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21 Eco-Friendly Things You Can Do for Mother's Day

Meaghan Weeden | April 30, 2021 | 5 min read

How to Make Mothers Day Sustainable and Still Give Her the Celebration she deserves

It's almost Mother's Day and if you're like most people, you're probably scouring the internet for unique Mother's Day gifts that will make her smile β€” perhaps something different from the typical Mother's Day flowers and Mother's day brunch (although those are classics for a reason!) that still hits all of the right notes and conveys just how much you appreciate all that she does. 

From long separations and worrying about their family's health to having to juggle homeschooling and a 9-5 overnight, 2020-21 has been an especially tough year for moms of all ages. In other words, this Mother's Day, they deserve all the things β€” and how cool would it be if you can make her day more sustainable, too? After all, those flowers, greeting cards and gifts can add up to having a pretty hefty impact on Mother Earth. 

Whether she has a green thumb or a black one, loves dogs or is more of a cat person, enjoys coffee or tea, is a thrill seeker (hey, they're out there!) or would prefer to stay curled up inside with a book, all of the different ways to celebrate Mother's Day are as unique as the woman who raised you. 

Here's 21 ways to have the best Green Mother's Day

family gardening

1. GET YOUR HANDS IN THE DIRT

In many parts of the world, Mother's Day falls in late spring, which is often the perfect time to get gardens planted. And whether she is a seasoned pro or new to gardening, she's sure to appreciate your help with getting her garden started this year. This could mean anything from turning over the soil to transplanting seedlings, mulching, setting up an irrigation system, building raised beds or other planters, direct seeding herbs and flowers, working in compost, and more! 

wildflower bouquet

2. PICK A WILDFLOWER BOUQUET

It's no secret that women love flowers, and moms are no exception. But those highly cultivated bouquets come with a hefty price tag for the environment, and are often shipped from hundreds or even thousands of miles away. So this year switch it up and either pick your own wildflower bouquet or find a local farm that will grow and arrange them for you. Another option is to gift her a potted plant that will bloom for years to come! Either one will be beautiful, meaningful and unique!

brunch eco friendly

3. SERVE UP A LOCAL BRUNCH

Mother's Day brunch is often one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants, and is something that many moms look forward to. This year, reduce the impact of your Mother's Day brunch by shopping around for one that sources all of their ingredients locally. Or, play chef for the day and whip her up a delicious meal with all of the classics using ingredients sourced from local farms! Homemade Belgian Waffles with strawberry compote and fresh whipped cream, anybody?

indoor jungle houseplants

4. TRANSFORM HER LIVING ROOM INTO AN INDOOR JUNGLE

If your mom loves all things green, consider getting her a unique plant or two from your local garden center. Besides greening up her indoor space, studies have found that houseplants can improve indoor air quality, reduce stress levels, boost your productivity, and may even help you recover from illnesses faster. Sounds like a great gift to us! Just be sure to get her something that won't require too much work to take care of (unless she really loves taking care of plants!)

building terrarium

5. GIFT AN EXPERIENCE YOU CAN SHARE

Sometimes the best gift is simply quality time spent together learning something new and making memories. After over a year of being cooped up due to COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, getting out and doing something fun (provided she's fully vaccinated), might be the best gift you can give! So look into any local offerings like paint n' sip, cooking classes, or even workshops for things like terrarium making, knitting, crocheting, or anything else she's interested in!

planting tree one tree planted

6. Plant a tree for her!

Because Mother Nature deserves some love on Mother's Day, too! And planting trees is a great way to celebrate everything your nature-loving mom does for you and your family. That’s because just like our moms do their best to nurture and guide us, trees are silently creating the conditions for life all around us. They clean the air, stabilize the soil, improve water quality, provide habitat and food for biodiversity, absorb and sequester carbon, moderate local temperatures and so much more!

herbal beauty basket

7. MAKE HER AN HERBAL SELF-CARE BASKET

Support your local herbalist and put together a beautiful basket filled with responsibly wildcrafted herbal beauty products like bath salts and bombs, lotions and creams, facial cleansers and steams, toners and floral waters, soothing salves and balms, face masks, herbal cosmetics, and more! After all, moms spend most of their time putting everyone else first, so this is a great excuse for her to put her feet up and devote a few hours (or more!) to some much deserved self care!

homemade bird house

8. BUILD HER A BIRD FEEDER

If you're feeling crafty, gather up some materials from your house or local transfer station and build her a unique upcycled bird feeder so that she can enjoy birdwatching for years to come! On Mother's Day, let her choose where to install it, make sure it's well out of reach of any bears, squirrels or other scavengers, and wait for the birds to flock in! If she has mobility issues, get a hummingbird feeder for her window so she can safely watch from her favorite perch.

