and can withstand 600 charge cycles without losing power. The 20-inch all steel deck offers seven height adjustments controlled by a single handle, and buyers have their choice of side discharge, rear bagging or mulching all included. In addition to being powerful and producing no emissions, the Recharge Mower is completely cordless. Simply plug the battery pack into the included Smart Charger and in only a few hours you're ready to go again.
SmartTalk Solar Hands-Free Accessory
I, personally, cringe at the idea of my Dad talking on his cell phone while driving. Keep your Dad safe on the roads (and using clean energy) with the <a href="http://www.earthtechling.com/2012/05/smartphone-goes-hands-free-with-windshield-mount/" target="_hplink">SmartTalk Solar hands-free accessory</a>. It mounts directly to your Dad's vehicle's windshield so the solar panel can face the glass, keeping the internal battery charged for extended talk time. Calls can be answered or placed at the touch of a single, large button or through his smartphone's voice command features without touching the device at all. Priced at $69.99, this could be a small price to pay for your Dad's road safety (and carbon footprint).
Using Tech for Top Energy Savings
Lighting control expert Steve McCurdy demonstrates some simple lighting equipment that can significantly lower energy costs in the home.