Mother's Day has become a gigantic shopping event. Next to Christmas and Valentine's Day, consumers spend more money for Mother's Day than they do for any other holiday in the year. This year, according to the National Retail Federation's annual Mother's Day survey, Americans will spend $20.7 billion! That amounts to an average of almost $170 per mom, an 11% increase over last year.
As a mom myself, I love the attention I get on Mother's Day. Who wouldn't want to be surrounded by family, showered with love, and coddled with breakfast in bed, a luxurious morning just reading the paper, and no rushing around to do chores?
But as the founder of Big Green Purse, where I advocate using consumer clout to change the world, I consider Mother's Day a tremendous opportunity - not to buy a lot of stuff, but to take a stand against excessive consumerism and in favor of the products and services that offer the greatest environmental benefit.
DOES YOUR MOM REALLY NEED MORE STUFF?
One of the most powerful and eco ways to use your money is to keep it in your purse or pocket! Most people have enough "stuff" - in fact, many of us are so overwhelmed by clutter that it adds to the stress of managing our households when we get more things we have to find a place for.
Years ago, when our two children were still toddlers, we established a "no gifts on Mother's Day" rule (we do the same thing on Father's Day). I truly appreciate my kids' desire to treat me special on Mother's Day, but for me that means that we have brunch or dinner together, maybe go for a hike or have some other family outing, and tell funny stories about my most memorable/ridiculous "mom moments." When my son and daughter were in elementary and middle school, Mother's Day was also a "no bickering" day. There was no better gift than the 24 conflict-free hours they gave me that one day of the year!