Zero Waste Mother’s Day

I am not sure if I am writing this blog more for my wonderful, proof-reader husband *wink wink*, or the Zero Waste community. Either way, it’s a win win!

Celebrations and gift giving are difficult adjustments for anyone living Zero Waste. Marketing today tells us that that the best way to express our love is by purchasing something…Anything! Living Zero Waste encourages us to challenge this mindset and show love and affection in other ways: spending time together or giving the gift of an experience. Gift giving should be more about the thought that goes into the gift than the monetary value attached to it.

Below are some low waste, and experience-based suggestions for celebrating the Moms in your world.

Sometimes giving Mom a day to herself, free from household responsibilities, is the best gift a family can give. This gift is ideal for busy Moms of wee ones. The Mom who cannot remember her last bath – solo; or the last time she was able to read more than a page of her book without interruption. Make breakfast, enjoy it together as a family, and then pack up the kiddies and scram until dinnertime.

If the weather forecast is sunny, pack a basket full of her favourites and head out for an afternoon in the park or check out a new hike and enjoy your picnic after exploring new territory.

Take a load off Mom’s plate! Organize an outing for her: lunch with her Mom, a trip to the spa, an overdue visit with a friend; while she is out, crank the tunes and get your clean on! I assure you, any Mother will feel loved and appreciated when she arrives home to a spotless house.

Natural Salon Day:
Does Mom appreciate a manicure, pedicure or massage but doesn’t take the time to treat herself – ever? Set up an appointment at a local, eco-friendly spa, and send her on her way.

If your Mom is anything like me, her makeup drawer is tired and overlooked. After years of “using up the old” I decided enough was enough and began investigating sustainable makeup brands. I discovered my new favourite Canadian Makeup brand Elate Cosmetics, a cruelty-free, vegan brand that focuses on sustainable packaging. Treat your Mom to a few new items or go ahead and purchase her a palate based on her eye colour. My hands down favourite item is their Universal Creme, a blush that can also be used on your lips and comes in 100% compostable cardboard tube!

Instead of buying flowers that come wrapped in plastic, have an inflated price tag for Mothers Day and do not last. Select an annual, perhaps a fruit tree or a berry bush that you can plant with her or for her. It will provide greater joy as it flowers and bears fruit year after year.

Acts of Service:
Take a task that Mom regularly performs and do it for her: wash and clean her car, clean out the fridge and freezer, do the grocery shopping, mow the lawn, make and freeze a few dinners for the week.

Homemade Sugar Scrub:
This simple recipe is a great gift idea for young children. It can easily be paired with an “afternoon off” where Mom can try out her new sugar scrub in the bath. My favourite recipe is simple:

2 Parts Sugar (1 cup)
1 Part Coconut Oil (1/2 cup)
Essential Oil (20-30 Drops) I love lavender, lemon or eucalyptus

*mix thoroughly in a large bowl and transfer into a jar, Bonne Maman Jam jars are a perfect size for this recipe.

Donation In Mom’s Name:
For kids who are away from home or as a supplemental gift, making a donation in Mom’s name to her favourite charity is a great alternative to traditional gift options.

An Experience:
Get your Google on! What is going on around town? Is there a concert coming up? An art show? A festival? A cooking class? What about spending the day with Mom participating in her favourite activities? Does she like yoga, antiquing or secondhand shopping? Spend the day together, ticking off a list of her favourite activities.

From PAREdown:
I recognize that my main demographic of readers is Women, and I suspect many are Moms. And as much as I would love to possess the ability to magically make this blog post appear in your partner’s and/or children’s email inboxes, my bewitched abilities are not quite at that level! So, knowing that you must have some interest in Zero Waste (why else would you be reading this blog), I would love to extend a Free Shipping coupon for PAREdown Store to all the Mothers out there who are reading this post. Treat yourself to a little something that will eliminate the need for a landfill bound household item, another Mother will thank you – Mother Nature. Use the Coupon Code: MotherNature to receive free shipping on any purchase made until the end of May at PAREdown Store.

Living a lifestyle of voluntary simplicity has forced me to reevaluate how I live and what I deem necessary. For this, I am incredibly grateful. One of the greatest unintended consequences of living Zero Waste is the increased sense of gratitude I experience, and an increased appreciation for simpler things. Store bought gifts shouldn’t be the way we show love, or for that matter, how we expect to receive love. The moments we share together, the gift of time or a thoughtful gesture or token is often the most beautiful, and heartfelt.

Wishing all the hard-working, phenomenal Mothers out there a day filled with love, gratitude and joy.

“May No Gift Be Too Small To Give, Nor Too Simple To Receive, Which Is Wrapped In Thoughtfulness And Tied With Love.”  – L.O. Baird