Local Moms, Global Love: How to Celebrate Mother’s Day Sustainably

Posted May 10th 2020

May 10, 2020, WINNIPEG – Cook brunch for mom at home while practicing social distancing and give a home-made terrarium created from a glass jar and a snip from an existing house plant. That’s the advice from The Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC), which is encouraging Manitobans to act as global citizens by celebrating Mother’s Day at home in ways that work toward sustainable development.

“Climate action and regard for gender equality is what you’ll be working towards, in addition of course, to making mom feel loved and appreciated,” says Laura Wiebe, Sustainability Specialist at MCIC, who holds a master’s degree in Environmental Studies. “Globally, women are disproportionally impacted by climate change and are often unable to access the resources needed to adapt. In Canada we have the opportunity to make positive changes for women everywhere”.

Preparing brunch based on what you have on-hand in the fridge and cupboards on Mother’s Day is what MCIC recommends. “Going out for brunch is traditionally one of the most popular ways to celebrate mom, but with social distancing restrictions in place, we need to find new ways to celebrate. Creating an at home brunch or meal by using what you’ve got - means reducing food waste and helping to flatten the curve”, says Wiebe. Decomposing food produces methane, a greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change. According to the National Zero Waste Council, “63% of the food Canadians throw away could have been eaten”.

You will prevent even more greenhouse gas emissions and reduce solid waste to landfill if you avoid purchasing imported cut flowers as the gift to accompany your brunch. Cloning existing plants avoids non-recyclable waste. Plastic plant pots of any colour are non-recyclable according to Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba’s website. “Save that pasta sauce or pickle jar, clean it out, and plant a snip from an existing houseplant in it as a gift,” says Wiebe. Spider plant, English ivy, and pothos are a few common houseplants that can grow in water without soil. “You could add rocks, marbles, even your favourite waterproof action figure to the jar. Be creative with the things you already have in your home.”

“With these two actions, you’ll be working toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

13 Climate Action, and #12 Responsible Consumption and Production; and mom will still get food, a

plant, and lots of love,” shares Wiebe.