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I owe my mom a lot. She didn’t abandon me on the side of the road during that two year stretch where I decided I was actually a cat and hissed at everyone in sight - including my godmother, who has never quite recovered from it - or put me up for adoption when I bit my gymnastics teacher because I was “an alligator” that day. (Hey, I grew up in Florida. In my defense 1) there ARE a lot of alligators down there 2) shit gets weird in Florida.)
My mom also ran a business from home while refusing to allow a functioning T.V. in the house. She volunteered her time to plant a vegetable garden at my kindergarten, still grows her own food, handmade countless dresses for me, and was one of the first people to start using reusable grocery bags back in the 90s, way before it was cool. I was mortified by this as a middle schooler, a fact she gleefully recounts any time I suggest a greener life choice to her now. But since she stuck by me through my hellcat phase, I suppose I’ll give her that one.
To honor my hippie-dippie mama, here are some thoughts and ideas about how to go greener this Mother’s Day!
As found on the University of Stanford website, “If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields."
You may remember this one from my Christmas posts, but this is still one of my favorite ways to make someone feel special. A quick trip to the thrift shop will inevitably yield up maps of your mom’s childhood state, pamphlets of her favorite activities, old recipe books with her guilty pleasure foods, or photo books from the 70s of her favorite vacation spots. These books are on their way to the landfill, don’t fool yourself, so give them one last hurrah and warm your mom’s heart by personalizing her wrapping. Nothing makes you feel as special as feeling seen, and she’ll love that you considered her from start to finish this Mother’s Day!
This eye-opening infographic and accompanying article on the Huffington Post states, “According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), industrial pollution is responsible for almost 50 percent of the pollution present in the United States. Shopping locally helps cut down on processing, packaging and transportation waste, leading to less pollution.”
If you ARE giving gifts this year, buy local. Local, small businesses really struggle in today’s world, but more often than not they treat their employees better and your gift won’t have been shipped across the planet in a sea of unnecessary packaging. Healthy, balanced communities are self-sustaining communities. Love where you live.
According to the EPA, "In 2014, in the United States, about 258 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) were generated and 136 million tons were landfilled."
What you buy is so important! There are so many companies out there trying to make the world a better, more sustainable place while still creating an incredible product. Take, for example, The Restored Board! This couple works tirelessly to turn scrap wood destined for the landfill into gorgeous contemporary home goods.”We love to make a simple piece of scrap wood have a purpose,” co-owner Katie explains. “So we buy our wood from local furniture builders and make sure it gets the chance to become something beautiful and useful.” If you haven’t already, check them out.
Eat Good Food
"Currently, the "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico, where no fish or other animals can live, has grown to 8,543 square miles, the size of New Jersey," this article from the University of Minnesota states, "This is due to chemicals in the Mississippi River, particularly fertilizers, as it flows into the Gulf."
Whether you dine in or eat out, buy local, buy organic, look for chemical-free eats, and eat real food. Splurge a little on clean, healthy eats. Take care of your momma the way she's always taken care of you!
Spend Time, Not Money
Families are spending little over half an hour quality time together during the week because of the demands of modern life, according to the Daily Mail.
Modern life is filled with endless distractions. If you’re not checking Instagram, e-mail, and Bitcoin in the middle of a conversation without periodically shouting, “Alexa, what happened to Hanson?” you’re frankly just not living. You know what your mom wants? You. Undivided. For two hours. Take a picnic, take a walk, take a painting class. It really doesn’t matter. Anyone can buy a picture frame from Target. But only you can show up and be her baby.
"Roses are red… They are also fragile and almost always flown to the U.S. from warmer climes in South America, where roughly 80 percent of our roses take root," relays this piece by Scientific American.
I love flowers, and I get my love of flowers from my mama, who always has fresh flowers in almost every room of our family home. But fresh flowers can be a thorny issue. Did you know the majority of our “fresh cut” flowers are grown halfway across the planet with an extraordinary amount of pesticides, cooled and shipped, then wrapped in plastic and sold? There’s a better way: just pick some. There are some gorgeous things growing in your yard and side of the road. Your mom will find the idea of you hand-picking beautiful things for her SO MUCH MORE CHARMING than you scooping up God-know-what shipped in from a hothouse in Ecuador while you subtly snag a 6-pack.
And last, but certainly not least…
Simply. Say. Thanks.
This woman raised you. She wiped your nose and your butt. She put up with your childhood tantrums, your adolescent melodramas, and your collegiate angst. You left the toilet seat up, your dirty dishes out, and didn’t replace the paper towels. You probably barfed on her at least 5 times. You were literally the worst roommate anyone could ask for for a whopping 18 years… so just take a moment to say THANK YOU for all the late nights, the early mornings, the carpools, the sleepovers, and most importantly the bagel bites. Your mom is kind of epic. Let her know you’ve noticed.
Live loud, love hard, say thank you.
Happy Mother’s Day, y’all. (And a very heartfelt thank you to the lovely Christina over at Cmon Mama for being the ultimate mom-goddess. Girl, you make it look effortless!)
Getting a head start on Father's Day? A few of my favorite Etsy finds, below*: