Planning a zero waste mother's day is probably not on the top of everyone's to do list, but it is simple to make this day special AND earth friendly, no matter what your budget is. So whether you're a mum or have a mum you want to spoil, here are some ecofriendly ideas to impress and inspire.
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Before you pick any of these for your mum or mom, have a good think about what SHE would actually love, as this is really the key to making it a special day. If she's not really the mother earth type, remember most activities, things and events can have an earth friendly spin on them.
I asked some other Green Mums what their favourite things to do on this day are, and you will see, in the quotes below, they are all simple yet beautiful ways to celebrate.
Breakfast in Bed
Start Mother's Day off right with breakfast in bed.
This is a beautiful way to begin the day when kids are little, or even teenagers..... just make sure the mum in question actually wants this.
Go all out with pancakes, bacon and eggs, smoked salmon on rye, or just a bowl of muesli (As long as it's a food she likes AND can be eaten on a tray). Don't forget the coffee/tea/drink of choice!
This is a running tradition in our house, and is really the ONLY thing I request on the day. Dad and the kids decide what to make and get busy in the kitchen while I laze around in bed - This is absolute heaven and great quality time for them.
There are always some cute finishing touches on the tray like a leaf from the garden, a hand drawn picture, sometimes a chocolate. Sometimes one or both the kids join me in bed and show me the cards they've made or just have a chat. It might be low budget, but it doesn't take much to make it special and fun. It's simple, low waste and has created many memories.
Plan a Picnic
Picnics are a beautiful, relaxed way to celebrate mother's day. Whether you head for a drive in the country to find a lovely spot, or just look for a local park.
All you need is a picnic blanket, food, drinks and maybe a few plates. Skip the disposables and plan to go light. Ideal foods that are easy to pack and eat include cheese and crackers or bread, fruits like grapes and watermelon, dip, cold sausage rolls, chicken drumsticks or quiche, sandwiches, cupcakes...the list is endless. Opting for finger food means you wont need much in the way of plates and cutlery.
Don't forget some water, home made lemonade or a thermos of coffee or tea. You might even want to cook up some of these chocolate zucchini muffins the night before.
"I love having picnics outdoors. If my family makes some food and a cuppa in our reusable containers and takes me to a lovely spot to relax, I'm a very happy mama!" Emma Walmsley from Small Footprints Big Adventures
Hand Picked Flowers From the Garden
The cut flower industry has had some negative attention over practices that harm the environment, not to mention the packaging and transport that comes with it. Picking some fresh flowers , herbs or beautiful leaves from your own garden can create a simple, thoughtful gift without the environmental impact.
These could be wrapped in beeswax wraps, or placed in a spare jar as a makeshift vase. This post tells you everything you need to know about beeswax wraps plus 15% off anything on the Eco Patch Store.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have pickable flowers in their garden for mother's day, so a fabulous alternative is to create a pot plant. Using old tins or containers, a little soil and a cutting or a sprinkling of seeds you can quickly create a cute decorative succulent or a mini herb garden.
If you're looking for a kit, check out this grow your own chamomile tea. It comes with everything she needs to get started and can be grown indoors.
Getting out into the garden to work on projects, veggie patches or just to give your mum or grandma a helping hand pulling weeds and pruning. Providing the weather is on your side, this is a fun way to spend an afternoon outside and can be combined with an outdoor pot of tea and cake.
Don't have a garden? Then check your local area to find some options, in South Australia head to Open Gardens SA where you may be able to do a tour of someone's own beautiful garden on mother's day.
"I love being in the garden for mother's day. When I was single, I used to go build or plant beds for my mom for mother's day. Now I love to spend it digging in the dirt with my own daughter, and it's something we get to enjoy all summer." Rheagan Jones from Rooted and Relishing
Get Out and About
Take your mum out somewhere for the day and be a tourist in your own town.
We often forget to visit interesting places where we live, like the Art gallery, museums and botanic gardens and these are usually budget friendly.
A drive to the country side to visit farmers markets, fruit farms or anything that sparks your interest can be a lot of fun too. You may also want to check out what's on at the theatre, movies or public events.
"As a Mom of 4 a perfect Mother's Day is getting active with my kiddos and Hubby. Geocaching, bike ride, hike, etc. Blessing someone else while doing being active with the family is an added bonus!" Nicole Cox from Fit2B
Around this time last year, we headed to Belair National Park and cooked bacon and eggs on the BBQ while the kids played nearby. After eating, we had lots to explore, and this picture below was one of our finds.
"I love going somewhere! We tend to go to a special exhibit at a museum somewhere and have a cool meal. Usually around mother's day we buy any vegetables we are going to get for our garden too." Barbara Greene Alfeo from Sunshine Guerilla
Although it might be Mother Day, one of the things mums often crave is time alone, like actual time alone.
I'm not talking about giving her time to have a long bath while kids whinge at the door, or having a sleep-in waiting for the inevitable visit from the kids.
You need to leave the house for an hour or two, AND ban mum from doing anything remotely productive. Quiet time, totally alone can be totally refreshing and relaxing.
Hopefully, this can happen more than once a year, but I know a lot of mums who would kill for 2 hours alone once a year.
Hand Made Gifts & Cards
Kids absolutely love making cards and presents for their mums, and I always think kids that are too young to have jobs shouldn't be dragged to the shops and feel pressured to buy a thing. This is just my opinion, and based on my preferences to keep my kids out of shopping malls and appreciating all the other things the world has to offer, not just those that can be bought.
This is a chance for them to express their love and (some people will not like this....), but Mums listen up - you shouldn't be putting in orders of your favourite perfume, book or whatever it is for Mother's Day, save that for your birthday and let your kids/partners/pets show you how much they love you in their own way.
As adults, we can make hand made cards & gifts too, although probably with not the same abandon of care as when we were kids.
There are plenty of beautiful ideas on the internet and remember, you don't actually have to give a card or gift. If you're feeling in the mood, you could try making some simple recipes like:
> a lemon sugar scrub,
These can be done in 5 minutes with little chance of anything going wrong.
This gift above was made by my daughter at childcare, and although I don't love the glitter, it means a lot to me and has her photo glued onto the other side. For me this beats anything that can be bought. Mother's Day Dinner
Please DO NOT do the KFC bucket thing....the only thing mums actually like about this is that they don't have to organise it (although some of them probably do have to). I guess I also have to admit, that some mums do like eating KFC, I just really hate that advert on TV every year that make it sound like it's top of the Mother's Day list.
Dads and kids, it is your duty to make sure you have dinner planned and don't rely on mum to plan it, shop for it and give you all the instructions. There is absolutely no harm in asking what she would like, but there's nothing as sweet as having a family that can figure out what you really like and just make it appear.
Sometimes, we do just want to buy a gift, and although I'm promoting handmade gifts, or focusing on experiences, there are options for zero waste and sustainable Mother's Day gifts that may be just what she needs.
Here are a few ideas;
>Many bulk food shops will have speciality chocolate, herbs, teas and other items such as shampoo bars that could make a great gift.
>Books are something I love personally, and there are so many fabulous reads on gardening, sustainable living and other green topics to choose from. You can see my favourites here.
>For essential oil lovers, you need to check out this women's wellness kit (comes with 5 oils and a mini diffuser you can take with you)
>If you're mum isn't into being green, here is a great list of sustainable gifts for people who don't really care about the planet.
I wish you all a very happy and green mother's day.
How do you plan to celebrate?
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