Mother's Day Gift Idea: Help Mom Go Car-Free

Here at NRDC we’re always coming up with great green gift ideas for any occasion, and Mother’s Day is probably one of the best times to give a planet-friendly gift. If there’s one person who really doesn’t need another tchotchke, it’s Mom.

What Mom wants is some time to put her feet up – which is pretty hard to do if she’s shuttling the kids back and forth to school, practice, piano lessons, and playdates, buying groceries and maybe getting herself to work, too.

The average American mother spends more time behind the wheel than she does feeding, bathing and dressing her children. There’s something seriously wrong with that equation. Getting out of the driving habit is healthier for kids and the planet, and it gives Mom a well-deserved break.

So here’s a great, free gift idea for Mother’s Day: Kids, if you can walk, bike or take the bus safely in your neighborhood, try to get yourself wherever you need to go for the next week. Ride your bike or take the bus to and from school with a friend. Volunteer to go on a milk run (and bring a backpack to carry the groceries home). Set up a carpool for soccer practice.

Dads, you can do the same. Organize a biking expedition for the kids, or take the train to a hiking trail for a day trip. Here’s a guide to carless hikes on the East Coast, and a Transit and Trails mashup for the Bay Area.

Tell Mom to take her foot off the gas pedal and put it up on the couch. It’s a great way to say thank you.