What Eco Conscious Crafts are you giving Mom?

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I’d love to believe I’m not alone in frequently waiting until the eleventh hour to make or purchase the perfect gift. It’s not that I don’t think about it ahead of time.  It’s just that tomorrow is always here before I expect it. (that alone is a topic for a future post.) So, for those of you who haven’t yet crafted or purchased a gift for mom, or even if you have but haven’t wrapped or carded, let’s look at some ideas for giving mom a sustainable gift.

If you are efficient and have mom’s gift wrapped and shipped, these ideas work just as well for birthdays and other occasions for green giving.

I’m sad when I see those piles of wrapping paper, boxes and ribbon that are part of most holidays, birthdays, bridal or baby showers, and disappointed that so few people even notice. I made a commitment last holiday season to only give something that had been recycled or could be recycled and to only use for wrapping material that is used or can be used.  There are of course lots of organic, recycled and earth friendly gifts on the market and there are some simple eco-conscious steps each of us can take in gift giving.

Those of us who love paper have difficulty sending e-cards and e-gift certificates, and some of our mother’s are not web savvy. My mom loves books and I used to send her gift certificates to a bookstore when she could get out and about. (she has started using the library now that they deliver, but she has to wait so long for new books.)  It’s difficult to get Mom to appreciate or understand recycling when she’s always associated “used” with “can’t afford new”  rather than earth-friendly. I’d considered giving my mom a Kindle both to cut down on paper waste and for the “instant gratification” factor of “get it now”. But the idea of teaching my eighty year old mother to use a Kindle is daunting-she still struggles with voice-mail. So, I do still buy her books but ask her to save them for my next visit after she has read them. That way, I know they won’t end up in a landfill. I’ve started always including a handcrafted re-purposed bookmark. Last December, I noticed how many boxes of Kleenex we go through and found they were the perfect weight cardboard to make book marks. Now, when I stand at the recycle been at the post office, rather than dump all the catalogs I receive, I keep the ones that have cool patterns or graphics to make cards. I have a friend who never buys envelopes. She uses those return address envelopes that come with solicitations.

If you’ve already made or purchased a gift, consider making the wrapping part of the gift. Is there a scarf you have that your mom’s admired? Do you have a tea towel or apron that she’d enjoy? Wrap her gift with them.  Are there pieces of hand dyed silk or handmade paper that you haven’t used for a project? She’d appreciate  it more than commercial wrapping paper and could then use it for her own project is she’s crafty.

I’d love to hear about the earth- friendly crafts you’ve made for your mom or the eco-conscious way you’ve packaged her gift. Please post and share your green genius with all of us.

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