This Holiday Season: Buying Naughty or Nice

The holidays can be stressful, especially for those of us who are aware of all the harmful chemicals in too many products on the store shelves today. Sometimes I just want to look for gifts for my loved ones without having to wonder what dangerous toxins might be lurking in every product.

I also know it can be even more stressful for those who have to live with an eco-freak like me during the holidays. When my wife and I are shopping and she sees a purse she really likes, she knows I’m not thinking “That would make a great gift for her,” but more likely, “I wonder if that’s made with lead-tainted faux leather?” When she brings home a new toy she thinks will make a great gift for our daughter, she expects me to say, “But is that made with PVC?” Even my kids know that my adoring gaze when they’re drinking from their water bottles is also concealing the mad desire to rip the bottles from their hands and bring them to work to have them tested for hormone-altering properties.

Even if you’re not hyper-vigilant about toxic hazards, everyone deserves to be protected from these threats to our children and families. So this holiday season, we created the CEH Toxic-Free Guide to the Holidays (below). Our slideshow gives you tips on how to avoid many common health threats in everything from arts and crafts to wrapping paper. Considering new kitchenware for a gift? Our guide gives in-depth tips on what to look for and what to avoid. Thinking about jewelry for that special someone? We’ll show you how to avoid lead and cadmium risks. A nice basket of body lotions and skin products sounds nice, but our guide shows you how to avoid a widely used antibacterial and buy safer products.

So check it out — before you hit the stores! And thanks to our friends at Treehugger for their shout-out to our guide!