Earth Day and Mother’s Day are not that far apart, one at the end of April, the other in early May. And it might be for a good reason. Why not include sustainable gift ideas in this year’s celebration of the mothers in your life, including our Mother Earth? Sounds like a good concept to me!
But First: What Are Sustainable Gifts Ideas?
“Sustainable” is a word one hears more and more often. Here is the definition from Merriam Webster Dictionary.
not harmful to the environment : not having a bad effect on the natural world.
What does it mean then to be sustainable? The short answer is: it means living in a way that is respectful of the earth’s ability to provide. The resources of our planet are limited and if we want to keep the Earth habitable for the generations to come, we have to make sure we won’t replete them.
What Makes a Gift Sustainable?
When do we give gifts? Usually for celebrations and holidays. These special occasions are often a nice excuse to take a break from school, work, routines, diets, or eating regimens. But, it should not be the time to forget sustainability. Climate change doesn’t go on vacation. It progresses day in and day out, and if we want to get a chance to counter it, we cannot take a vacation from environmental consciousness.
And what does it mean for gift-giving? It means that best gifts should not only say “I’m buying this gift for you because I care about you” but also “I am choosing a sustainable gift because I care about you and the planet you and I live on.”
As a mother of two kids who went to many birthday celebrations, I have to say that nothing bothers me more than seeing the “goodie bags” filled with plastic “gifts” – pencil holders, figurines, plastic-covered “candy”, and other junk – which winds up in the trash almost immediately upon the return home. Why? Why? What’s the point of this?
As my children grew up, they started understanding that we should not be taking these bags, but it was difficult – without making a scene – when they were very young. You don’t want to seem like a Grinch at a six-year-old birthday party. But I did mention to a few parents that we do not believe in plastics and some reacted well, while others… well, we were not invited again. Sad, but necessary.
How to Find Green Gifts for Mom?
We can do better. First of all, a gift does not have to be a material object. Whenever possible, I prefer to gift “experience gifts” such as a pass to a spa or hair service or a day of at-home self-care indulgence. What a fun way to celebrate an anniversary with a partner massage or a Mother’s Day with a mom-daughter spa day at home.
When experience gift is not an option, there are still plenty of environmentally friendly products that will please an eco-friendly person. Here are some ideas that are not only sustainable for the planet but also friendly on the wallet. They are all under USD 100, and most are under USD 50. Such great finds!
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1. An Eco-Friendly Phone Case
I recently got a new phone and was looking for a protective case. Going through a few stalls at the mall and seeing the amounts of plastic that is used for the widely available cases, I realized that at some point all of this must be winding up in the landfill.
So, I said no and decided to invest in a sustainable case instead. If you’re looking for a thoughtful gift for someone who needs a new case, try Life Proof.
WĀKE, from Life Proof, is a truly eco-friendly phone case, made from over 85% ocean-based recycled plastic! It is very sturdy and can survive 2-meter drops.
And, once the case is no longer needed – it got old, or does not fit the new phone – it can be send back to the company as part of their recycling program. They will repurpose the case, thereby contributing to a more closed production loop.
2. Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Ever since I started wearing blue light blockers, I have fewer headaches, less eye strain, and less fatigue, even while spending hours looking on the computer screen. They are real lifesavers, but they have to be of good quality. No point in buying cheap glasses if they won’t serve their purpose.
Additionally, most glasses on the market are manufactured with materials such as plastic, metal, and paint that leave behind lots of waste which aside from adding to trash, can also often be toxic to humans, animals, and marine life.
If you want to gift a pair that will not contribute to the growing global crisis, try Blue Planet Eyewear. Their blue-light blockers are crafted from natural bamboo or wood or made with reclaimed plastics and metals, and are fitted with standard polarized lenses that provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. These glasses can also come in varying prescriptions (for those needing “readers”)
3 Essential Oils And Diffuser Starter Set
If the mom in your life could use some relaxation or therapeutic benefits of essential oils, Plant Therapy is one of the few essential oil purveyors that offer oils that are free from GMOs and harmful pesticides and certified through ECOCERT ICO. The company has a Leaping Bunny Certification, so if the Mom in your life is a vegan, this should meet her full approval.
Plant Therapy website claims that “Every purchase with Plant Therapy is helping to conserve natural resources and reducing the environmental pollution.” The company encourages consumers to recycle or upcycle the bottles and containers, and it is known for giving back to several philanthropic organizations.
And it is not an MLM company, so the products are not only top-notch quality, but they are also affordable.
