Eco-Friendly Father's Day Gifts
Eco-gifts for Dad by Lela Rabie
I love celebrations, if I had my way, there would be a Chocolate Day, a 'bring-your-cat-to-work-day', a Day for sisters, cousins and the postman. Unfortunately the rest of the world does not think quite the same way so I have to make the most of the days 'officially' assigned celebratory status. Thus it is with no small measure of excitement that I am thinking about what to get my Dad for Fathers Day this year.
As a die-hard greenie, I am of course pondering along the lines of something that is environmentally friendly whilst being useful and interesting and which won't break the bank.
I took a trip through Google and popped into a few favourite Cape Town haunts and here is what I found..
Green Gadget Dad.
If your Dad is anything like mine, he’ll be a sucker for the goodies in The Green Shop. Situated in De Waterkant Cape Quarter Mall in Cape Town, this gem of a store has gadgets to make any Dads heart sing. From solar powered mobile chargers and battery-free torches to diy model car kits and can crushers, you’re sure to find something quirky and fun. Prices are truly reasonable and the staff are always willing to help you with information and suggestions. Look out for the diy solar car kit!
If you can make it down to 85 Lower Main Road in Observatory you will find yourself in one of Cape Towns best kept music shop secrets. Revolution Records stocks vinyl and cd’s for bands under almost every letter of the alphabet from the 1960s onwards, they have a dedicated jazz room and the chances are very good that if your Dad has a favourite record, you will find it here. Okay, not technically very green but many of the records are second hand so you can call it recycling!
Lets assume your Dad used to be one of those mountain conquering types but these days he just enjoys a brisk walk in the open spaces with the hope of a picnic or barbeque at the end. Then a Wild card is the thing for him. The Wild Card is a pin protected card which gives the bearer free access to South African National Parks (SANParks), CapeNature Conservation Reserves (CNC), Msinsi Resorts and Reserves, Big Game Parks of Swaziland and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife for one year. Cards are divided into ‘clusters’ which group certain areas together and are priced accordingly. All-Cluster cards are available, which allow access to all locations which accept Wild Cards and these are very reasonably priced.
If your Dad still has a touch of playfulness in him, then Cape Kites is going to be the way to go. Situated in Wynberg this store offers paragliding lessons for individuals and if you are very brave you can join your Dad in a tandem paragliding flight. They also stock a variety of kites from single string kites to stunt kites and flying toys. Well worth a visit!
Staying with the outdoors theme, if your Dad is a keen gardener, why not get him a Botanical Society membership for a year? Amongst other benefits, it will allow him free access into any of South Africa’s National botanical gardens for a year, not least of which our very own Kirstenbosch. This diamond of natural beauty also has its own garden centre which boasts some of the best fynbos plants around, the staff are highly knowledgeable and it is highly likely you’ll find a specimen or two which your Dad doesn’t have in his garden yet. If you want to make a day of it, take your Dad with you to choose his own plants, enjoy a walk through the gardens and end it all off with tea for two at the wonderful Silvertree restaurant, which offers wheat-free, dairy-free and sugar-free options as well as free-range eggs and the most delicious cheesecake I have tasted in a while.
So you have a foody Dad, one who knows his fois gras from his pate. Then I suggest you head to the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock on a Saturday morning and buy him a basket of the best in local organic cheese, wine, oils and bread, alternatively, take him with you and enjoy some of the produce on-site.
Melissas in the V&A Waterfront and various other city locations, stock some wonderful hamper-fillers and you can treat yourself to some cake while you’re there!
Woolworths has expanded their organic range and both they and The Wellness Warehouse stock very reasonably priced organic wines.
If your Dad is open to the experience, a massage or facial at The Wellness Warehouse can be a very relaxing treat. They also stock a wide range of organic mens toiletries if you would rather get him goodies to use at home. You can also take a look at Hemporiums range for something green yet manly! Find them at: www.shoporganic.co.za/hemporium.
What if I don’t stay in Cape Town? Look out for www.kisma.co.za, a site which sells gifts made from recycled materials, from delightful plug bug magnets and keyboard keyrings to Time Magazine clocks.
The Green Shop also have a branch in Boksburg as well as doing online sales from their website: www.thegreenshop.co.za.
Wellness Warehouse also have online shopping: www.wellnesswarehouse.com.
Regardless of the material gift you choose to give your Dad this Fathers Day, make the most of an ‘official’ excuse to celebrate your Dad and may the time you spend with him be precious and filled with laughter, love and fun!
The Green Shop, Cape Quarter, Greenpoint, Cape Town. Tel: 021 4199605.
Boksburg, Bardene, 148 North Rand Road.
Revolution Records, 85 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town.
Cape Kites, 368 Main Road, Wynberg, Cape Town.
The Wellness Warehouse: www.wellnesswarehouse.com
Wild Card: www.sanparks.co.za/tourism/wild/.
Botanical Society of South Africa: www.botanicalsociety.org.za