How do you truly thank someone who has taught you the ins and outs of life from your first breath? Every year for Mother's Day, we try to find great gifts that honor our moms without doing any harm to Mother Earth. It can be challenging since many of the go-to gifts, like chocolates and flowers, often rely on unsustainable agricultural methods, unfairly paid laborers, and heavy carbon footprints from transporting these treats. We rounded up 6 ways to show Mom how much you care while also setting a good example by buying goods and services that are thoughtfully made or produced with the environment in mind. From sustainably grown chocolate to passing on a love of education to planting trees in her honor, these Mother's Day gifts are sure to make Mama proud!
1. Have a tree planted in Mom’s honor.
Planting a tree is a beautiful way to show Mom that your love for her grows each year. Trees purchased from The Trees Remember are planted in U.S. National Forests to help replenish land after forest fires or in areas that have been hit after catastrophic storms. You can also buy a tree or plants for Mom’s own backyard garden or balcony to give her a lovely way to think of you and your family even if you happen to live far-away. Treemories helps you determine what tree would thrive best in the climate your Mom lives in and then coordinates with local professionals to install the tree. The trees also come with a stone that is engraved to commemorate the occasion. We also love the idea of sponsoring an engraved plaque or a brick at Mom’s favorite botanical garden or park.
Image via Farm Sanctuary
2. Sponsor an animal.
Your kids may get even more excited about this present than Mom! Animals sanctuaries like Farm Sanctuary offer Adopt-an-animal programs for pigs, chickens, cows, goats, and more. Gift recipients receive a photo of their animal and even a VIP tour of the facilities (which are currently in California and New York). If Mom prefers wild animals (after all, she raised you, didn’t she?) consider the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where you can sponsor an orphaned elephant and get regular updates on its progress.
Image by Purple Carrot
3. Sign up for a delicious vegetarian meal delivery.
Meal delivery services have exploded in the past few years and vary from simply delivering the ingredients for a yummy dish to actually bringing completed meals to your door. For vegetarians and vegans, there are now multiple possibilities for delicious plant-based fare. Super popular Blue Apron typically also has a variety of vegetarian options. Everyone loves a night where prepping or making dinner is a no-brainer, so this is a lovely gift to Mom to give thanks for all the hours she logs in the kitchen. Bonus points if you find a local meal delivery service for Mom, cutting down on the transportation footprint.
Image via DonorsChoose.org
4. Spread the gift of education.
Moms wrote the book on giving back and selflessness, so it makes perfect sense to give mom a gift that benefits others. Adopt a classroom to help teachers get the school supplies they need for their students or search for a public school classroom project that needs funding on Donors Choose. You can specifically look for one that focuses on environmental science or you can let Mom pick out any area she is passionate about. Contact local environmental education centers about how to sponsor a field trip or program for schools in honor of Mom.
Image by Askinosie Chocolate
5. Buy her some sustainably grown and directly traded chocolate.
We know there are probably a few people on this planet who don’t like chocolate, but we haven’t met any yet! Askinosie chocolate does an amazing job of transparency and traceability: they can even trace their beans back to the farmer who grew them! Askinosie uses a direct trade model with its farmers, paying them well above Fair Trade price. Additionally, the company gives farmers the opportunity to invest in Askinosie, and has also created programs in the communities it works to provide sustainable lunch programs and education efforts. On top of all these good vibe business practices, Askinosie makes awesome bars, bark, cocoa powder, spreads, and a year of chocolate collection to cover Mom’s sweet tooth until next Mother’s Day.
Image by Emily Jane Designs
6. Personalize and green her jewelry collection.
Jewelry is always a treasured gift especially since most moms seldom have the time anymore to stroll around and admire baubles and because kids in a jewelry store = disaster! We adore the recycled silver and pewter options from Emily Jane Designs, especially their Mother’s Day selections. You can personalize your piece with your own handwriting (or that of your kids) for a sweet, unique gift; we also love the cut-out sets with hearts or birds so that you can always keep a reminder of each other with you.