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(MCT)—The big day is approaching — do you have your Mother’s Day gift? This week, I’m sharing some unique ways to Do Your Part and show the mothers in your life how much you care. And as a bonus, you’ll be taking care of Mother Earth at the same time!

Flowers are usually a staple of Mother’s Day. Before you spend big bucks on a beautiful bouquet that will end up in the trash, consider something a bit different. One of my all-time favorite Mother’s Day gifts are the peonies now planted in my garden. They bloom right around Mother’s Day and remind me of the day my two children gave them to me. They are beautiful, bloom each year, and smell amazing. You can go with a similar idea or find a local nursery and give a beautiful potted plant that will last through the year. Many supermarkets also sell potted plants from local nurseries.

Another smart idea is to give the gift of a service. This is something that definitely won’t end up in the back of a dresser drawer. Consider items to make it easier on mom such as a gift certificate for a house cleaning service, a day at a beauty salon, or even a cooking class for two. Waste-free ideas show moms you care without giving something with a whole lot of packaging or that will eventually wind up in the trash or a landfill.

If jewelry is a must for your Mother’s Day plans, your eco-friendly options are endless. You can find earrings made of colorful and recycled glass, necklaces intricately crafted from recycled silver, or my personal favorite — items from Beads For Life. These are beautiful pieces of jewelry that you would never guess are actually handcrafted from recycled magazine paper by women in Uganda. This incredible craft helps them support their families and rebuild their lives.

As for the Mother’s Day cards, give a card that shows you care about the environment too. You could select one made with recycled paper or give a card that truly gives back. The Arbor Day Foundation offers electronic “Give a Tree” cards. For a small donation, an e-card will be sent to the Mom in your life and a tree will be planted in her name. You can also make a donation to The Blue Planet Network. An e-card will be sent along with details on how that donation will help people around the world get access to clean drinking water.

You can easily let your imagination run wild this Mother’s Day as you come up with a thoughtful and meaningful gift. Just don’t forget to keep Mother Earth in mind as you do! It’s an important way to Do Your Part while showing how much you care this year.

Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, eco-expert and author of Do Your Part: A practical guide for everyday green living available at

Distributed by MCT Information Services.