mother and daughter sitting at a desk reading

10 green gift ideas for Mother’s Day

LIVE greener | 12 MIN READ | 2021-05-06

Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday, May 9th, and while lists on lists exist of Mother’s Day gift ideas, we thought, why not gift her with something that she'll love and that's eco-friendly?

We pulled together a list of 10 Mother’s Day gift ideas that are good for her wellbeing, the environment, and can also be delivered straight to her front door!

1. Soy candles (instead of paraffin wax)

a candle, journal and bouquet of white roses on a table

Who doesn’t love a beautiful candle? It’s always the perfect gift, with its instant sense of relaxation and pretty mood lighting. But more importantly, did you know soy wax is better for you and the environment than paraffin wax – and simply a more thoughtful choice to give as a gift? 

Why? Well, soy wax:

Is naturally derived from soybeans and contains nothing artificial (unlike paraffin, which comes from the non-renewable resource petroleum)

Is non-toxic, meaning it’s better for you and the environment 

Burns cleaner and doesn’t give off harmful by-products (unlike paraffin wax, that gives off black soot when burned)

Has higher burn times, so it lasts longer than paraffin, which means you get more for less! 

Of course, aside from the benefits of soy candles for your mom’s health, there are so many cute and fun options to choose from! Here’s a few fun Mother’s Day candle ideas:

Is your mom a coffee lover? LightOnMe hand-pours these 100% natural soy wax candles, scented with premium oils to smell like fresh coffee beans for $22.00 (they’re so cute, too). Each candle is packaged in an organic cotton muslin bag, a recyclable glass jar, and is meant to burn for around 50 hours!

Is your mom more your bestie than your mom? These cute, customizable soy candles allow you to add your names, skin tone numbers, favourite drinks and hair colours so that the label matches you both perfectly! Made with recyclable materials and pure soy wax for $34.99, they’re sure to make your momma smile.

Does she like clean, simple scents? These Canadian-made, clean linen scented soy candles (with over 200 five-star reviews) are meant to burn for 80-90 hours! They’re simple and pretty, and each soy candle comes with a unique fortune under the cap, for $28.40. How fun! 

How about pretty flowers? These flower and succulent soy candles by ZoetStudio on Etsy are super cute (maybe too cute to burn), highly recommended, and are handmade in Canada. For $30.00, you can choose among many scents and a few colours to ensure your mom will get a custom, beautifully and naturally scented soy candle.

For moms who love to be celebrated. These eco-friendly, soy “Best Mom Ever” candles are simple, handmade in Canada, and come in natural scented oils like lavender and peppermint vanilla. For $27.00, the burn time is around 50 hours (meaning they’ll last for Mother’s Day and beyond).

Does your mom like gifts that keep on giving? Give her a monthly candle membership from VellaBox. Just because.

And why not add some matches and decorate the matchbox with a cute, personalized message on it?

2. Trendy shopping bags (so she’ll use less plastic and feel fashionable doing it)

person carrying reusable shopping bag that says My Designer Bag is at Home

Reusable and trendy shopping bags are a must-have for everyone – but especially 1000-things-on-the-go moms. Grocery shopping, market shopping, or antiquing can be so much more fun with a pretty bag to carry around (especially as multiple grocery chains are no longer offering plastic bags).

Plus, the more she has on hand, the more likely she is to use them. Given the negative impact plastic has on our ecosystems and oceans, this is a gift for both your mother and Mother Earth.

We shopped around online, and here are a few of the cutest, trendiest reusable shopping bags we found:

If she's a minimalist: These minimalist shopping bags are super cute and made out of linen. They can fold up to be so little, they'll fit right in her purse. They can also be thrown in the washing machine for a quick clean. Bonus! 

If early Saturday markets are her thing: These burlap market totes are big, so they’ll hold all her favourite veggies and finds. And the designs are nice and simple, yet so stylish.

