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The Wall Street Journal

"Lean and Green for Father's Day"

She Shops, He Shops

Two columnists assess the gamut of thrifty, eco-friendly gifts
By LAURA LANDRO and ALAN MURRAY
June 7, 2008; Page W7

A Woman's Ideas

Dear old Dad can get the short end of the stick when it comes to Father's Day gifts. Consumers always spend much more on Mother's Day -- $15 billion last year for Mom, compared with $9.9 billion for Dad -- and with the worsening economy and high gas prices, by the time his holiday rolls around next week, he may be lucky to get a card.

It's also hard to do for Dad the kind of things you do for Mom: Dads, for example, just don't appreciate brunch. My Dad, one of nine children of Italian immigrants, grew up in the Depression and fought in two wars. When brunch was first big in the 1970s, he would look at menus and say, "Six dollars for eggs?" We don't take him to brunch anymore, as I can't imagine what he'd think of omelets that have nearly tripled in price. But Dad also is the one who taught us about being thrifty, careful and conscientious with scarce resources. Mine was into conservation before it was cool: He drilled into our heads the importance of turning off the lights when we left a room, which I still do to this day.

[Clockwise from top left: Gotham Citizen Bike; carbon-credit gift cards; Happy Pappy Bocce Ball set; Duluth Trading polo shirt.]
Clockwise from top left: Gotham Citizen Bike; carbon-credit gift cards; Happy Pappy Bocce Ball set; Duluth Trading polo shirt.
Here are some gift ideas to show Dad how much you appreciate the lessons -- without him thinking you've gone over the top. And you'll have money left over for gas.

Here are some gift ideas to show Dad how much you appreciate the lessons -- without him thinking you've gone over the top. And you'll have money left over for gas.

Folding Bike: Dad can get to work -- or just get some exercise -- without enlarging his carbon footprint, on a lightweight folding bike that's easy to store and carry. The Gotham Citizen Bike has a hand-welded alloy frame, weighs 23 pounds and has six speeds.

Alan: You aren't going to want to sit near me if I ride this thing from Connecticut to lower Manhattan. But I like the idea. (My Dad, by the way, wouldn't have seen the $274 price tag as an example of "being thrifty, careful, and conscientious with scarce resources.")

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