Share Your Way To A Waste-Free Father’s Day!

Last month, Mom got her day in the sun, and in just about a week, it’ll be Dad’s turn. So what are you doing to celebrate?

Going for the classic card and tie combo? Booo-ring.

Trust me, Dad doesn’t want another tie. He probably doesn’t really care about new tools or a grilling apron or any of the other prescribed “manly” gifts we’re told to buy for him this time of year.

If you really want to surprise a Dad in your life, without spending a lot of money on yet another thing that will just end up gathering dust on a shelf somewhere, it’s time to think about sharing.

Collaborative consumption is a fast-growing trend, with more companies and services launching every day. This momentum has many, including the New York Times and Forbes, shouting from the rooftops that the sharing economy is here to stay!

The best part about this movement is that people are realizing that they don’t have to consume what the corporations produce. We don’t have to depend on Wal-Mart and Starbucks and McDonald’s because that’s just the way it is.

We can make a new way, build a new economy of our very own. One that is created from the physical network of our communities and the virtual network of our online social networks.

But I digress. We’re here to talk about Father’s Day and surprising Dad with something thoughtful! Here are a few of the exciting options that become apparent when we exchange sharing for shopping.


1. New Skills (and the time to learn ‘em)

learning to surf, father's day, sharing

Does Dad often lament that he wished he had the time to learn to cook or paint or use Photoshop? Workshops and community college classes are time-consuming and costly. Why not learn directly from someone who’s passionate about doing these things in real life?

Skillshare is a a global online community where anyone can learn real-world skills from incredible teachers. Skillshare classes happen when the student is ready to take them, so they fit into any schedule. Dad can take as long as he wants on each lesson because students get lifetime access to class materials. They’ve got everything from meatball-making to concert poster design. Just pair it with a coupon for an hour a week of uninterrupted “class time” and it’s the perfect gift. And if Dad wants to learn a skill that can’t be learned online, like surfing or street photography, check out the unique experiences offered by Vayable!


2. New Stuff (and a less cluttered closet)

new stuff, sharing, Yerdle

Maybe Dad really hiking, but money’s tight so he can’t afford a new pair hiking shoes. Or maybe he’s been longing for a bike trailer so he can take the kids along on his weekend bike rides, but he’s waiting to find one at the right price. All of this stuff and more can be found for $0 on Yerdle, an online community that helps people give away what they’ve got, and nab what they need.

Browse categories full of gently-used free stuff, from electronics to outdoor gear. Surprise Dad with his special gift and then show him how easy it would be to use the site to share all those tools and ties that he never uses!


3. New Way To Get Around (and a little exercise)

father on bike, bike commuting, bike sharing

Telling someone they should bike to work instead of driving isn’t typically as successful as showing them how much fun it could be. Spinlister is a peer-to-peer bike sharing service that specializes in connecting people with awesome bikes to awesome people who don’t have bikes.

Use their simple search page to find the size and style of bike that’s right for Dad (maybe even the whole family!). Choose the time and date of the reservation or message the owners with any questions. Once you’ve found the right bike, select rental dates and check out. The bike owner will confirm and you’re all set to ride! Plan a trip down your city’s greenway to a park picnic, or maybe a stop at the local ice cream shop! You’ll be burning calories instead of fossil fuels, and show Dad how much fun life can be on two wheels.


Images via Thinkstock

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Brittany Evans
Brittany Evans2 years ago

These are GREAT ideas for anyone at any time! Thank you so much for sharing! If I could add to the article: another great site for cleaning out your unused items or taking items off people's hands that they don't want or need is freecycle (

Ron B.
Ron B.2 years ago

We'll be visiting our daughter. That's the best Father's Day present I could ask for.

Anne Moran
Anne Moran2 years ago


Birgit W.
Birgit W.2 years ago


Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra2 years ago

Thank you Beth, for Sharing this!

Dave C.
Dave C.2 years ago a son & dad...."time together" is what dad's usually want.....

Aud Nordby
Aud nordby2 years ago


Natasha Salgado
Natasha Salgado2 years ago


JL A.2 years ago

helpful ideas

Shanti S.
S S.2 years ago

Thank you.