Flowers for Mother’s Day? Dirt Included, Please!

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!

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Photo credit: *clairity* on flickr


Robert G.
Past Member 5 years ago

Such an informative blog I also love the flowers really!
flowers Rockingham

Terry V.
Terry V6 years ago

GREEN is a living plant

Duane B.
.6 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Cynthia Blais
cynthia l6 years ago

My mother is gone so I plant a tree in memory. She preferred flowers in a pot so she could replant them in her yard and enjoy them much longer. i love any variety of lily 'in a pot' from my children

Natalie Rusu
Natalie Rusu6 years ago

Seriously......isn't this too exaggerated?

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson6 years ago


Debbie L.
Debbie Lim7 years ago

I always cook for my mom on mother's day. And since my mom always brags to her sisters how good the food was, now I cook for my aunts too. That includes my and and uncles too! Haha, it just becomes a huge party.

nicola w.
Jane H7 years ago

The best gift is DOING something for her - cleaning or repairing something that had been getting her down ...or a professional massage.

Aurea Walker

Jenny S. Well at least you are honest about your agenda! However care 2 should not be used for advertising!

Jenny S.
Jenny S.7 years ago

There is nothing like a gift of fresh flowers to show mom she is special and appreciated. The ephemeral nature of flowers is what makes them so special. They don't last forever (not much does!), but the feelings evoked and the experience of receiving fresh flowers can last for years. In fact, 92% of women can remember the last time they received flowers. And fresh flowers are scientifically proven by Rutgers University to create instant delight and increase enjoyment and life satisfaction.

Flowers come from all over the world, and just around the corner. For those seeking locally grown flowers, we suggest expressing that to your local florist (they access flowers from a variety of sources, both near and far) or visit a local farmer's market. If you are unfamiliar with florists in your area, you can search for one by city, state and zip code at

— Jenny Scala, Society of American Florists