Thank you to my friend Cassidy Randall with MADE SAFE for giving us some great nontoxic Mother's Day Gift Ideas!
We all love to give gifts on Mother’s Day to show our boundless appreciation of our moms. But the last thing any of us want to do is accidentally give a toxic gift with the potential to harm her heath. To make healthy gift-giving easy this year, we’ve done a round-up below of popular Mother’s Day gifts where toxic chemicals commonly lurk and provided Switch to Safe options.
When in doubt, look for the new MADE SAFE seal on products across store aisles. MADE SAFE means that products are made with safe ingredientsTM, without known behavioral toxins, carcinogens, developmental toxins, endocrine disruptors, fire retardants, GMOs, heavy metals, neurotoxins, pesticides, reproductive toxins, toxic solvents or harmful VOCs. It means ingredients have been further examined for bioaccumulation (builds up in our bodies), persistence (builds up in the environment) and general and aquatic toxicity. In short, it means that for the first time you can trust that products are made without toxic chemicals known to harm our health.
Perfume is a classic and timeless Mother’s Day gift. But did you know that a single fragrance can be made up of over 100 different ingredients, all of which are generally kept secret—even the ones linked to cancer, reproductive harm and allergies? When ingredients are kept secret, it’s impossible to know whether a particular perfume is safe or not.
Switch to Safe: Look for fragrances made with essential oils, or for fragrances that list all ingredients on the label or the website. These essential oil blends from Annmarie Gianni Skin Care and these luxury scents from True Botanicals are heavenly MADE SAFE certified options.
Cosmetics and personal care are also no-brainers for Mother’s Day gifts, but here’s what you should know when looking for a gift in this category: our skin is our largest organ, and absorbs as much as 80% of what is put on it. So we are essentially eating our creams, lotions and salves. Unfortunately, 86% of beauty product ingredients haven’t been tested for safety.
Switch to Safe: Look for products with minimal ingredients, and ingredients you recognize, in order to reduce your gift recipient’s exposure to toxic chemicals. MADE SAFE certified options for cosmetics and personal care include products from S.W. Basics, Rejuva Minerals, True Botanicals, Annmarie Gianni Skin Care, and Just So. You can find them here.
Flowers: the go-to Mother’s Day gift. Unfortunately, conventional cut flower bouquets are grown with toxic pesticides, many of which are linked to cancer and reproductive harm. In fact, studies of Columbian women working in the cut flower industry (which supplies a vast amount of cut flowers in the US) showed a prevalence of serious reproductive problems like miscarriage and birth defects.
Switch to Safe: Where possible, look for organic flowers, which are grown without pesticides. Local farmers markets are often good places to find organic flower options. Houseplants are another option that not only make fabulous gifts, but also can help to filter out pollutants and toxic chemicals from indoor air.
Did you know that some chocolates can contain heavy metals? (Seriously. Apparently nothing is sacred anymore.) A study recently came out that 35 to 50 chocolates tested contained cadmium and lead. Lead is a neurologically toxic chemical linked to learning disabilities, seizures and lower IQs. Cadmium can damage the kidney, liver and bones, and it also linked to neurological impairment.
Switch to Safe: Don’t worry, there were plenty of chocolates tested that didn’t contain heavy metals! Choose these for Mother’s Day instead. Also look for chocolates that are certified organic or Non-GMO Project Verified.
Want more ideas for safer products beyond Mother’s Day? MADE SAFE is the first and only seal that applies to all consumer products, so you can find it on verified items from baby bottles and bedding to personal care products, cosmetics, cleaners and beyond. Participating brands certifying products include Alaffia, Annmarie Gianni Skin Care, Good Clean Love, Healthy hoohoo, Lullaby Earth, Just So, Naturepedic, Oilogic, Meliora, Pura Stainless, Rejuva Minerals, Sustain, S.W. Basics and True Botanicals.
Are you giving your mom a nontoxic Mother's Day gift this year?
Cassidy is the marketing director of MADE SAFE. She has almost a decade of experience working with companies to eliminate toxic chemicals, from corporate giants like SC Johnson and Procter & Gamble to small startups. She sits on the board of the Savvy Women’s Alliance, and was formerly a director of the national group Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE). Cassidy has an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and a B.A. from UCLA.