Typical category: Flowers
Green/local alternative: Potted plants or seeds
The Massachusetts Department of Agriculture's Mass Grown Map lists locations for locally grown flowers, or better yet, seeds and trees to plant. You could also consider taking mom to the New England Wildflower Society to view or photograph flowers.
Typical category: Chocolate
Green/local alternative: Taza chocolate or chocolate cooking classes
Taza is an all-organic chocolate company whose factory is in Somerville. Taza has teamed up with Mass Farmers Market in a Love Your Mother campaign to raise money for local farmers' markets. For each online purchase of their Mother's Day chocolate gift bag, they will donate $20 to Mass Farmers Markets. Alternatively, consider a gift certificate to a local cooking school, such as the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, which offers courses in working with chocolate, such as their "Craving Chocolate" class.
Typical category: Spas
Green/local alternative: Green spas
Check out the Green Spa Network for ideas. These spas recognize connections between personal health and environmental responsibility by incorporating measures such as organic products, reducing water use, using unbleached paper products, and energy audits to identify potential conservation measures.
Typical category: Dinner out
Green/local alternative: Restaurants that serve local, organic food
The Green Restaurant Association is a good resource to find a Green Certified Restaurant. These restaurants are certified based on their water, waste, building, food, energy, disposables, and chemical reduction practices. There are also many restaurants in the area that serve local and/or organic food that aren't certified, such as Gilson's Herb Lyceum in Groton, TW Food in Cambridge, and Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain. Check out the Slow Food Boston organization for more ideas and resources.
Typical category: Coupons to help mom around the house
Green/local alternative: Green spring cleaning
Consider offering to clean your mother's home using natural or green cleaning supplies.
Another option is to consider a donation in your mother's name. For example, the International Rescue Committee is sponsoring an Honor a Mother, Rescue Another Campaign. Through this organization, you can help mothers in need around the world, such as by purchasing mosquito nets, helping fund pre-natal care, or sponsoring education.
About the green blog
Helping Boston live a greener, more environmentally friendly life.
Christopher Reidy covers business for the Globe.
Doug Struck covers environmental issues from Boston.
Glenn Yoder produces Boston.com's Lifestyle pages.
Eric Bauer is site architect of Boston.com.
Bennie DiNardo is the Boston Globe's deputy managing editor/multimedia.
Dara Olmsted is a local sustainability professional focusing on green living.