We wouldn’t be here without her. We’ll never fully appreciate the sacrifices she makes every day for our well-being. Yes, it will take a very special gift to really say “I love you, mom” to our Mother Earth. Here are the top 5 green Mother’s Day gifts that our favorite planet has recently received and which may provide you a few shopping ideas for the other moms in your life.
1. Green energy. The town of Saint Gouéno, France, just gave Mother Earth a new Enercon 850kW wind turbine, the first of seven and the result of a clever investment co-op of local residents with institutional investors. Along with six other nearby towns, this region is planning to be energy self-sufficient by 2025, including biomass facilities, solar panels, and an energy efficiency campaign that is creating a lot of local jobs. OK, so a wind turbine capable of powering more than 100 homes might be out of your gift-giving budget this year, but the USEPA will show you how to buy green energy for your mom in her neighborhood, which is a pretty nice gift of clean air and, in many regions, saving money. http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/pubs/gplocator.htm
2. Healthy food. Locally grown fresh food uses fewer resources to produce and is likely to be a lot healthier for mom (and you too, for that matter). In addition to promoting fresh local produce in many of its stores globally, Walmart’s “Fighting Hunger Together” program also hands out millions of dollars in grants to food banks for those in need. Join them at http://apps.facebook.com/fightinghunger/
3. Light. The city of Rio de Janeiro is partnering with the non-profit R20 (www.Regions20.org) to replace its streetlights with energy-saving LEDs that will cut energy consumption by half and save over $60 million/year. You can support that work or just help mom to do the same thing at home – - Home Depot has a simple video that shows you how http://howto.homedepot.com/videos/watch/390484563001/How-to-Save-Money-with-Energy-Efficient-LED-Light-Bulbs-The-Home-Depot.html
4. Water. Clean water is hard to find for most of Mother Earth’s kids. But a nifty new bottle helps you to drink clean water while giving that same life-giving gift to others. A couple of college students started Hydros to put a high-tech water filter/bottle in your pocket and share profits with clean water projects globally (www.hydrosbottle.com).
5. Peace. Nothing is more loving and sustainable for the planet than peace. Think about the places on earth today that are torn by conflict – - they’re all environmental and economic disasters. An amazing group of young musicians is on tour in the U.S. this week and shows that peace is possible between Arabs and Jews. Polyphony’s breathtakingly talented kids – - as young as 10 years old – - are the gift of hope and a demonstration of commitment by ordinary people without prodding by governments. They’re also a lot of fun to hear and see them playing Mozart, Hayden, and more (www.polyphonyfoundation.org). Take your mom to one of their concerts or send the group a check in her honor.
Long after the traditional holiday cards have faded and flowers have wilted, mom will appreciate these five examples of people taking action to make the world more sustainable and to give Mother Earth gifts she’ll always remember.