Sometimes the nut really does fall far from the tree. So while you may have spent the last decade or so composting the scraps from your organic produce, riding your bike to work and debating whether to install solar panels or a green roof, mom might still need a little coaxing to go green. Of course she doesn’t want to be lectured. But Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show mom how truly easy and enjoyable it is to honor Mother Earth. Here are eight ways to celebrate that are sure to win her over.
1. Say it with flowers
Thank her for all the dirty diapers she changed with a beautiful bouquet of eco-friendly paper roses made from-elephant dung. Don’t worry – they’re odorless. But if she’s not one to appreciate such ironic touches, you can stick with fresh flowers with a low impact by choosing organic blooms.
2. Put down roots
Spring is the season to plant a tree, so honor mom with a beautiful, green, carbon-reducing machine. Check out the Arbor Day Foundation’s online Tree Wizard for guidance on choosing the perfect one for your climate and the particular spot you have in mind.
Nurseries in most parts of the country will have a great selection during the month of May. The Arbor Day Foundation also has an online store .
3. Straighten up and flight right
Didn’t she always tell you to clean up after yourself? Your mother will be impressed at how you’ve taken her message to heart when you invite her to volunteer together for a clean-up day at a nearby park or beach. The National Park Service has a search tool for finding volunteer opportunities in the system. You can also search for opportunities via Keep America Beautiful’s Great American CleanUp through the end of May. Also, your city parks department can likely hook you up with local projects.
4. The sweetest gift
A charitable contribution is always both thoughtful and eco-friendly since you avoid using energy or wasting resources. You can even let Mom pick her favorite environmental group or other charity with a flexible gift card that allows the recipient to pick the nonprofit.
One such option, TisBest, ups the eco-ante even more by making their gift cards from 100 percent recycled plastic.
5. Share and share alike
Mom also taught you to share, right? A Community Supported Agriculture membership is a great, grown-up way to do so. Members pay in advance for a portion of a local farm’s harvest and then receive weekly deliveries of organic fruits and veggies. Deliveries are often big enough to split between two households, so consider signing up yourself and mom for a joint membership. Most programs start in June, and you can find one near you via Local Harvest or Green People.
6. Food, glorious (organic) food
She probably prepared, literally, thousands of meals for you as a child. Surely you can do the same for her at least once. Invite Mom over for a delicious Mother’s Day brunch using sustainably sourced ingredients. Sustainable Table has some great suggestions or whip up your mom’s own favorite recipes using environmentally conscious ingredients like free-range eggs, locally raised bacon and organic fruit.
7. Magic words
Is mom a bookworm? Present her with a volume to inspire her to go green. Good choices include Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, Barbara Kingsolver’s account of how she, along with her husband and daughters, spent a year eating only homegrown and locally produced foods. Also take a look at 1001 Ways to Save the Earth, a down-to-earth primer on all things eco.
8. Waste not, want not
Remind mom of the benefits of recycling by getting her a gift made from recycled materials. If she’s a news hound, Pier One sells woven baskets made from recycled newspapers that, appropriately enough, are perfect for storing latest periodicals. Or if she’s more of the shop-til-she-drops type, give her a Bazura Bag market tote. They’re made from spent juice boxes by a women’s collective in the Phillipines.
Another socially and environmentally conscious choice is a decorative bowl crafted from recycled sardine labels by women from the Wola Nani project, a nonprofit aimed at benefiting communities affected by the HIV crisis in South Africa.