Mother’s Day is a special time for many families. This year, you can celebrate the mom who raised you, but you can also celebrate Mother Earth by keeping the day eco-friendly. From the gift you buy Mom to the way you prepare the meal all has an impact on the environment.
Americans spend around $21.4 billion dollars each year on Mother´s Day, or about $172 on average per mom.
This is even more than the amount spent on Valentine’s Day. What if some of that money was focused on going green? What could the country do collectively to reduce America’s carbon footprint?
Here are six ideas to make this Mother’s Day the best and the greenest ever:
1. Organic Breakfast in Bed
Making your mom breakfast in bed is a Mother’s Day tradition in many families. Create an eco-friendly Mother´s Day breakfast by using organic ingredients sources from local farmers who care about the environment just as much as you do.
Pastured chicken eggs, fruit salad without pesticides and organic orange juice round out a delicious meal.
2. Start a Raised Bed Garden
Set up a raised bed garden using sustainable materials. Plant heirloom varieties of tomatoes and other plants, so Mom can harvest the seeds and plant them year after year. You’ll also avoid the GMO varieties on the market. A raised bed garden can be as large or as small as you’d like. Even if your mom has limited outdoor space, you can easily gift her a raised bed on even a small patio.
3. Choose Plants Instead of Cut Flowers
When you purchase cut flowers, they only live for a short period of time. In addition, trucks move these cut flowers in bulk from the nursery to the flower shop. To avoid all of this, purchase hanging baskets or flowers in a pot from a local nursery that grows their own plants from scratch. You could also purchase a flowering shrub and plant it for your mother.
4. Throw a Party
Does the entire family get together for Mother’s Day? If you cook a big meal at your house, one way you can keep the gathering environmentally friendly is by using real plates and silverware rather than plastic. Also consider providing cool foods, such as sandwiches, fruit salad and cold soup or grill outdoors to use less energy cooling your home.
5. Take Mom Shopping
Perhaps your family goes to church and mom and daughters dress in beautiful dresses and hats.
Take Mom shopping before the actual day at a store that carries eco-friendly clothing. If you don’t live near a big city, this may be more of a challenge. Small, local boutiques are most likely to offer eco-friendly lines. You also could shop for clothing online as a last resort. If none of these options work, buy clothing secondhand and upcycle accessories such as hats.
6. Install New Light Bulbs
While you´re at your mom´s house, go ahead and ask if you can swap out her incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent lamps (CLFs). Traditional bulbs use about 90 percent of their energy to emit heat, which is basically lost money and lost energy. CFLS bulbs give off less heat and use less energy.
7. Enjoy Nature
What better way to celebrate the environment than getting out in nature and enjoying the beauty around you? Take mom on a hike in a local state forestry, take a picnic to the local park, or visit a natural landmark in your area. Getting the entire family outside reminds everyone in the family that the great outdoors should be protected for future generations.
8. Replace Harsh Cleaners
After the gathering for Mom’s special day, it’s time to clean up. Instead of using harsh chemical cleaners, replace these with homemade cleaners or ones made from all natural products. These are healthier for the family and the environment. Instead of a manufacturing facility that puts those chemicals back into the environment as waste, use natural products that won’t harm plants or animals – not mention your own family.
Eco-Friendly Mother’s Day
Hosting an eco-friendly Mother’s Day is something everyone in the family can help with. Young children can make cards, and the adults can commit to making the day as green as possible. With just a few changes, the day will be much greener this year. This Mother’s Day what better gift for your family than the gift of protecting the environment so they can enjoy the earth for many years to come.
Emily is a sustainability and eco-friendly living blogger.