Mother’s Day is this Sunday. Do you have something special planned for your mother? Flowers are certainly one of the traditional Mother’s Day gifts, but is it the best way to brighten up your Mother’s Day?
According to a Freakinomics podcast, consumers in the United States spend around $12 billion annually on cut flowers, most of which are imported from other countries (flown in by plane and then trucked across the country). The negative impacts of the cut flower industry include their carbon footprint, diverting of water from local needs to production of flowers for export, child labor issues and unethical working conditions, use of dangerous chemicals due to lacking pesticide regulation, and more. Despite some attempts at developing ethical fair trade solutions in the cut flower industry, it still isn’t a perfect solution and there are better ways to shower your mother with your love.
One solution suggested on the podcast was buying plastic flowers. Personally, I own some cloth flowers that have decorated my home for years and they are an excellent solution, but I’m not convinced that buying plastic is the way to go. There are, however, many other ways to brighten up your mother’s day that don’t involve the plastics industry or shipping cut flowers around the world.
- If she has a garden, buy her some perennial plants that are native to the area that she lives in, ideally from a local, organic nursery.
- If she is in an apartment or condominium, consider buying her a locally grown house plant that will last for years.
- Take her out for a meal at restaurant featuring local ingredients.
- Get her a necklace or other jewelry from a local artisan.
- Buy her a “gift” from an organization that helps people in developing countries, like a vegetable garden or mango trees.
- Buy a nice bottle of wine or a great tea and drop by to share it with her.
- Cook for her.
- Send her a gift certificate for a local farmer’s market or have a basket of locally grown fruit and vegetables delivered to her house.
- Call, visit, or write to tell her how much you love her and why.
Cut flowers are a gift that last a few days and come with environmental repercussions larger than the joy they bring. Give your mother a gift that will warm her heart while also respecting Mother Earth.
Do you have a green, earth-friendly, heart-warming gift idea for your mother this year? Please share!
Photo credit: *clairity* on flickr