By Morgen Henderson
This Mother’s Day, celebrate the planet along with dear mom. While she won’t do your laundry, Mother Earth is just as important to you and your family’s health and well-being. Combine your love and appreciation for moms everywhere with activities that promote renewable resources and sustainable living. For example, don’t opt for traditional cut flowers that will be sitting in a landfill in a week. Instead, surprise your mom with a perennial houseplant or a bouquet of organic flowers — the perfect gifts that says “I love you and Mother Earth.” Here are five more ways to appreciate Mother Earth while you’re celebrating Mother’s Day.
1. Learn Something New
Increase your gratitude and appreciation for Mother Earth by learning something new about the natural world. Spend the day perusing the gorgeous photos and informative articles of National Geographic, or watch a nature documentary with your family. Take a tour of a natural history museum, visit your local zoo, or go bird watching. The more we learn about the natural world, the easier it is to see our role within it and responsibility for it.
2. Cook an Organic Dinner
Mother’s Day is one of the busiest holidays for restaurants. Everyone wants to take their mother out to eat. This year, skip the usual places and find a restaurant that uses locally-sourced and sustainable food. Farm-to-table and organic dining is gaining in popularity and moving into every cuisine style, from Mexican to Indian. Or skip the driving and crowds, and cook an organic meal at home. Most grocery store chains and local markets offer organic meats and veggies free from GMOs and hormones. And today’s organic recipes are as tasty and fresh as anything you’ll find at a restaurant.
3. Plant an Herb Garden
Mother’s Day is in the spring — the ideal time to plant a garden and promote sustainable living. Gardens help remove carbon dioxide, support local flora and fauna, and provide their owners with healthy food. Gardens are a win-win for everyone. On Mother’s Day, tend to a vegetable garden, or spend a few hours planting a small herb garden. Fresh herbs imbue our meals with powerful flavors. And herb gardens are easy to grow. You can plant an edible landscape for cooking or start one to add pleasing scents to your home or lawn.
4. Volunteer Together
Instead of spending the day finding the perfect gift for mom, give back to the planet by volunteering. Organizations like The Nature Conservancy host events all over the world. Volunteers can plant trees, renew urban green spaces, or become stream stewards. You can find volunteer opportunities online through local organizations’ websites, but you don’t need a group to make an impact on the planet. Throw on some old clothes and do litter patrol at a park or beach. Volunteer at a local animal shelter. Visit a university website for opportunities to help with environmental research. The opportunities to volunteer are endless, and you’ll spend some quality time with your mother giving back to the planet.
5. Make a Donation in Your Mother’s Name
Maybe volunteering isn’t an option, or maybe you want to remember your mother posthumously. If so, consider making a donation to organizations that are in the business of helping the planet. Pledge a monthly gift to the local animal shelter in your mother’s name. Or make your impact wider by donating to organizations like the Environmental Defense Fund or Sierra Club Foundation. There are plenty of local and international environmental groups that need financial support.