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1) Hot water
Help mom ditch the plastic water bottle habit with a faucet filter, filtered pitcher, or dispenser from PUR. Then provide something to tote the H2O in from The Bottle Shop where eco-friendly metal bottles come in seven colors and 6 and 10-liter sizes, $22-$25. You can personalize it with her name or initials for only $3.
2) Get a bead on
Earth mothers will love the Zuluwood and Zulugrass beaded jewelry handcrafted by rural Kenyan women from sustainable materials. Most bracelets are $29.95-$31.95, necklaces $39.95-$79, and other accessories are available at www.theleakeycollection.com.
3) See the light
Light up mom’s life with a Bessence candle, from the shop at Sandra Bullock’s Austin, Texas restaurant, Bess. These hand-poured soy candles, with lead-free wicks and boxed in recycled packaging, come in four fragrances and various sizes. A set of four votives is $40 at www.bessbistro.com/shop.
4) Bag it
Mom can carry in style with June Fifteen’s colorful totes in jute and cotton. The jute Nightingale bag and Sweet Cotton bag are $12.99 each and jute Bubble wine bag, $7.99 at www.june15collection.com.
5) Save a tree
Nepalese Paper taps into a craft industry that harvests the bark of the Lokta bush, a shrub grown above 7,000 feet in Nepal, to fashion colorful handmade items. You’ll find photo albums and frames, address books, journals, stationery, many items under $20 -- and the gift bags and paper to wrap them in -- at www.Nepalesepaper.com.
6) It’s a wrapper
Recycled newspapers, magazines, candy wrappers and Coca-Cola labels get beautiful new life in the woven clutches, handbags and other items from Ecoist.com. Most clutches and totes range from $28-$158, but there are many items under $25 and $50 including bracelets, napkin rings, placemats and coasters. Gift certificates are available and shipping is free on orders over $100.
Organic, natural and cruelty-free makeup, fragrances, bath, body, hair and skin products from such lines as Afterglow, Dr. Hauschka, Juice Beauty, Suki, and Farfalla are showcased at Beautorium.com, which has great gift sets available for Mother’s Day including a set of 10 facial products from Exuberance for $34. The site offers may promotions, free samples and a burlap bag with all orders, and free shipping over $50 with the code “MOM”.
8) More eco-beauty
There’s a limited edition Best Sellers sampler kit for $48 (a $98 value) available from Josie Maran Cosmetics, a natural and organic makeup line that comes in biodegradable packaging. The supermodel’s line is available at Sephora, Barney’s and JosieMaranCosmetics.com. A great go-with is the makeup brush set from EcoTools, with cruelty-free synthetic bristles and handles made from sustainable bamboo. It’s available at Walgreen’s, Rite Aid, Target, Safeway and drugstore.com. (Watch Josie Maran on MNN's Ecollywood show.)
9) Dress her up
EcoSkin makes beautiful knit jersey tunics, tops and dresses from bamboo and spandex for $150 and up, but you’ll find many items on sale at ecoskincollections.com. For the casual mom, Green Apple offers comfy bamboo and cotton pants, tops, sweatsuits and yoga wear, most pieces $30-$70. Gift cards are available at www.greenappleactive.com.
Soothe mom’s skin with the botanical, vitamin-rich natural products from the Jao line, including body oil, moisturizer, hand sanitizer, and lip balm, available individually or in sets from $7-$35 at www.jaoltd.com.
11) How sweet it is
Satisfy her cravings with organic, fair trade assortments from SweetEarthChocolates.com, which donates a portion of proceeds to Project Hope and Fairness’ support of Ivory Coast cocoa farmers. Gift set options include a $30 gift basket and $22 heart-shaped boxes of assorted or vegan dark chocolates. Or order the limited edition Chocolates for a Cause from Compartes Chocolatier and help fund Relief International’s aid to women and children in Darfur. The five-flavor sampler is $20 and comes with a Relief Beads bracelet.
12) If the shoe fits
It’s easier than ever to find great leather-free footwear, thanks to companies like Payless, whose Zoe & Zac line ($30 and under) offers cute shoes made from organic cotton and linen, jute, hemp, and recycled rubber, using soy-based inks and packaged in biodegradable boxes (see www.zoeandzac.com for store locations). Mooshoes.com has stylish vegan shoes including $75 ballet flats (pictured left) and $39.95 sandals. Tomsshoes.com makes comfortable kicks in natural materials, with several vegan options -- and donates a pair to a needy child with each pair sold. Zappos.com has gone cruelty-free too, with its casual shoe selections at www.zappos.com/eco-vegetarian-shoes. For fancier (and pricier) footwear, try the pure vegan couture at www.olsenhaus.com.
13) Still stumped
Tenthousandvillages.com, a collection of fair trade handicrafts around the world, has a great Mother’s Day gift page, or try GreenWithGlamour.com for chic fashion, home décor, and accessories, where a portion of sales goes to environmental organizations. Gift cards are available. Speaking of which, you can order those for everything from iTunes downloads to Blockbuster rentals, get mom tickets to movies, theater, concerts or sporting events, or make a donation to her favorite eco-charity in her name.
14) Wrap it up
Present your green present in an equally eco-friendly way: Wrap or bag it in recycled paper that’s a gift in itself as it’s infused with wildflower seeds that mom can plant now and enjoy later. Find them at www.flowerseedpaper.com and www.plantablepapers.com. Cards, tags and stationery are available too.
(MNN homepage photo: Knape/iStockphoto)