We are all different and have different lifestyles and hobbies so when I sat down to type up this post I knew it won’t work for all. One thing is true thought, if you are a mother and know that your loved ones will want to gift you something or you want to gift something to your own mum / sister / aunt / friend etc, this list could give you some ideas how to do it as low waste as possible. Overall, in my opinion Mother’s Day is over commercialised in the West so anything small that say “I thought of you” / “I love you” could totally do it. And I am not thinking about a card here. In 2017 the UK public spent £1.7 billion on greeting cards. That is a lot of paper (wrapped in plastic often) and money just to say the above. So here are some of my ideas which less wasterful than those cards…
#1. Potted plants that is hard to kill. Personally, I love potted plants so all of those which are almost impossible to kill is a winner. These are Snake Plant / Fiddle leaf fig/ Peace Lilly / Swiss Cheese plant / Philodendron / Aloe Vera / Jade Plant / Pothos plant aka the Devil’s ivy. / Barrel Cactus. They are low maintenance and improve air quality. Plus smaller versions of them can be picked up for under £10. Unless you can grow your own from your already existing plants.
#2 Himalayan salt lamp. If they have it already that is still ok, as you can get a second one for a different room for their house. Himalayan salt lamp is a stunning additional to any home. There are little to no evidence that they are helping with sleep or improve air quality but it’s pinkish light does create a soothing atmosphere that promotes relaxation which could help with sleep. Smaller ones (2-3 kilos) are now sold for around £10.
#3 Vintage / second hand gift. Rare and beautiful finds from charity shops or eBay. Books / jewellery / home wear for example. Whatever you are looking for, they can all be found second hand / in good conditions and half the price of the original. If the item you are getting is not food or underwear I would say, second hand gifting all the way. Don’t forget to check out Etsy for some real vintage gems.
#4 Zero waste items. While I am a firm believer that living a low impact /zero waste lifestyle doesn’t require stuff, when it comes to gifting that is a good opportunity to get bits. Like, stainless steel water bottles / reusable coffee cups / beeswax wraps / bamboo toothbrushes / selection of soap bars / tin containers / canvas or product bags.
#5 Essential oils. Some of my favourites… Lavender to help with sleep / Lemon for my home made multipurpose cleaner / Orange for cold and flu / Clove for toothache and dental abscesses / Geranium Rose for premenstrual tension and cramps / Peppermint for aching muscles and joints and allergy relief.
#6 Experience. We remember experiences long afterward, while we soon become used to our possessions. The experience we have with others will be part of the stories that we tell to one another, even after that person is gone. Therefore theatre / gigs / concert or go adventures and seek out one day soap making / cooking (vegan perhaps) / chocolate making or dance classes. (For this you need a bit of a budget). If no budget, walk in the woods or in the park and spent the time reconnecting.
#7 A night in alone. It might be just me but the idea of having a night in on my own with no waking kids around sounds just about perfect. It is off season so looking at airbnb and having one night booked to a proper night sleep and just for some me time could be dreamy. (it depends on the date but even in Greater London you can get a night for as low as £8).
#8 Home made. Whether it is baking / candles or DIY beauty products I think making something ourselves is always very special. It is time and effort but in my book, a total winner.
#9 Candles. Many commercial bought candles are made from paraffin wax with synthetic fragrance. They can be as bad for our health as second-hand smoke. Choose any of these from here for a non-toxic relaxation.
#10 A yoga session (or any activity you know she will love). Check out Eventbrite for events like vegan fest / cat shows / exercise or even a free chocolate experience. I have been booked some my free taster classes here for yoga for example. They are perfect to get a taste of different yoga types and practises on a budget.
#11 Chocolate. I think I mentioned chocolate twice now so let’s just have it’s own category. Buy bulk chocolate buttons from your local zero waste shop and put them into a glass jar and have a hidden message inside on a piece of paper. Or get this, perfect. Organic dark chocolate giant button jar, the jar will be amazing to fill it with zero waste products. Because I just couldn’t agree more with her – “Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate.” ― Jo Brand.