Mother’s Day Gifts with the Earth in Mind
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, there are plenty of eco-friendly gifts and crafts to explore, all tailored to shower your mom (and the environment!) in clean, eco-conscious love. All of the old stand-bys can be substituted with green alternatives, along with original and out-of-the-box DIY gifts that not only celebrate the beauty of your mom, but Mother Earth as well!
For the Food-Loving Mom
Let’s get down to it: chocolate. Traditionally, chocolates have been a woman’s best friend since the discovery of the cocoa bean…but the production of cocoa (from bean to delicious candy bar) involves layers of pesticides and herbicides just like any other plant. Many health-oriented, organic options are available for your mom’s eating pleasure, such as:
- Artisanal chocolate (the FCIA defines this as “chocolate produced by small chocolate makers- artisans -who understand their craft intimately”)
- Organic chocolate (the chocolate ingredients were farmed sustainably, without GMOs or chemicals)
- Fair Trade chocolate (usually goes hand-in-hand with organic, and is a product that is farmed by workers who are treated with respect in an environment with high standards designed to prevent unjust treatment of employees)
Chocolate isn’t the only route you have to take, however: organic candies and organic farmers market fruits are always on the table to celebrate your one and only mom!
Another food-centric Mother’s Day gift is an organic cookbook, stuffed with delicious recipes from cover to cover. Check out this list of highest rated organic cookbooks here.
For the Thirsty Mom
Believe it or not, organic and sustainable wines do exist. A wine product can be labeled as eco-friendly if the vineyard of origin adheres to a specific list of guidelines:
- If it’s organic: contains certifiably organic grapes, grown without added sulfites.
- If it’s biodynamic: organic products are used, and the vineyard is regarded as an ecosystem, accounting for factors like the lunar cycle and the constellations. The farmer does not adjust for yeast or acidity with additives either.
- If it’s sustainable: can include organic and biodynamic grapes, but more so applies to techniques that work best for a farmer’s individual vineyard. This is the most environmentally conscious label that focuses on water conservation, energy conservation, renewable resources, etc.
Wine companies like Alma Rosa, ampelos Cellars, and French Rabbit are organic and sustainable, with others like Frei Brothers, Fetzer/Bonterra Vineyards, and a long list of sustainable brands. For even more organic variety, click here!
For the Crafty Mom
Got a mom who’s obsessed with DIY projects? One thing she may appreciate are sustainable tools to help reduce her carbon footprint while maintaining her DIY hobby…or better yet, some handmade gifts from you!
- Equip her with eco-friendly tools: Follow the links on Sierra Club’s article to learn more about where to find sustainable pencils, glues, and other artsy supplies with the planet in mind.
- Paint her walls “green”: There are a number of non-toxic, VOC-free paints on the market. This means that no volatile organic compound (a naturally occurring but potentially harmful gas) is present in the paint formula. Behr Premium, Benjamin Moore, YOLO Colorhouse, and Sherwin-Williams Harmony are just a few brands of eco-friendly, non-toxic paint.
- Pamper her with handmade sugar scrubs: Be it for relaxation, exfoliation, or invigoration, visit Wellness Mama’s site to learn about the easy art of DIY scrubs, their benefits, and some oh-so-simple recipes.
- Engulf her senses with homemade soy candles: The common candle is made with an unsustainable ingredient called paraffin wax. Green alternatives exist, however, to combat the safety and sustainability of candles. Claire K Creations provides a wonderful tutorial for DIY soy candles!
- Turn her old, forgotten books into nifty crafts: A purse. A picture frame. A chandelier. There are endless ways to recycle/”upcycle” those dusty books that are fated for the dumpster.
For the newly hatched DIY enthusiast, dense eco-friendly craft books await!
Old Fashioned Ideas (with a Twist)
For the more traditional at heart, plenty of sustainable options are at your fingertips for tried-and-true Mother’s Day gifts:
- Greeting cards: Instead of a store-bought card, why not recycle some scrap paper (get even more creative with old magazines and leftover fabric) and create a recycled Mother’s Day card? It’s both eco-friendly and entirely more intimate. Other alternatives are store-bought cards containing recycled material, electronic cards, and cards made of biodegradable, plantable seed paper.
- Flowers: Buy flowers that are organic, sustainable, and/or fair trade. Just as with any food product, flowers are typically mass-produced with pesticides; many local growers, however, sell certified organic products. Visit Mother Nature Network’s article for a comprehensive list of companies that sell healthy, chemical-free bouquets.