THE BLOG
06/08/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Mother's Day

"It's not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it."
~The Golden Girls

We all get one -- a mother that is -- and it's no surprise that Mother's Day is one of the most commercially successful of U.S. holidays.

What drives it? Is it guilt? When we recognize our female parents for their often under-appreciated responsibilities of raising offspring by toiling away to our benefit with steady and selfless love and support, can't we do it without being commercial? But in recognition of all that she did/does/will do/might do, etc., on this special day, we can pay her tribute with a bit of eco-this and eco-that -- potted flowers, herbs or decorative vegetation that can be planted in the garden, organic chocolate, socially responsible bling made from blood-free diamonds, shells or recycled materials, truly organic beauty products, or even soy or beeswax candles scented with essential oils with non-lead wicks.

But unfortunately, the flowers will soon fade and become compost. And in today's economy, the rock might just end up in hock. And her backside (along with yours too, buddy) will only get a size larger from all that chocolate, eco or not!

But Mother Nature is everyone's automatic second mom, personified as female for thousands of years and representing sustenance and nurturing -- so it's quite fitting that on Mother's Day we consider both our mother and Mother Nature as well.

Among those acknowledging the good deeds by women on behalf of Mother Earth, are the WINGS World Quest Women of Discovery Awards. WINGS was organized a decade ago to demonstrate how women explorers and field scientists are under-served, and sought to remedy the sad fact that young people often lack the curiosity to explore the natural world.

This special honor recognizes outstanding contributions to our general knowledge in critical environmental areas, while providing important funding for continued research and expeditions. What a remarkable way to acknowledge environmental advances, to exemplify the work of some genius women, girls, sisters, aunts, grandmothers and mothers, and to showcase the possibilities for women to work as scientists.

On Mother's Day, whether your mom is a scientist, a geologist a paleontologist, or just a plain ol' scrubologist, laundry-ologist or dustologist, take a moment and thoughtfully acknowledge her. Remember, she's the one who took you on your first 9-month environmental exploration.