Wondering what to get mom this year?
HandmadeIn my opinion, the most meaningful gift for mom has always been the gift you make yourself. All I really want for mother's day is a homemade card by my children. If you have a gift-able skill (drawing, writing, sewing, knitting, carpentry, ceramics, photography, cooking, gardening, etc.), consider making mom a gift this year. If you can't make something handmade, consider buying a unique handmade gift in your community or through an online marketplace like Etsy (check out this jewelry from the EcoEtsy team).
decluttering stage of life is an experience: a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant; membership to an art museum, tickets to the movies or a special cultural or sporting event. Even better would be an experience you could share together with your mom.
Special BreakfastAt my house, we love celebrating holidays with a special breakfast. Kick-off an all-day celebration of mom with a delicious homemade breakfast or brunch. Try whole grain pancakes with strawberries and whip cream, french toast with real maple syrup, eggs and bacon, or the always impressive German pancakes.
Photo GiftsOne thing grandmothers never seem to tire of is photos. My mom loves the digital photo frame with photo slideshow we gave her one year. The photos can be continually updated. You can also get photo slideshow key chains. Another gift might just be your pledge to stay on top of posting photos of the grandkids in online photo albums or on a blog for grannie to enjoy year-round.
CookbooksFor the mother who enjoys or wants to enjoy being in the kitchen, a new cookbook can be the perfect gift. I personally love cookbooks that facilitate eating seasonally as well as baking cookbooks that allow me to make delicious, healthy baked goods for my family.
Kitchen GearThis is another idea for the chef-at-heart mom. I almost always have some item of bakeware or cookware or a kitchen gadget or two on my wish list. Since I spend a good portion of every day working in the kitchen, great kitchen gear can markedly improve my quality of life. High-quality durable kitchen gear is sometimes very pricey, offering you an opportunity to give to mom that fun and useful splurge she might never buy for herself. Maybe it's also time to help mom say goodbye to that 20-year-old Teflon pan.
Organic Flowers and ChocolatesIf you want to go the traditional route, make it eco-friendlier by seeking out organic, fair trade, and local flowers and chocolate if possible. There are many types of organic chocolate available now. One that compares very favorably with my favorite regular brands of chocolate is Theo Chocolate. I especially like the Dark Chocolate with Orange variety. There are now many online options for organic flower delivery services, or, better yet, find an organic flower vendor near you: find one through Local Harvest.
PlantEven better than flowers, in my opinion, is a plant. Does your mom have a green thumb and love splashes of colors? Or need a plant that is difficult to kill? Show your thoughtfulness by visiting a nursery and picking out a plant just right for your mom's needs.
ReusablesGently leading folks from single-use disposable products to classy and money-saving reusables is a great way to encourage greener living. Just make sure you give something the recipient would appreciate! For some moms this might mean very practical items such as rechargeable batteries. For others, lovely embroidered cloth napkins (perhaps discovered at your favorite thrift store) or food bags made of fun fabrics might be appropriate. Remember to wrap your gift in reusable gift wrap!
Green ElectronicsGadgets aren't just for guys. This year my siblings and I are pitching in to buy my mom a new digital camera for an upcoming European adventure (her previous camera is a 10-year-old castoff from me!). We used Consumer Reports ratings to find a not-too-tiny highly rated camera that also happens to meet the EU's new electronic certifications (WEEE). I was so pleased to see Consumer Reports include green certifications on their Specs pages! Other green electronics certifications include EPEAT, RoHS, and Energy Star. Additional resources for finding green electronics include Story of Electronics - Greener Products for Your Home and the EPA's Green Electronics Page. If replacing an outdated or broken gadget, offer to recycle your mom's old gadget for her.
OK, Green Moms, what would you like for Mother's Day? Do tell!
More Ideas!Eco-novice's Green Gift Guide
It’s Not Too Late for Intangible Gifts!
Green Gifts for Adults: Reusables
My Favorite Cookbooks
10 Favorite Kitchen Tools (Gift Ideas for Mom)
Plastic-Free Cookware and Bakeware
Reusable Food Bags - Variety Is Best