Check out these great sources to make your holiday gift giving less toxic!
The Non-toxic shopping is a great aggregator of information on the topic and includes links to database on toy testing, an article on finding responsible clothing companies, searchable information on fragrances toxicities, links to site on non-toxic art supplies, and offers help for finding green products made in the USA
Check out US PIRG’s toxic toys list – download the PDF on Toy Safety or view on your mobile device; and a link to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s searchable database on safe products.
Before buying anyone cosmetics check out the real ingredients from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database.
Other tips for toxic-free gift giving from ToxicFreeNC!
- Look for safer materials to start with—items made from wood, cotton, wool, metal, glass, etc. will contain fewer toxic chemicals. However, remember that products labeled as “natural” or “non-toxic” aren’t necessarily so, because those labels don’t refer to any specific standards.
- Silicone is not necessarily safe, especially not in the oven, or in kids’ mouths. It often contains siliconates, which have been identified as cancer-causing chemicals. Instead, look for toys made from wood or latex, and kitchen gear made from stainless steel, ceramic or tempered glass.
- When looking for rubber duckies and other soft toys for young children, try to find natural rubber or latex. (PVC and vinyl are highly toxic.) You can sometimes identify PVC/vinyl products by looking for the recycling #3 label.
- Skip “junk jewelry” for older kids, which can include heavy metals like cadmium, lead, and sensitizers that can cause allergic reactions. If you purchase jewelry, look for products made of real silver or gold–it’s a bit pricier, but it’s safer will last longer and can be passed down through your family’s generations.
- Indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air quality due to the cleaning products, pesticides and fragrances folks often use at home, chemical off-gassing from furnishings and of course, mold, dander and dust. Give gifts that encourage your loved ones to spend more time outdoors.
- Know your body products. If you will be purchasing perfumes or other personal care products, check out the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. It’s a great, easy-to-use website that helps you learn about what’s in the products you’re using AND find safer replacement products. Cosmetics aren’t well regulated, but preliminary testing has revealed heavy metals in make-up and endocrine-disrupting phthalates (often listed as “fragrance”) in make-up, bodywash, shampoo, cologne, body spray and a host of other products.