We’re here for those flower-loving moms: Want to get a bag to go with your mom’s new flower-scented soy candle? Check out these floral cotton reusable canvas bags on Etsy – they’re made with high-quality cotton and are embroidered with a simple floral design. 

These are just a few of the highly-rated, mostly Canadian-made reusable bags we found, but there are so many more options on Etsy! Make sure you read the details to find out where they’re coming from (to ensure you’re shopping local, reducing carbon emissions) and that they’re made with eco-friendly products and practices. 

3. An organic cotton blanket (for the ultimate cozy evening)

mom and son laughing on a couch with blankets and pillows

There’s nothing that enhances coziness quite like a soft blanket or throw! And if your mom enjoys curling up on the couch to watch her favourite series, this is a great gift to consider. Etsy has it all when it comes to buying 100% certified organic cotton – from colourful Turkish blankets and throws to simple, handwoven organic cotton blankets

Want to know why we like Etsy so much? The reviews are helpful, the items are often handmade, it supports makers and small businesses, and options (including customization) are truly endless! 

4. Essential oils (and a starter kit with a diffuser, if she doesn’t have one!)

diffuser and plant on a shelf

There’s a lot to know about the many benefits of essential oils, like how they clean the air in your home or can be used to make all-natural cleaning products. The most important thing to know if you’re considering getting essential oils as a gift for Mother’s Day – they’re calming, smell amazing, are good for her health, and will help to relax and unwind at the end of a long day.

There really are a ton of options when looking into what essential oils and diffusers are best – but our advice is to choose scents you know your mom will love (or that remind you of her). 

If you’d like her to have top quality essential oils, check out this guide to the best essential oil starter kits to kick-off your research. And if she doesn’t have a diffuser yet, this guide should help too. 

5. 100% recyclable, plantable card (that turns into flowers!)

Queen Bee plantable card from Etsy

Image Credit: HMarchantIllustrates on Etsy

Stumped for a gift? Who knew you could buy a pretty card, write a nice note, and then plant it later to grow beautiful flowers? Ta-da – instant gift! The variety offered on Etsy for plantable Mother’s Day cards is plentiful – and quite affordable! These add a special touch to your Mother’s Day gift beyond your super thoughtful note.

6. A plant that cleans the air (so she can take a healthy, stress-free breath of fresh air every morning)

plants and art on a shelf in a house

Did you know there are actually houseplants that purify and clean the air from chemicals and toxins that can cause headaches and sicknesses?

So, if your mother loves greenery in her home, do some research on plants that clean the air and find the one she’d love the most. English Ivy and Spider Plants are proven (NASA does studies on this) to remove a high percentage of the chemicals found in the air.

Plus, plants make people happy and if you get one that’s easy to care for, like a Peace Lily or Snake Plant, it can last quite a while (no green thumb required)!

7. A reusable travel mug or water bottle (for moms who are always on the go)

girl sitting on chair beside plant drinking coffee with toddler beside her

Even if she has one already, who doesn’t love a new travel mug or reusable water bottle? You can have some fun with this one with so many colours and options to choose from.

When it comes to travel mugs, always choose non-plastic if possible. New York Magazine provides a list of the best travel mugs (according to coffee snobs), that includes travel mugs made of glass, stainless steel, and silicone. And if she works from home, a new mug for home is a great gift too!

With water bottles, anything is better than using a one-time plastic water bottle! You can find reusable bottles with fun sayings or names printed on them, rainbow coloured or shiny metallic bottles from Starbucks, or you can check out this list of the top-rated water bottles. Either way, promoting reusable over single-use plastics is always in style.

8. Make (inexpensive) eco-friendly updates to her home

mom and daughter playing with pink balloons in the living room

There are lots of little things you can do to make a home more eco-friendly. Buying a few thoughtful and useful gifts and helping your mom place or install them can help her learn more about sustainability, and also lower her electricity and water bills! Here are some ideas:

Does she recycle? If not, pick up a blue bin and make her a cheat-sheet of what to recycle versus throw away. And if she doesn’t compost, teach her about that too. It’s so easy and there are lots of benefits to composting, including enhancing your garden with enriched soil and reducing methane gas emissions from landfills!