playing catch in the backyard

9. MAKE HER YARD A SAFER PLACE

This idea isn't as exciting, but with climate change comes exploding tick populations and a growing prevalence of the the many diseases they spread. There are simple landscaping measures that you can take to make her yard safer for kids, grandkids, pets, and adults, too. These include making tick cones and placing them around the edges of the property, creating a line of mulch or gravel around the perimeter of the yard, raking up and removing leaves, and trimming overgrown brush.

woman sanding window

10. HELP HER WITH A PROJECT AROUND THE HOUSE

Maybe there's a door that sticks, a leaky faucet, paint that's peeling, a planter that needs to be moved β€” or maybe she just needs to switch out her storms with screens for the warmer months. Moms are amazingly resourceful but they can't do everything and there's likely something around the house that she has been meaning or unable to get to β€” and it will undoubtedly bring a smile to her face to be able to cross it off her list!

wildflower meadow

11. PLANT A MINI WILDFLOWER MEADOW

If she has the space for it, help her establish a mini wildflower meadow filled with beneficial plants for pollinators like borage, milkweed, butterfly bush, dandelion, coneflower, blue vervain, and more! Just do a little research (we recommend the xerces society) to find out what the best native plants are for pollinators in your area. She'll love watching the butterflies, bees and hummingbirds as they flit from flower to flower!

compost pile

12. BUILD HER A COMPOST BIN

Help her reduce waste, and have a steady supply of nutritious fertilizer for her gardens by building or setting up a composter for her. Depending on where she lives, this could be anything from a kitchen worm composter to an efficient electric one, a rotating bucket, or even compost heap. Properly maintained composts provide a rich and completely free fertilizer source in exchange for a little elbow grease!

window herbs

13. GIVE HER THE GIFT OF FRESH HERBS ALL YEAR LONG

Whether you get fancy with a hydroponic herb growing system or keep it analog with a simple window herb garden, fresh culinary herbs are the gift that keeps on giving. From vibrant ingredients for home-cooked meals to soothing teas, natural medicines,  fragrant aromas and even natural air purification, fresh herbs are sure to make her smile all year round!

rain barrel

14. BUILD HER A RAIN BARREL

You'll have to look into local regulations, but if it's okay to do so, building (or buying) mom a rain barrel and a simple irrigation system is a great way to help her take advantage of a natural resource (rainwater) and hopefully cut down on time spent watering her flowers and garden! In water-stressed areas, this can be especially helpful to reduce her water bill, conserve water and protect the environment. 

making jewelry

15.GIVE HER BEAUTIFUL FAIR TRADE JEWELRY

Support craftswomen across the world by gifting your mom a unique, fair-trade piece that she will love all the more for knowing that it helped support another mom somewhere. These days, you can find fair-trade jewelry everywhere from small local shops to online retailers like Ten Thousand Villages, but wherever you go you can be sure that your purchase will have a positive impact!

wine tasting vineyard

16. GET HER SOME ORGANIC WINE

Wine and motherhood seem to go hand in hand β€” after all, sometimes she just needs something to help her unwind at the end of a long day. So head to your local market and find some organic, biodynamic wines for her to try. You never know β€” you might end up finding her new favorite beverage!

tea party cherry tree

17. HAVE A MOTHERS DAY TEA PARTY

Tea parties aren't just for kids! Pull together some dainty foods like a light spring salad, finger sandwiches, scones, quiche, cupcakes, and anything else you know she would love, along with some delicious loose-leaf teas to try, and you'll be sipping and munching in no time! 

outdoor yoga class

18. GET HER A GIFT CARD FOR OUTDOOR YOGA CLASSES

If your mom loves yoga or just really needs to relax, look into what yoga studios near you offer outdoor yoga classes. These are a great way to unplug from the day to day, relax with some gentle movement, and soak in some healing vibes from Mother Nature! 

glass containers

19. UPGRADE HER ECO-KITCHEN GAME

If she loves to cook and regularly ends up with lots of delicious leftovers, this idea is for you. Help her keep food fresh and ditch single-use plastic with beeswax wraps, reusable bags, glass food storage containers, and more! This will keep her fridge more organized AND protect the planet from unnecessary plastic waste!

photo book family

20. CREATE AN ECO-FRIENDLY PHOTO BOOK

Giving photo books is a great way to share special memories, especially if you live far away β€” and it's sure to end up on her coffee table indefinitely! Today, there are tons of high quality, eco-friendly photo book options out there, working with budgets big and small, so you can get creative and make this as simple or customized as you'd like!

volunteer tree planter

21. SIGN UP FOR A VOLUNTEER EVENT

Surprise her by signing both of you up to volunteer for a cause that she loves. This could be anything from planting trees to walking dogs at a local shelter, cleaning up trash, serving food at a local soup kitchen, mentoring local kids, building a lending library, and more. She'll surely appreciate the time spent making a positive impact together!

So there you have it! We hope this list has inspired you give your mom the best eco-friendly Mother's Day celebration ever! Just want to plant a tree? Plant a tree for your mom today!

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