Sustainable Gift Sets for Mother’s Day

sustainable gift wrapping

sustainable gifts for mamas

Are you looking for sustainable gift sets for Mother’s Day?  Looking for a present that will be ethical, but still adored by its receiver?  For years now I’ve struggled with the gift-giving tug-of-war endured by guilty granolas everywhere.  I used to feel awful at the thought of not giving birthday gifts, wedding presents or Christmas gifts.  I started to warn people that I don’t give gifts, even though I LOVE to do it.  And now, I’ve stopped giving gifts just because of an occasion or expectation.  Gift giving can be so rewarding, but it can have a side that feels dirty and guilt-laden, especially when you can’t think of something personal, or you feel forced by capitalistic traditions.  And you don’t want to risk giving a gift that isn’t adored and ends up collecting dust, in an attic, thrown away or donated.  It’s basically like gifting a burden in that case.

To avoid this, I have been making gifts or purchasing sustainable items I either know a person needs or wants.  Or I go out on a sustainable limb and select something more eco-friendly that can replace traditional options with the hopes that I can convert them.  (Let’s be honest- gift giving isn’t always completely altruistic, right?)

So, I do still give gifts, but they have to be meaningful.  And using this logic, I even give gifts on un-occasions now!

But there is an occasion coming up rapidly, so below are a few ideas for sustainable gift sets for Mother’s Day. I’ve selected gift sets as opposed to individual gifts because some of them are smaller items and alone might seem a little odd (hello washer balls), but in a themed basket, it fits.  And I love giving multiple items- it’s fun and exciting!  And makes the presentation more interesting.

general sustainable gifting tips

Material:  Try to avoid plastic.  Renewable, recyclable, upcycled and natural materials are great options.  Think wood, stones, gems, upcycled fabrics, silicon, etc.

Local:  if you can buy things that are locally made, it’s a huge bonus.  It reduces the CO2 footprint from transport and supports local communities.  Look for local artists, artisans, service providers, restaurants, markets, farmers, flower shops.

Small businesses:  some of the above-mentioned fit into this category, but it expands to online marketplaces like Etsy (which I will mention A LOT below).  Support the little guys!

Wrapping: remember that your wrapping materials should be sustainable too. Old newspaper, saved boxes, cloth, shipping paper. See if you can find something to wrap it in that is beautiful but you already have at home without buying new, printed wrapping paper that will just be thrown away. I love unbleached brown paper with a touch of natural, like a pine or magnolia twig. For something more colorful, you can use old t-shirts and cut up fabric scraps for a ‘bow’. Get creative!

onward to the sustainable gift sets for mother’s day!

clean white kitchen

for a sustainable kitchen: beeswax wrap, glass food storage and healthy pans

Beeswax wrap: a perfect food saver.  Washable.  Malleable.  Usually adorable.  Always on Etsy, and a million other places. (DIY or Buy)

glass food storage containers: I select glass because it is so versatile.  I love this set.  Plastic Tupperware reheats poorly and can contain toxins that are emitted during reheat.  Any time you can avoid plastic is a win. And what about those spaghetti stains?  Yuck.

new pans: A lot of kitchens have old pan sets.  If your mother (or wife, sister, aunt, grandma, whoever the celebrated lady is) has old pans, they might be scraping Teflon, a carcinogenic toxin, into their meals.  And if you’re buying them a gift, you probably love them enough to put an end to that! It’s time to upgrade.   Look for PFA-free, non-toxic coatings (try Thermolon) and scratch resistant. Ceramic, cast iron and stoneware are great materials.  The Healthiest has a lot of information and options for eco-friendly pots and pans, but if you just need one fast, Blue Diamond is a highly recommended option. 


for sustainable outdoor and gardening enthusiasts

the composter:  compost bin, countertop scrap bin and compost starter

Now follow me here, people.  I know, it’s a weird thought.  But if she’s ever talked about wanting to compost, or loves to garden, she needs these things!  It provides such good nutrition for plants and diverts food scraps from the landfill, and your kitchen smells fresher if done right (keeping rotting food out of the trash bin).  When I got a compost bin for my birthday, I was ecstatic, and I have been composting ever since.  So, odd as it sounds, it might be ideal for some mama out there. 

I would say, if your gift recipient has a lot of land, you can skip the bin.  They can literally just put a pile in their yard (I have 3 acres and that is what I do.)  But if they have a small yard and are worried about smell, unsightliness, or critters, this bin is awesome.  BPA free, collects the liquid for fertilizer tea, and all it takes is scraps and a spin. You can grab a starter for the compost, and this adorable little countertop scrap bin will hide scraps and their scents on the counter.

the gardening pack: bulbs/seeds, rain barrel and some hippy sunscreen

Bulbs/seeds: this is always a goody.  A million places sell seeds, but there is none more exciting and exotic than the Baker Creek Seeds offering.  (Trust me, get their catalog and get lost in the colors!)  They have heirloom seeds and just absolutely stunning photos and plants.  I grew some monster cucumbers last year from them and they have so many assorted colors and varieties of plants you’ve never seen before.  And the flowers…. Oh my gosh. Okay, I gotta move on.

rain barrel:  Here is a really nice looking wooden one– most are plastic or terra cotta.   I worry about terra cotta because it can be so heavy and easily broken.  Plastic is reliable but, well, it’s plastic.   Or you can check local listings to see if anyone has some 50 to 250 gallon barrels they are selling (that is how we’ve always gotten ours). 

