9 Zero-Waste Gifts to Celebrate Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is almost here and whether you plan to celebrate your mom, partner, relative or mom-friend, there are many ways to show love and appreciation without creating waste. Here are few sustainable gifts ideas for every type of mother in your life:

1. Homemade. Tap into your childhood when Mother’s Day gifts entailed a mold of your handprint and a cute hand-drawn card. If art is your thing, you might draw a portrait from her favorite photograph or of her favorite pet. If you’re into DIYs, try making her homemade bath bombs, makeup remover or sugar scrub. If you’re good in the kitchen, treat her to a home-cooked brunch (bonus points if you serve it to her on a tray in bed).

2. Plants. Have a mom with a green thumb? Consider adding to her plant collection with a plant from a nursery or propagated from your own garden. To make it look extra nice, pot it a beautiful ceramic or terracotta planter. You could even do a theme, like an herb or salsa garden, in one larger planter. 

3. Act of Service. If acts of service are your mother’s love language, think about something you could do for your mom around the house. Maybe she’s always wanted to paint her bedroom yellow, or her garden is in need of some serious TLC. Perhaps she’s talked about visiting an old friend who lives far away and could use a driver and some company for the road trip. 

4. Gift Cards. Easy peasy. If you know where your mom loves to shop, send her a digital gift card. It could be to her favorite boutique, restaurant, bookstore or your favorite low-waste store. Try to avoid plastic gift cards, but if it’s unavoidable, they can be recycled at Best Buy

5. Flowers. Nothing brightens a day like a fresh bouquet of flowers. To keep it low waste, head to your nearest florist and request locally grown flowers wrapped in paper (no plastic, no plastic flower-food packets, no synthetic ribbons). Better yet, forage your own wildflower bouquet and stick the blooms in an upcycled glass jar with a bow made from compostable baker’s twine.

6. Online classes. Has your mom always wanted to learn how to cook a specific cuisine or wants to dust off her old art supplies? Finding in-person classes may be difficult during Covid, so look for an online class instead. Buy a spot for both of you so you can spend quality time together while learning a new skill—a double gift!

7. Ethical chocolate. Who doesn’t love a sweet treat while celebrating? If mom loves chocolate, make sure it’s fair-trade to ensure ethical, safe and eco-friendly working conditions for cocoa farmers. Tony’s chocolate and TCHO are two of our favorites, and they come wrapped in recyclable paper and tinfoil. 

8. Secondhand gifts. If tangible gifts are your mother’s love language, try to purchase them secondhand. You could find beautiful vintage housewares at a local antique store, score a designer handbag at a consignment shop or track down her favorite author at a local used bookstore. 

9. Sustainable Gifts. If your mom already cares about the environment, or could use a little nudge to reduce waste, try gifting a french net bag (perfect for the farmers market), a luxurious face oil (packaged in recyclable glass) or a set of bamboo cutlery in a cloth wrap (for reducing waste on-the-go). Or, send her a gift card to your favorite low-waste store and let her decide!