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A Greener Mother's Day


My child will wake up from her nap in a moment and my good intentions to write my Mother’s Day blog will become yet more ominously close to NOT happening (at least until after the actual day). So, instead of making this the perfect Mother’s Day blog where I encapsulate in less than 400 words all the ways we might thank yourselves, our own mothers, and Mother Earth, I am going to set the bar lower.  Instead it will be a mediocre Mother’s Day blog that I actually accomplish.  Ahh, I am having more fun already.

If you are like me and you are a little behind on thinking about Mother’s Day (is it too late to send my thank yous from Earth Day, what about Hannukah and Christmas?) I have some fabulous Green Mama appropriate ideas.  Ones especially geared to those who leave it to the last minute.

Want to walk into a store and find a beautiful gift that you know hasn’t been made by little children working in horrendous conditions, and maybe have it even be recycled, or green, and definitely safe?  Try one of Chicago’s great, green local shops (featured on my resource page.)

Okay, you aren’t packing your kids onto the bus or into the car NO WAY, NO HOW.   Or, maybe your mother already has everything. Or, maybe you just feel like giving a greener gift. Some of my favorite charities have special Mother’s Day offerings: restore a mother’s eyesight, ensure a mother can feed her family, or help create a community garden in an underserved area nearer you.  (Either way, no greenhouse gasses and lots of smiles.)  Here are three of my favorite options for this Mother’s Day.

Openlands is one of Illinois most established groups protecting natural and open spaces.  Instead of flowers, this year you can “give” her an entire garden.  Your donation will be used to create a community garden in an under-served urban area.

Heifer International
will create a mother’s day “basket” ensuring many mothers will be able to feed their families, pay for education, or sustain themselves. And you can personalize it with a tribute page to your own mother.

Seva Foundation supports needy women and children around the world: restoring site through surgery, training midwives in countries without healthcare, and building wells in places without fresh water.  They also have some of the most stunning gift cards ever to send to your recipient. 

Today, I realized as I was yelling at my toddler to “Please! Please! Let’s go!” for the 100th time on our morning walk, that I almost NEVER get outside alone.  I go out every single day with my child, with my dogs, with the whole family, but very rarely anymore do I go outside by myself.  I experience the sounds of my yapping dog, of my squealing toddler, of my own voice encouraging or pleading, but I have nearly forgotten the sound of my own thoughts echoing inside while the waves echo outside.  Or the birds and I sharing a tune. Or just that kind of silence that forces you to notice that nature has its own sounds.

This Mother’s Day I am going to try and go outside for a few minutes by myself. I hope that I will have more appreciation and patience for my child because of it and even more I hope I will have more appreciation and patience for myself because of it.  I hope that this Mother’s Day you get a moment to gift yourself with something, anything, everything, or at least, that you get a moment to enjoy a deep breath of fresh air.



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