Father's Day, or Mother's Day?
Both of these holidays are a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the parents (and grandparents) in your life. Tell us about the recycled materials craft project you're working on for your Mom, or the special breakfast you'll be cooking for her using organic, local ingredients. Some of you may be looking for green gifts; we'd love to hear your suggestions for those, too. (If you are thinking of getting Dad or Mom chocolate or flowers, we covered green options for those gifts in our recent Valentine's Day post). What are you planning for Father's Day? Here are some Dad-specific ideas (scroll down for Mom!): Men in general are hard to shop for but Dads have a degree of difficulty all their own. Grown men basically get for themselves what they really want, with the possible exception of what they can’t afford, which probably means that we can’t afford it either. So let’s go back to what we do know, back to what we were reminded of with Mom – the thing that most parents generally want from their kids is TIME. So here are some fun, low-carbon producing activities to do with Dad.
- Play catch/tennis/hoops
- Test drive hybrid or alternative fuel cars
- Hit balls at a batting cage
- Kayak/inter-tube/boogie board
- Go to the local nursery
- Spend the day at the park/beach/mountains
- Plant a Tree
- Watch movies or sports and drink organic beer
- Play chess/checkers/dominos/cards
- Do the Sunday crossword puzzle - recycle the paper!
- Get a shave at an old-style barber shop
- Make him breakfast in bed
- BBQ veggie buffalo burgers
- Talk, but not too much, during all of these things
Something else that might, at first, not sound like that much fun but might actually mean a whole lot to him (and Mom!) would be to help with those unfinished chores/projects/home improvements he’s been meaning to get to for the last year (or three.) Some ideas might be:
- Replace old light bulbs with new energy savers
- Clean out the garage/closet/basement and give to Good Will
- Make repairs around the house
- Install shelves
- Organize the home office
- Build a deck with FSC wood or reclaimed materials
- Plant flowers/trees
- Weed Whack and compost!
If your dad isn’t as active as some, or you just really want to get him a gift, here are some eco-friendly alternatives to plunking down cash for a brand new thing he probably doesn’t need or want.
- A homemade card
- Carbon offsets
- Donation to his favorite charity
- Solar Battery charger – be sure to get him re-chargeable batteries
- Sigg reusable water bottle
- Organic/Fair Trade coffee
- Organic wine or beer (see our St. Patrick’s Day entry for ideas here)
- Bamboo or organic cotton polo shirt
- iTunes Gift Certificate
Whatever you do, remember that this is just an "official" excuse to spend time together so keep it light, have fun and know that even if he doesn’t fully appreciate the green part, he will fully appreciate being with you! Here's the best Mother's Day advice we've heard in a long time (and it will work for Dad too!): Mother’s Day, is of course an official day when you get to thank Mom for all that she does for you. But every year, it’s the same dilemma - what do you get for the woman who brought you into this world? Flowers, candy, jewelry? You don’t want to overdo it but the smaller stuff never really seems quite right. My mother always says, "The last thing I need is another tchotchke." Well, she’s right. Which reminds me of a little movie I saw a while back called The Story of Stuff. In it, Annie Leonard, who appears to be the eco version of Nancy Drew, uses cute cartoons to illustrate all of the socially and environmentally devastating details involved in the chain of events that support our consumer driven lives. It tells the real story behind the things we buy, from conception to landfill and once you know how much energy, water, fossil fuel, waste and human capital is involved in making one product, you might think twice before heading out to the mall to get one more "thing" for mom; one more thing that will end up in a landfill not too far from her hometown in an average of six months. Besides, the real truth about what most moms want for Mother’s Day is simple: They want…
TIME WITH YOU
So we’ve come up with some nifty ideas that will make you, Mom and the planet happy this Mother’s Day. Some moms are active and some are less so but there is always something you can do together that is easy, fun and leaves a small Mom Shoe of a footprint behind for her grandkids to clean up. Make Eco Crafts Really cool things can be made out of stuff you were going to get rid of anyway. How about taking your light switch plate off the wall and recovering it in fabric from one of dad’s discarded ties? Or give an old top a new look, just by changing the sleeves or the neckline? You can find some fun ideas and easy instructions at http://www.eco-artware.com/crafts/archive.php Make a Vision Board Not only is this a super fun art project, it’s also a personal exercise in defining and putting images to all the good things you want in your life. All you need is a large piece of cardboard, glue sticks, scissors and all the old magazines you can get your hands on. Cut out any and all images that speak to you and paste them on the board in a way that makes you smile. Let the universe see your desires in color pictures and then watch your dreams come true! And don’t forget to put the unused magazines in the recycle bin! See Local Live Theatre Attend a play, musical, dance or comedy show playing at a theater near you. Most theaters have Sunday matinees so you can really make a day out of it. Whether it’s Shakespeare or children’s theater, going to a live performance is always fun and energizing. Spend time with Mom, support you local community and enjoy the show! Go To The Farmer’s Market There’s nothing quite like heading out into the fresh morning air to walk up and down the rows of fresh vegetables, fruit, flowers and homemade goodies at your local farmer’s market. Not only are you and Mom sure to find something delicious and locally grown, you might be pleasantly surprised to find something missing from most people’s daily lives: Community!!! Talk to a stranger about organic farming, ask someone about how honey is made, or just enjoy the time together, there’s so much to see and discuss! Find your local farmer's market here at http://www.localharvest.org/. Homemade lunch/picnic Make a delicious lunch using local, organic ingredients and pack a picnic to take to your favorite local park, meadow or even your backyard. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, you might spread your festive blanket on the living room floor and have an indoor picnic. You could even put on you favorite movie and call it The Non-Driving Drive In Picture Show. Other fun, eco Mother’s Day activities: Hiking Biking Leisurely Strolls Organic Baking Party Visit a Public Garden Make Soy Candles Antique Store Shopping Of course, Mom will love you the most if you give the gift that keeps on giving. Pick one of these green activities every month as a way to spend time together throughout the year. Even if it’s as simple as a walk, she will appreciate it. And so will you! If you really feel the need to give her some "thing," consider a homemade card, craft item or you could even write her a poem or short story! There’s so much you can do, it’s really up to you and Mom. Either way, you’ll both have Green Mother’s Day fun and Mom will feel like the special person she truly is!