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Cards, gifts, exotic flowers, a Mother’s Day brunch at her favourite café. You have chalked out the perfect plan to make this day special for your mum. But haven’t you been doing the same things since forever? Why not try something new and make it truly special this year? As you set out to celebrate Mother’s Day on 13th May, do something that’s not just good for your mum but Mother Nature, too.

There is no dearth of ideas to celebrate sustainably. All you need is a conscious decision on your part to gift green. It might not be as easy as quickly picking up something during your lunch break at work, but it would sure be worth it. And mum would definitely appreciate your unique gift. We have made a list of a few things that you could do to make Mother’s Day special this time.

1) Gift an experience: Instead of a tangible gift, give your mother something that piques her curiosity and lets her stretch her creative wings. There are hundreds of workshops and events to help people engage in eco-friendly, fun, and creative activities. If she loves art and crafts, you can register your mum for workshops like, candle-making, tie-and-dye, crafts from recycled materials, ceramic and pottery making, wool craft, etc. If she is an outdoorsy person, you can gift her a permaculture, organic gardening, composting, bee-keeping, community gardens, or food foraging workshop, like a mushroom hunt, urban foraging, etc. Or join her on a camping trip, a bush-walk, a hike, a bird-watching trip, a kayaking trip down some lovely waterways, or an eco-tour where you get to admire the beautiful Australian wildlife. You can also accompany her to farmers and community markets selling organic produce and crafts, by local artisans and buy her an eco-friendly gift of her choice.

Check out the websites like, Weekend Notes, CropSwap Sydney or Green Villages  and you will be spoilt for choice for ideas. What’s more, you could even find some free workshops as well on these sites.

2) Eco-products: If you must give something that she can hold, admire, and cherish for days to come, then make sure to pick an eco-friendly product. You can opt for hand-made jewellery sourced from recycled materials (www.etsy.com), dresses and accessories made from environment-friendly materials and processes (www.ethicalsuperstore.com, www.ecobella.com.au, www.ozfairtrade.org), natural cosmetics that are good for your mum and the environment (www.biome.com.au, www.organicearthshop.com.au), handicrafts and artisan made gifts sourced from fair-trade organisations across the globe (www.ethicalgifts.net.au). You can also find many such things in farmers and artisan markets across the city. Or just buy her a gift-card to businesses selling eco-friendly products in your area. This way you help that business thrive while mum gets to pick a green gift of her choice.

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3) Live gifts: What can be a better gift than something which she can nurture and grow? A mini-herb garden can let her have good, organic, home-grown herbs at her fingertips. Similarly, a succulent pot arrangement is also something that would look nice on a window sill and isn’t high-maintenance either. Or maybe small, hand-made pouches of organic wildflower seeds that she can scatter around the house or the garden. Bouquets are nice, but they would remind her of your love for a much longer time.

If she loves animals, you can give her things that can help her bring more wildlife into her backyard. Get a hand-crafted bird-feeder or a bird-house from a farmers market or a local artisan to make those winged-guests a regular presence in her garden. You can also buy insect-homes and butterfly feeders. Attracting lady-bugs and spiders in your garden is a good practice to keep pests at bay and who doesn’t love some colourful butterflies fluttering through their garden. Another good idea is to get her a beehive and bee-suit and help her take up bee-keeping as a hobby. It requires minimal space, time, and effort and has very low technology requirements. Bee numbers are dwindling fast and this is not only a hobby that’s great for the environment but would also help her enjoy some tasty, home-made honey. (www.beebuilt.com, www.theurbanbeehive.com.au)

If she has a large backyard you could also gifts her some chooks. A fun thing to have, they would keep her garden pest free, provide natural fertiliser, and she would love to have fresh, organic eggs that have been laid in her own backyard.

4) Greenify her house: More stuff means more clutter. So instead of giving her decorative items that just sit there taking up space, help her become eco-savvy this Mother’s Day. Help her install eco-friendly systems in her house and explain to her why they are the need of the hour. This would help her save monies and the planet.

You can gift her a compost bin or a worm-farm. These can not only help take care of household organic waste but would also provide good-quality organic fertiliser for her garden. Or you can help her get solar-power systems installed in the house. It’s a big investment but the returns are immense. She will not get tired thanking you once she is able to bid good-bye to electricity-bills forever.

Other things that you can do are change the incandescent bulbs in her house to CFL's, help her install a rain-water or brown-water harvesting system, swap chemical garden fertilizers with organic ones, gift her eco-friendly cleaning products for the house, help her de-clutter, and donate unwanted clothes, utensils, accessories, appliances, to charities that can recycle them.

A good place to start is www.greenfinder.com.au, wherein you can search for hundreds of relevant businesses in the environment industry.

5) A home-cooked meal: Nothing says, “I love you, Mum,” better than a home-cooked meal you have prepared especially for her. Go for locally sourced organic produce and ingredients. Farmers markets are a good place to start. If you would like to read more about how you could make your Mother’s Day meal greener, check out our other articles where we share more tips on how to celebrate sustainably:

Celebrating Sustainably: Easter
Celebrating Sustainably: Passover

Happy Celebrating and Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful Mums out there!