Those are very functional, so I am going to move on to more luxurious items.

for a relaxed mama: eco-friendly goats milk soap, bath bombs or bath salts, soy candles

Pampering. Luxurious. Beautiful. The spa treatment approach is always a go to for sustainable gift sets for Mother’s Day. I have a goat’s milk soap bar that I am IN LOVE WITH and I’d be thrilled to get a dozen more.  I don’t know where I got it and am going to be on the search from now on. 

I’m not going to give recommendations here, only tell you to head to Etsy stat and check out all the options in this realm.  Look for organic ingredients, and eco-friendly packaging.  You’ll find what you are looking for. Even if these ideas just get you started, because there are so many fun, beautiful, mom-friendly gifts there.

sustainable wearables:  green new sunnies, a sweet nature tee and jewelry

The sunglasses from SOLO are stylish, repurposed and give vision to those in need.  And also reasonably priced, especially after their Mother’s Day sale this week.

 Save Lands anything, from sweatshirts, t-shirts, reusable totes to jewelry.  Tell mom that she planted 12 trees with the purchase!

And speaking of jewelry, check out this beautiful article from Conscious Fashion.  They can guide you to numerable sites that sell ethical jewelry.

for the active mom: reusable water bottle, bamboo sports bar, sweat band

Now, only do this if she’ll receive it well.  We don’t want to send the wrong message on Mother’s Day and make an epic Peloton mistake!

Reusable water bottle: There are a million reusable water bottles for sale on Amazon and a lot of these sites I’ve recommended in this article.  Just be sure to get one made with good materials (read, NOT plastic). 

People Tree is an incredible company for sustainable, ethical clothing.  I’d recommend checking out their sports bras and active gear and keeping them in mind for any future necessary shopping!

The prAna sweatbands are stylish and organic cotton, perfect for workouts.

for newly sustainable mamas: laundry washer and dryer balls, toothpaste tabs

These would be weird for just any kind of gift, but for mamas gradually selecting alternative options for a more sustainable lifestyle, they’ll be psyched.  These are great introductions to the possibilities!

Wash balls: I don’t like that these are made of plastic, but they should save you from buying plastic bins or jugs of laundry soap, in the end, reducing plastic waste.  I have been using mine for over a year now, and they work great.  Just stick them in the sunshine every now and then. 

Dryer balls:  A lot of people have these already, even if it isn’t for sustainable reasons.  But they dry quicker, reduce static cling and are reusable.

Toothpaste tabs:  Now she can stop throwing away tubes of toothpaste and toss this compostable packaging into the compost bin you bought her 😉

sustainable gift set for the hosting mama

I like hosting gifts, because if they are good in a general sense, they can cause a (positive) scene.  And it’s a chance to give all the juicy, sustainable details about the origin, materials and process of the product. 

Local/sustainable wine: Supporting local is always good and supporting local wineries that grow or buy sustainably grown grapes is even better. 

Serving trays: All good hosts need a pretty serving tray.  One with a sustainable story is even better!

Reusable unpaper towels: Etsy has a million of these, but they are a great way to replace paper products and reduce deforestation and landfill waste.  I love the idea of using them to host.  You can make these yourself, if you sew.  If not, you can check out this page on Etsy to get you started looking around.

And finally, the sustainable toss-ins for any kind of mama:

Tree Tribe Leaf Leather Wallet : because it’s beautiful and functional

Bamboo French Press: Because it’s beautiful and functional.  Haha!  And it also is an excellent replacement for waste producing Keurigs and single serves, with better tasting (in my opinion) coffee that doesn’t require hot water running over plastic parts.  It’s excellently priced, easy to use, so simple,  and I have been using mine for 2 years and don’t want to drink from anything else.  No plastic parts! 

dōTerra essential oils: not all oils are created equal.  Look for organic, sustainably produced oils.  They are a great addition to any novice or seasoned granola’s stockpile, as they are great solutions for health, wellness, cooking, cleaning, pest management and beyond. And because they are so concentrated, they are awesome for minimalist living too.  Aaaaand, one more thing- if you know someone that sells them, please go through them!  

There are so many options for sustainable gifts sets for Mother’s Day.  If you didn’t see what you are looking for, peruse some of the sites mentioned.  Or look for what you WANT to get that special mama, and try to find a more sustainable version of it. 

I hope you enjoy celebrating that wonderful mother in your life and find some awesome sustainable gift ideas along the way.

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