8 Ways to Get Your Mom to Go Green

A affectionate mother and adult daughter sitting on sofa

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.

Uncommon as it may seem, paper roses made from elephant waste is a beautiful and eco-friendly gift for mom. Photo: Uncommongoods.com

Uncommon as it may seem, paper roses made from elephant waste is a beautiful and eco-friendly gift for mom. Photo: Uncommongoods.com

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.

TisBest offers gift cards made from 100 percent recycled plastic. Photo: Tisbet.com

TisBest offers gift cards made from 100 percent recycled plastic. Photo: Tisbet.com

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.

Go Green for a good cause: this bowl crafted from recycled sardine labels supports the Wola Nani project, a nonprofit that focuses on the HIV crisis in South Africa. Photo: Globalexchangestore.org

Go Green for a good cause: This bowl crafted from recycled sardine labels supports the Wola Nani project, a nonprofit that focuses on the HIV crisis in South Africa. Photo: Globalexchangestore.org

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.

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  1. Hi Sarah,

    We are sending Mom pictures of a new garden the boys created this past weekend at the lake. They broke ground with shovels and rakes. (The soil was pretty soft of the coul till it fairly easy in this manner) We used fallen birch trees to form a border and plan to use a 3″ bed of pine needs for mulch which should give the tomatoes a nice acid boost.

    Green or Greedy?

  2. Hi! my name is Stephanie and i’d like to help you help the earth as well as yourself all at the same time. have you been paying attention to all the news latley for global warming and animals becoming extinct? well you can help to revearse this problem in just 4 simple steps.

    step 1: The first thing you can do is instead of riding in a plutant car to the parck that is just a block away, why not walk. Walking or biking is one small but helpfull way to help the enviornment. when you ride in a car you are poluting the air with gasses that come out the back end of the car. If you have ever been on the highway and have seen smoke coming out of the back end of a big delivery truck you know what im talking about.

    Not riding in a car also helps you, you get more excersise and help the enviornment all at the same time.

    step 2: the second thing you can do is turn off the lights when you leave the room. this helps the earth because you are not burning coal or gas. this also helps your parents save money. like we all know your parents pay for the electricity you use and every second you use it your parents are paying money. to cary this a little bit farther you could ask your parents to install go green energy saving solar pannels on your roof.

    step 3: you could also recycle pop cans and plastic bottles. this helps the enviornment because for every pop can or bottle you recycle, thats one less thing that goes to the trash dump. this can also help you, do you know how? well, i do, you can save them and take them to a recyling center near to you were they break down the plastic and eluminum cans to make new ones ( they also do this for paper) and they will actualy pay you. this helps you earn alittle money and help the earth at the same time.

    the last step: the last step is building a compost pile. every time you eat a bannana or apple instead of throwing it away you can put it in a compost pile. compost piles help the earth and you as all the other things we have talked about also do. you can use compost for your garden to help your plants grow. if you dont have a garden you can bring it to a community garden or give it to a neighbor who has a garden.

    By: Stephanie

  3. I bought Mom a gift card to McDonalds. Now you may think that sounds horrible! BUT, she loves that coffee. She goes to McDonalds once a week to get a cup of that coffee, so a gift card was just what she needs!

  4. Judy

    Funny!!! My Mom does the same thing with a couple friends…they just get coffee & talk. I have no idea why McD coffee is so good or what the attraction is???? Several years ago I sent a McD gift card on Mother’s Day for her coffee friends…but the local McD did not accept it….which set-off a series of long discussions….over a simple Mother’s Day card. LOL

    Green or Greedy?


  5. I enjoyed this article very much and just wished my Mom was still with us so I could participate. But I plan to post this site on my blog so those who do have their moms around can benefit. Thanks so much for sharing some great thoughts.

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