4. Reef-friendly sunscreen and self-tanner
With the summer approaching, I know that I want that healthy, sun-kissed glow. But of course, I am conscious of the dangers of prolonged exposure to direct sunlight (link). If you want to gift yourself or the Mom in your life with great-quality, reef-friendly, good-for-you, and sustainable sun products, Beauty by Earth is the place to go.
The company offers “award-winning, non-toxic and always cruelty-free products unleash your natural beauty while helping you, your family and the planet thrive.” Their line of self-tanners is amazing. I’m such a fan, I wrote about them in more detail here. But Beauty by Earth has been expanding to include other great skincare and body products that go beyond sun care. So, check them out. There is a 20% off sale going on for Mother’s Day.
5. Yoga Mat and Accessories
Maybe the Mom in your life is a yoga aficionado, maybe she is just a beginner, or even only thinking of starting yoga. Whatever the stage of their yoga journey, a new eco-friendly mat would be a very welcome gift.
Hugger Mugger is a place for USA-made and handmade products, heavy metal and phthalate-free yoga mats, and eco-friendly yoga products, including biodegradable TPE mats, natural rubber mats, cork, and bamboo blocks, and more. With this yoga products company, you can really go green!
The company also patented this cute T-Back Capri Yogatard® .
The sporty T-Back offers freedom of movement while keeping the straps in place. It is lined in the front torso and back center with Coolmax® fabric that wicks perspiration away from your body. Its unique feature is an open back, which provides skin contact for your hands in the shoulder stand and acts as a hinge to prevent the Yogatard® from riding up in forward-bends.Hugger Mugger website
6. Chlorella Supplements and Skincare
I just recently found this amazing company that makes supplements and cosmetics with cracked cell wall chlorella. Chlorella has a ton of benefits for health, both physical and mental, for immunity, for beauty, for energy levels. You can read more about this super-powerful alga (and its “sister” spirulina) in this post.
Sun Chlorella offers a particularly bio-available form of chlorella – it “pioneered a unique process that pulverized chlorella’s tough outer cell wall, ensuring maximum digestibility and nutrients – a process that has made Sun Chlorella one of the most digestible chlorella on the market.” You can find their supplements on Amazon or their website.
Chlorella is also a great addition to skincare as well as to an internal supplementation regimen. It is highly prized especially in Japan.
Chlorella contains Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF), a DNA and RNA complex unique to chlorella, that provides the building blocks cells need to rebuild, repair, and rejuvenate.Sun Chlorella
Sun Chlorella makes this amazing anti-aging face cream, It is choke-full of antioxidants – CGF from chlorella with added Astaxanthin. I tried it and I love it. It is super light and spreads lightly, and leaves a semi-matt look on the face. Perfect for daytime.
7. For a Gardening Mom
What can be more sustainable than growing your own food? It doesn’t have to be a huge garden. Even a few pots on the windowsill can be a garden. Or a small container garden outside the kitchen door or on the porch. Whatever the needs of a budding or experienced gardener, True Leaf Market has it all. From organic seeds to sprouting kits, from compressed coco coir to other necessary gardening supplies, you’ll find it all there.
8. Organic Juice or Smoothie Subscription
To start the mom on a journey to health, get her a subscribption to certified organic, non-GMO, locally sourced, and cold-pressed juices. Project Juice goes an extra mile to know where they are sourcing their fruits and vegetables, and they cooperate with happy farmer suppliers. The juices and smoothies can be delivered locally in both Northern and Southern California, as well as nationally through overnight delivery.
Click the image to get your subscription started.
9. Sustainable Straws
For moms with little ones, straws are always handy. My kids want them all the time and it is rare that restaurants have any type of sustainable straws. So I bring my own, reusable ones. These straws by Simply Straws are a bomb! They are award-winning certified B Corporation, a WBENC Certified Women Business Enterprise, and a member of 1% For The Planet.
The company has an interesting history. Founded by a mother-daughter duo with a passion to protect the environment and make a positive change in the world. Simply Straws are “handcrafted, with minimal environmental impact, and a big dose of love”. You can pick from glass or metal straws and not worry about the plastic waste. Kids are happy an no harm is done to our Mother Nature.
Click the banner to get yours!
10. Oko-logic Face Oil
Last but not least, a shameless plug here. Any of my hand-made skincare products would be a great choice for the mom in your life. Since I am “small potato” in comparison to other brands, I am still unable to secure certifications. But, my products are GMO-free, toxin-free, not tested on animals, mineral oil-free, phthalates-free. My packaging is never plastic and always reusable.
If you consider my shop, here is the coupon for 20% off. Enjoy!