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Mothers Day gifts that won't hurt the planet or your wallet

Give your mum something thoughtful and planet-friendly this Mothers Day.

Shannon Barker

Want to give your mum something that will warm her heart without warming the planet? Gift giving is a huge contributor to landfill: there’s all the single-use wrapping paper and plastic ribbons, plus the fact that many gifts end up unwanted and thrown out. With the busy pace of life in the city, it's tempting to just run to the shops and pick up another cast iron pot, but there are plenty of ways you can show your mum you love her without hurting the planet (or your wallet).

Finish off her home maintenance list

Every mum has a list of nagging little jobs they’d love to get done. If you’re really handy you could go all out here: build her that chicken coop she’s been talking about for months, repaint the spare room, or fix some broken furniture. If your home handyperson skills are more limited, there are still plenty of little things you can do to help out. Grab a can of WD-40 to silence a squeaky door, pick up some hooks to finally hang up that family photo, or just spend half an hour mowing the lawn.

Cook her up a feast

If you didn’t make a booking for Mother’s Day lunch at least two weeks in advance, you’ll probably struggle to find something. Never fear! A home-cooked meal requires little forward planning, and your skills in the kitchen (however rudimentary) will impress your mum more than any fancy restaurant meal could. Choose your favourite dinner party recipe and head to the shops or farmers’ market to stock up. If you’re not a whiz in the kitchen, stick to something simple or play sous-chef to one of your more culinarily-gifted siblings.

Indulge her with the royal treatment

Your mum deserves to be treated like the Queen, so serve up one of Her Majesty’s favourites: chocolate cake with a good cuppa tea. According to Queen Elizabeth II’s former chef, the Queen has a soft spot for this Chocolate Biscuit Cake recipe. The good news is that it’s simple to make and doesn’t require any baking. Dust off the good china, set out a nice tablecloth, and brew up a pot of tea (because what’s a slice of cake without a nice cuppa to wash it down?).

Flex your crafting muscles

Remember when you were a kid and your mum proudly hung all your finger paintings on the fridge? We bet she’d still love to get something handmade. If you’ve got some time up your sleeve you could learn to knit or crochet and make your mum a nice scarf or rug. You could also try your hand at some pressed flower art or make her a potted herb garden. Just like when you were in kindergarten, it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect. Your mum is obliged to love it anyway.

Organise a family picnic

If you’ve got siblings, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins or grandparents nearby, include everyone in on the fun. Buy hammocks, fire up the family WhatsApp group and get everyone to bring a plate to your local park. Your mum will love spending the afternoon with those she loves the most, and as organiser of the event you’ll get an edge on your siblings in the race for ‘favourite child’ status.

Take a nice photo with your siblings

Mums love family photos and their children hate taking them. You’ll really show your mum how much you care if you manage to round up all your siblings and get a nice photo for her wall. You don’t need a fancy camera or professional photographer. Just ask a friend or partner to take a snap on your phone. Get it printed and put it in a nice frame and you’ve got yourself a present that ticks the two most important boxes: thoughtful and affordable.

Just go and visit her!

If you’ve really left your run too late (or you’re no good at fixing things, cooking, or crafts), just pop in to your mum’s place for a coffee or a meal. Pick up a card and a bunch of flowers on the way if you don’t want to turn up empty handed, but what your mum really wants is to spend time with you.

Need a car to visit your mum?

Book a car for Mothers Day

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