Buy her a reusable dish rag. We're not kidding! We are obsessed with these reusable Swedish sponge clothes. They soak up spills so much better than paper towel, wash dishes more effectively than dish sponges, and after a few days, you can toss them in the wash (not the dryer) and use them all over again! After 1-3 years when they get old and ratty (it depends how many you have on rotation), you simply compost it, and that's it. They also come in the cutest designs, shapes and sizes!

Replace her lightbulbs. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs) are much better for the environment than incandescent lights. They’re super energy efficient (good for the environment and lowering bills), last longer, and contain no mercury or other hazardous substances.    

Buy her some power strips. Strange as this may seem, power strips are inexpensive and can save energy in your mom’s home. Plug them into the wall near grouped electronics (like in the living room and kitchen), and when electronics aren’t in use, she can easily switch them all off with one button.

Get her an electric kettle if she doesn’t have one. Did you know that stovetop kettles use more energy than electric ones? As long as you unplug them when you’re done, they boil faster and use less energy. If she’s a tea-lover, this is an added bonus.

Liking where this is going? Check out this list of 30 easy ways to make a home more eco-friendly.

9. A reusable garbage bag for the car (whether her car is clean or not)

mom and daughter in a blue car together

Messy cars just don’t feel good and can totally wreck your mood. It’s one of those things that you clean and then before you know it, it needs to be cleaned again. Garbage tends to get stashed in the door or receipts, wrappers and coffee cups end up on the floor. 

We found these fun, reusable trash bags for vehicles on Amazon. There are quite a few different types and they hang on the back of a headrest or on the shift stick for easy reach. The best part is, you can empty and wash them when they’re full! You’ll help keep your mom’s car neat and tidy, and she’ll use less waste in the process. What’s better than that?

10. The gift of time (for the mother who doesn’t need more “things”)

mom and daughter posing on the street with a yellow flower

This one is pretty obvious – but it’s so real. There’s nothing better than spending quality time with another person. Self-isolation and social distancing may have put a damper on your Mother’s Day plans but Mother’s Day is far from cancelled.

Here are some ways to spend an afternoon with your mom, free of physical gifts and in ways neither of you will forget:

Help her organize her closet (or pantry or whatever else). Don’t we all need to do this? Sit in her room, listen to music, and clean out her closet together. Fashion shows and lots of laughs are likely to happen, and make sure you donate what she doesn’t want anymore! If you live in separate houses, doing this over video or hiring a professional to help her virtually works just as well.

Make her food. This could be breakfast, lunch or dinner, but if you make it, she’s bound to love it. If you aren’t confident in your cooking skills (or you don't live together), order in from her favourite restaurant, plate it for her if you're with her, and watch a movie together. Even better, make enough for her to freeze and enjoy later on. 

• Virtual Yoga: Who doesn’t love a good stretch? Roll out your yoga mat and hop on a Zoom Yoga class with your mom to destress. Want to turn this into a gift? Buy her a one (or a few) month subscription to your favourite Yoga app.

• Virtual movie night: Pick a handful of movies that both you and your mother can enjoy together and host a Zoom movie night with popcorn and some fine wine! If you live apart, have some movie snacks delivered or drop them off that morning.

• Social-distancing picnic: Order breakfast and have it delivered to your mom’s house. Set up a picnic for your mom on one side of the yard, and a separate blanket for yourself on the other for some quality time with mom – from a distance of course. 

There are so many things you can do together on this day that will make your mom – and your heart – happy. For a bonus, brush up on your writing skills and write mom an old-fashioned letter to show just how much she means to you. That’s sure to make her (or anyone) smile on her special day!