Each May our mailboxes are flooded with advertisements for the perfect gift for Mom: perfume, jewelry, bath products, and the like. Yet most moms want things money can't buy, such as a quiet morning to read the paper, a day off from wiping countertops and folding laundry, or a precious hour free of sibling squabbles.
Giving Mom these simple pleasures is a great way to honor the mother in your life and the mother of us all, the Earth. By skipping the floral arrangements flown in from South America and the gifts shipped from overseas in non-recyclable packaging, you can cut down on your family's consumption of natural resources while providing Mom with what she wants most: love, and a little peace and quiet.
The children and men in our lives, however, are not born knowing what moms need most. One of the best pieces of advice that I received as a young mother was that I needed to train my husband and kids to celebrate Mother's Day, or risk receiving a belated card and wilting bouquet of roses on the following Monday. (Or be presented with breakfast in bed only to be stuck washing the dishes.) If you are a mom, don't be afraid to let your loved ones know that the best Mother's Day gifts are planet-friendly and from the heart.
Here are a few gift ideas that honor Mom and Mother Earth:
- Do Mom's chores for a day. Young children can make beds (if a bit sloppily) and fold laundry. Older kids can clean the house using plant-based castile soap and vinegar instead of strong cleaning products.
On Mom's special day, the best gifts are ones that are good for our Mother Earth.
Catherine Zandonella is the author of Green Guide Families: The Complete Reference for Eco-friendly Parents.