21 Eco-Friendly Things You Can Do for Mother's Day
Meaghan Weeden | April 28, 2022 | 5 min read
How to Make Mother's 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 — 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 almost overnight, the last few years have been especially tough for moms of all ages. In other words: this Mother's Day, they deserve all the things — and how cool would it be if you can make her day more sustainable, too? After all, those flowers shipped halfway across the world, 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 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 wonderful woman who raised you.
21 ways to have a Green Mother's Day
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's 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 fresh compost, and more!
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! Whatever you choose is sure to be beautiful, meaningful and unique!
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 that are in-season and/or sourced from local farms! Homemade Belgian Waffles with strawberry compote and fresh whipped cream, anyone?
4. TRANSFORM HER LIVING ROOM INTO AN INDOOR JUNGLE
If your mom loves all things green, consider picking her up 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 productivity, and may even reduce the time needed for convalescence. Sounds like a great gift to us! Just be sure to get her something that won't require too much extra work to care for (unless she really loves taking care of plants!).
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, outdoor concerts, or even workshops for things like terrarium making, knitting, crocheting, yoga, dance, and more!
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!
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 Mother's Day is a great excuse for her to put her feet up and devote a few hours (or more!) to some well-deserved self care!
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, you can also get a window hummingbird feeder so she can safely watch from her favorite perch.
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.
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 — 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 — and it will undoubtedly bring a smile to her face to be able to cross it off her list!
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!
12. BUILD HER A COMPOST BIN
Help her reduce waste, and have a steady supply of nutritious fertilizer for her garden 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 a compost heap. Properly maintained compost provides a rich and completely free fertilizer source in exchange for a little elbow grease!
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!
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.
15.GIVE HER BEAUTIFUL FAIR TRADE JEWELRY
Support craftswomen around the world by gifting your mom a unique, fair-trade piece that she'll 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!
16. GET HER SOME ORGANIC WINE
Wine and motherhood seem to go hand in hand — 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 select a few organic, biodynamic wines for her to try. You never know — you might end up finding her new favorite beverage!
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. You'll be sipping and munching in no time!
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 for outdoor yoga classes. These are a great way to unplug from the day to day, relax with gentle movement, and soak in some healing vibes from Mother Nature!
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!
20. CREATE AN ECO-FRIENDLY PHOTO BOOK
Giving photo books is a great way to share special memories, especially if you live far away — 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. Thanks to this abundance, there are options for budgets big and small — so you can make this as simple or as customized as you'd like!
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!