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6 Simple, Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for Mother's Day

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It's that time of year again to celebrate our lovely mothers, and that probably means you want to shower your mom with stuff. But this Sunday, why not gift her something that Mother Earth would also approve?


1. Local Flowers

Flowers are practically the default present for Mother's Day, but a "rose is not always a rose," as Modern Farmer detailed. The global flower production industry has a massive environmental footprint due to plastic packaging waste, use of harsh chemicals and pesticides, and transportation emissions.

If possible, buy local and focus on varieties that thrive in your area. For instance, my mom in Los Angeles once received a gorgeous pot of drought-tolerant succulents that look good all year. If you're not in town for Mother's Day, hop online to Bouqs.com, which ships farm-to-table flowers from sustainable farms around the world.

2. Vintage Jewelry

New isn't always better. Pre-owned pieces might have special histories and are one-of-a-kind (just like your mother!). Visit your local antique store or check out Etsy.com, which has a bounty of beautiful, up-cycled baubles.

3. Personalized Reusables

Gift your mom reusable items to help her reduce waste. To make it extra special, there are many services online, like Shutterfly.com, where you can upload a cherished photo onto a water bottle or a reusable shopping bag and have it shipped right to Mom.

4. Homemade Beauty Products

Try whipping up a simple body butter with coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and a few drops of essential oils. If you're not a fan of DIY, perhaps your town has a farmers market where artisans sell their concoctions. For instance, I picked up a locally made soap and shampoo bar that's great for traveling and has lasted for more washes than the liquid stuff that comes in wasteful plastic bottles.

5. Fair Trade Clothing, Food and Drinks

Your mom doesn't need another mass-produced scarf. HuffPost has a great list of fair trade businesses that sell responsibly sourced apparel that doesn't hurt workers or the planet. The Fair Trade Certified website lists coffee sellers, snack foods and even has a whole page dedicated to Mother's Day, where your purchase would help support working moms everywhere. Fairtrade America is another certifier of fair trade goods in the U.S., and they list chocolates, produce, wine and other goodies that your mom might like. When out shopping, look for fair trade seals.

6. The Gift of Nothing

Frankly, your hardworking mom might just want the day off. Round up Dad, your siblings and help out with some chores around the house, like laundry or gardening work, so Mom can just chill out for the day. Also consider low-key activities like a walk in the park, a picnic or a home-cooked meal (and, yes, you should do all the cleaning afterwards).

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