Some Environmentally Friendly Ideas for Your Favorite ‘Earth Mother’
These days, more moms are environmentally aware, and since it comes so soon after Earth Day, Mother’s Day is an excellent opportunity to keep the green spirit alive. Here are some eco-friendly alternatives to typical Mother’s Day traditions:
BREAKFAST IN BED: We always started Mother’s Day off right with breakfast in bed for Mom. This year, make it an environmentally friendly and socially responsible meal with fair-trade coffee or tea, vegetarian bacon or sausage (meat production uses far more of our precious natural resources than vegetable production), organic orange juice and fruit, and eggs from a local farmer’s market (if they are raised locally, no fuel has to be used to truck them long distances, and they are less likely to be from ‘factory farms’). Mom will be touched by your thoughtfulness and impressed with your responsibility.
THE CARD: Everybody knows Mom appreciates a card from her family and will especially treasure a homemade card. So, why not be green about it and make a card out of recycled materials? The back panel of a cereal box makes a nice, sturdy support that can be covered with all sorts of neat stuff, from pretty pictures cut from magazines to interesting little origami shapes folded from receipts, catalog pages, and even colorful junk mail. Use your imagination and give Mom a surprise and a laugh while saving all of that stuff from going into the landfill!
FLOWERS: Moms like flowers, but the traditional bouquet of cut blooms can pose significant environmental problems: exotic blossoms may be grown out of season in energy-sucking hothouses, or inorganic fertilizers and pesticides may be used. They are usually transported long distances, burning much fuel just to get them to your neighborhood florist. If you want to present Mom with a bouquet, try to get local, organically grown flowers. Better yet, why kill flowers when you can present Mom with a healthy, living plant that she can enjoy for years to come? If you have a backyard, choose a nice shrub to plant that is suited to your local climate. You can even make your backyard more nature-friendly by choosing a plant that will provide shelter or food for wild critters. My top recommendation for this purpose would be the buddleia, known as ‘butterfly bush’. It grows about 5-6 feet tall, blooms profusely and offers shelter to plenty of little birdies and beasties. And as you might guess from the name, butterflies go crazy for it. Mom will be reminded of your thoughtfulness year after year as she watches the butterflies dance around these gorgeous shrubs.
GIFTS: There are all kinds of gifts to please a green mom’s heart, from the large (Energy-saving appliances! New low-e windows! A hybrid car!) to the medium-sized (Solar-powered outdoor lighting! Thermal window blinds!) to the small (Recycled paper stationery! Organic cookies and treats!). Here’s an idea: Get Mom a pretty canvas tote bag filled with organic and cruelty-free (no animal testing) bath and beauty products. When the products are gone, Mom can take the tote bag to do her grocery shopping instead of having to use paper or plastic bags!
ACTIVITIES: A nice stroll-and-picnic in the park sounds more green and serene than a gas-burning drive to a crowded restaurant for brunch, doesn’t it? Mom gets to relax and take in some fresh air with the family, nobody has to stress out about table manners, and everyone gets to appreciate nature and get some exercise, to boot. If Mom is more of an activist type, you might plan something like an afternoon of planting trees or cleaning up a streamside or park. These activities are more about spending time together than spending money. After all, those are the memories you’ll really appreciate, and it’s nice to know that going green doesn’t require spending much ‘green’.
Now that you’ve read these suggestions, I hope you’ll be inspired to have a wonderfully green Mother’s Day, because there’s another special mom you should always keep in your heart—Mother Nature!
Image from Pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/nature-park-mother-girl-mama-3089907/