Mother’s Day is all about love, so why not show our mother how much we love her by also loving Mother Earth? Holidays can be tricky when it comes to making environmentally friendly choices, but with several simple adjustments, we can express our love to our mothers and grandmothers by also being mindful of our environmental footprint. Here are three ways to green your Mother’s Day. (By the way, if you’re the mom, make sure to send this article to the person in your home in charge of your gift!)
Send Electronic Cards
Americans throw away enough paper annually to build a 12 foot high wall from Seattle to New York every year. When all of those holiday cards get tossed in the garbage, they end up harming the environment in a number of ways. We can make a big difference by cutting back on our paper use, including switching from paper to online cards for loved ones.
What are you saving when you go paperless?
- Fuel consumption. It takes fuel for the delivery trucks and Postal Service and to get all of those Mother’s Day cards to stores and to moms’ homes.
- Trees. An estimated 18 million acres of forest are lost each year, equaling a loss of 20 football fields every minute. If the current rate of deforestation continues, it will take less than 100 years to destroy all the rainforests on the earth. Trees produce oxygen, protecting the planet from further global warming. When you save a tree, you ensure that enough oxygen is produced for 3 people to breathe.
- Clean air. Unfortunately, the papermaking process is not a clean one. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pulp and paper mills are among the worst polluters to air, water, and land of any industry in the country. Each year millions of pounds of highly toxic chemicals such as toluene, methanol, chlorine dioxide, hydrochloric acid, and formaldehyde are released into the air and water from papermaking plants around the world.
- Greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. The pulp and paper industry is the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases among U.S. manufacturing industries. Additionally, paper decomposing in landfills produces methane, a greenhouse gas with 23 times the heat-trapping capacity of carbon dioxide.
Lucky for you, there are some really fun ways to send e-cards these days. There is even a special Global Mother’s Day Card that you can participate in this year and help set a World Guinness Record when you sign it!
The Global Mother’s Day Card is hosted by WishYoo, a free e-card platform where all your friends and family can send special messages to one another. This social card allows you to easily add pictures, doodles, voice messages, and greetings to anyone around the world. WishYoo believes in the true evolution of the greeting card to help create a greener future by stopping the destruction of 5 million trees every year.
I invite you to add your own message to the Global Mother’s Day Card. They are hoping to collect more than 40,000 dedications throughout the world to surpass the World Guinness Record for the largest collaborative greeting card. Additionally, WishYoo has partnered with NO MORE, an organization dedicated to preventing domestic violence and sexual assault worldwide, so you will be spreading kindness as well.
Buy Eco Friendly Gifts
Looking for the perfect gift for mom? Be sure to choose safe, healthy products for your loved ones. Some of my favorite green companies with awesome goodies for mom are Eileen Fisher, Rothy’s, Plaine’s Products, Patagonia, and Alternative Apparel. Look for more ideas at https://bcorporation.net/.
You can also purchase a gift that helps an environmental cause. A meaningful gift for mom is to get some 4Ocean bracelets. 1.4 billion pounds of trash ends up in the ocean every year that can harm marine life and clutter our pristine beaches. 4Ocean is working to change that by organizing beach cleanups around the world. By purchasing a bracelet, you will remove one pound of trash from the ocean. Bracelets are made from 100 percent recycled materials. The beads are made from recycled glass bottles and the cord is made from recycled plastic water bottles. The bracelets come in a variety of colors besides their basic blue to represent different causes: pink for breast cancer awareness, gray and white for shark conservation, green for Earth Day, and aqua for World Oceans Day. You can also become a clean ocean collector to receive a new bracelet every month. Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving all year long!
Finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed about where a product comes from, what is used to make it, the waste it produces, and how safe it is for both us and the environment, check out Who’s Minding the Store?, a retailer report card that grades the chemical policies and practices of major retailers produced annually by Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.
Spend Time Outdoors Together
Another fabulous way to celebrate your mother is to give her a gift that involves spending time together doing something fun outdoors. Being outside in nature helps us feel calm and rejuvenated. Sharing these special moments together will be super meaningful to her and something she’ll treasure forever.
- Participate in a beach clean up as a family.
- Plant trees together.
- Work on a family garden.
- Design a meditation garden in your backyard.
- Plan a picnic at a local park.
- Spend the day at the beach.
- Rent a boat and enjoy the soothing water views.
- Go for a bike ride or hike.
- Visit an arboretum, butterfly garden, or other outdoor oasis.
How will you think green this Mother’s Day?