The National Retail Federation says that Americans will spend an average of $123.89 per person for Mother's Day, compared to last year’s $138.63. Total Mother’s Day spending is expected to reach $14.10 billion, somewhat less than in 2008.
But while the economy may be forcing us to be more cautious about how we spend on gifts and celebrating, we don't have to downsize the meaning or fun. This Mother's Day, how about showing both your moms (Mother Earth being the other), that you care, by giving green gifts from the heart.
Here are our five of our favorite general ideas for people-mom- and Earth-mom-friendly Mother’s Day gifts:
- The gift of yourself – Instead of giving your mom something that took resources to make, ship, wrap and dispose of, how about giving of your time, energy and/or talents? Does mom need her garden weeded, her roof de-mossed, or her closet organized? Would she enjoy a hand-knit scarf, a song written just for her, or a card (with heartfelt words) handmade from old family photographs? How about giving your mom one day a month of your precious time spent doing whatever she'd like (assuming you live near each other). Photo by tienvijftien
- The gift of ahhh… People-moms and our Earth-mom can always use a little pampering; so what better time than now? Consider a relaxing massage, some 100% beeswax or soy candles, an organic cotton and/or bamboo spa robe, or a gift basket filled with organic pampering products. For more conventional gifts, look for local and organic flowers, organic and fair trade chocolate, or some eco-chic jewelry.
- The gift of health – For all moms – humane and planetary – the best gift is the gift of health. Support your moms’ wellbeing with an eco-friendly yoga mat (with recycled plastic yoga mat bag), passes to take Nia classes, or a book on creating a therapeutic garden.
- The gift of yum – No matter what Mom’s tastes, you’re sure to find something she’ll enjoy and that the Earth with thank you for when you present her with edible (think, no waste) gifts. For starters, how about a home-cooked meal made from organic, local ingredients, a subscription to a local CSA (community supported agriculture), a membership to an organic or biodynamic wine of the month club or a bag of organic, fair trade, shade grown coffee from a woman owned and operated farm in the Peruvian Andes.
- The gift of giving – For gifts that keep on giving, buying your Mother’s Day goodies from sites like Shop The Cause that help support Fair Trade and creates economic opportunities for women living in poverty worldwide. Or, for the mom who has everything, how about a donation in her name to an organization that feeds and protects women in Darfur through the Solar Cooker Project or plants trees in forests devastated by wildfire. Or give her a gift card in any amount from www.TisBest.com and let her choose from more than 300 non-profits to gift with her donation.
Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are a mother-daughter team and co-authors of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, available at www.CelebrateGreen.net.