Director of Outreach & Engagement
It’s that time of the year when we’re searching for just the right gifts for our loved ones to show them how much we care. It’s also that time of year when we women can put our immense economic power to good use by using our dollars to show companies that we demand safe, non-toxic products. The power of the purse is a force to be reckoned with. Because women make almost 85% of purchasing decisions in the average home, companies pay a lot of attention to what we buy and what we don’t buy. And they make big changes based on that. For example, take the major corporate victories of just the last few months. Because women demanded safer products on store shelves:
- Walmart is banning a list of ten toxic chemicals from its stores
- Target released a new policy evaluating products based on use of toxic chemicals and ingredient disclosure
- Procter & Gamble is phasing out the toxic chemicals 1,4-dioxane, phthalates, and triclosan from all its products
The holiday season, with its rush of buying, is one of the best times to wield our significant power of the purse to keep this momentum going.
So why not flex those oh-so-toned economic muscles to make more positive change this month? Our Non-Toxic Shopping Guide can be your own personal trainer on your journey to non-toxic fitness when it comes to gift giving. Here are a few tips from the Guide to get you started:
- Personal Care Products: Buy from companies that have fulfilled the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, and find safer products using the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.
- Clothing: Opt for clothing materials produced without pesticides such as organic cotton, wool or hemp. Search Good Guide for safer brands.
- Fitness: Avoid fitness gear (such as hand weights, yoga mats, etc.) made with materials such as petroleum-based plastics, PVC, or phthalates, which have been linked to concerning health effects.
- Toys: Purchase toys made from natural materials such as wood or organic fibers like cotton, hemp or wool. Find safer toys at True Goods, Big Green Purse, and Healthy Stuff.
- Home: Avoid giving candles with potentially dangerous fumes and soot; try soy or beeswax candles with pure essential oils and non-cored fabric wicks (and keep them trimmed short).
- Baby Products: Plastic baby sippy cups, bowls, and utensils can contain BPA or phthalates. Look to Healthy Child Healthy World and The Soft Landing for safer options.
- DIY Gifts: Often the greenest gift is one you don’t buy at all! Create a gift basket of homemade cleaning & personal products using WVE’s recipes! Get creative with old jars, ribbon and other scrapbooking supplies for a super cute (and practical) gift!
Want more? Check out WVE’s Non-Toxic Shopping Guide for more tips and resources, as well as top picks for safer gifts in each of the above categories from women experts in their fields! Check out previous Tips of the Month.December 3, 2013