With cards, envelopes, wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, ribbon, and tape, gifts can create a lot of waste. Here are 10 Mother’s Day gift ideas that create little to no waste that you should try giving to Mom this year. After all, Mother Nature should be celebrated today too, shouldn’t she?
1. Recycled wine bottle candle
For the candle-loving Mom in your life, a handmade candle makes a prefect gift. Not only does it create less waste than buying a candle from a store, it also feels more thoughtful to receive a gift that was personally made by the gift giver. If she’s also a wine lover the wine bottle will make a fun and unique touch, while also giving you a new purpose for an empty bottle. If you prefer, you can remove the label from the wine bottle so that the candle is housed in a beautiful glass container that looks more expensive than it is.
You can find the tutorial to create the wine bottle candle here.
2. Homemade desserts in a mason jar
For sweet-toothed Mom in your life, homemade cookies, candy, or other desserts make a simple and sweet gift. Just find the recipe for her favorite dessert, bake it up, and place it in a mason jar that is simply decorated with whatever string you have around the house. This skips the need for wrapping paper or gift bags and leaves her with a mason jar to use for her own waste-free rituals.
Another great idea is to find a recipe for her favorite cookies and layer all the measured out ingredients into a mason jar. That way she can bake her own fresh cookies whenever she wants and can skip all the shopping and measuring.
These mason jar dessert gifts are great if you have a lot of women to give gifts to. Just make a big batch of cookies a divide them up or get enough ingredients to fill several mason jars with the measured ingredients.
3. A picnic
A picnic is a great zero-waste gift idea for the mother that wants some quality time with her children in the beautiful outdoors. The weather is getting warmer around Mother’s Day and the flowers are starting to bloom. An outdoor lunch is the perfect way to “dine out” without any of the waste.
Bring a bed sheet to use as a blanket, pack food in reusable containers, and bring reusable utensils and napkins. Make strawberry and mint infused water in mason jars, pack summer salads in reusable containers, wrap some sandwiches up in linen napkins, and bring plenty of fruit and a French baguette to snack on.
4. Plants in recycled cans
For the plant lover, a few of her favorite flowers planted in painted, recycled cans make a simple and decorative gift. This is also a great one for small children to do.
Simply take some empty aluminum cans (like empty cans of beans or soup), wash them thoroughly and remove the label. Paint them a color that compliments the flower or plant that you are going to put inside. You can have children decorate the tins with paint or write sweet messages to mom with permanent marker. Then simply plant the flowers and give them plenty of water to get them started.
5. Do a good deed in her name
For the mother who has everything, material gifts might not be the best idea. A thoughtful, zero-waste gift would be doing a good deed in her name, maybe even one that benefits the environment. Some of my favorite ideas are donating to a charity, planting a tree and dedicating it to her, or volunteering with an organization that is important to her for a day.
Here are some good environmental charities/non-profits that you can make a donation to in mom’s name. Just send her the certificate electronically so there is no paper waste.
6. Homemade body scrub
If you want to give your mom a product to pamper herself with, but you don’t want to create waste, a homemade body scrub is a great idea.
Here’s the recipe for my favorite lemon body scrub.
Put the scrub in a small/medium mason jar, which she can reuse once all the scrub is gone.
7. Go on a hike
For the outdoorsy mom, a hike is a perfect gift that is not only zero-waste, but also zero-cost. Research the best hiking spots in your area and plan your route ahead of time so there’s no stress for mom. Pack trail mix in a reusable container and bring water in reusable steel bottles. The stress of daily life can be so overwhelming that a relaxing day outside spending quality time with the family can be the only gift a mother really wants.
8. Pillow case out of an old t-shirt
A lot of women save some clothes from old times, but don’t actually have anything to do with them. They keep the clothes for sentimental value, but they are usually just stowed away in a closet or attic, not being seen or appreciated.
If you have some basic sewing skills you can easily turn an old favorite t-shirt into a pillowcase for a small throw pillow to put on her couch or bed.
You can find the tutorial here.
9. Relaxing day at home
It’s always Mom’s answer when you ask her what she wants for Mother’s Day, so give her what she really wants… a relaxing day at home.
Cook a zero-waste breakfast in bed, draw a bubble bath (complete with the adult beverage of her choice), have a quite lunch on the patio, let her to take a long, uninterrupted nap, finish the night with a movie and stovetop popcorn, and make sure there isn’t a dirty dish for her to wash or a single spill for her to wipe up. Don’t forget to give plenty of foot rubs, hand massages, and kisses all day long.
10. Tickets to a movie, show, or event
In my opinion, an experience makes a better gift than materials items. Tickets to a movie, show or festival or a day at the zoo, museum, or aquarium are all great experiences to do with Mom on mother’s day rather than giving her a material gift. They produce little to no waste and are a way for mom to be able to spend the day with the people that matter most to her. Tickets are also great for older moms who generally already have everything that they want and don’t want more material items taking up space in their home.