By Claire Moshenberg
Happy (almost) Mother's Day! Celebrate the moms in your life with nontoxic gifts and treats. With these easy tips, you can take toxic chemicals out of your Mother's Day breakfast, create your own luxurious beauty gifts for mom, and wrap up your Mother's Day presents in environmentally friendly, affordable packaging.
Breakfast in Bed: Treating a mom in your life to breakfast in bed? You can keep your meal and fun and delicious while keeping pesky toxic chemicals at bay.
- Wash the rinds and peels: Wash all of your produce, even produce with inedible peels and rinds. It's especially important to follow this rule if you're slicing through the peel, since chemicals from the peel can transfer into the fruit's flesh through your knife. If you're zesting citrus fruits, make sure to scrub the peel and try to buy organic. You should scrub fruits and veggies for about 30 seconds each, which you can measure by singing the Happy Birthday song twice.
- Watch your water: Remember that filtered water isn't just for drinking. Make sure you also filter your water if you're boiling water or using water as an ingredient in a dish. If you don't have a filter, the Green Guide recommends placing an open container of water in the fridge for a few hours, which helps filter out chlorine, and let water run for a full minute before you use it for cooking or drinking.
- Shop Smart: Take these handy tools with you on your next grocery shopping trip. Use these lists from the Environmental Working Group to choose which produce to buy organic: The Dirty Dozen are the fruits and vegetables that you should try to buy organic if you can. The Clean 15 are fruits and vegetables that have a low pesticide level even when they're not organically grown. What's On My Food is a searchable database that shows you levels of pesticides in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and more. The Breast Cancer Fund has a wallet card that shows you the top 10 canned foods to avoid, including fruits and vegetables.
- Sugar or salt scrubs: Combine two parts sugar or salt with one part olive oil. For a creamy scrub, replace olive oil with coconut oil. To create finer exfoliating particles, grind your sugar or salt in a coffee grinder.
- Cocoa bubble bath: Store this in a mason jar, jam jar, or any recycled glass container. Here's the recipe from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics:
- Bath treatments: Combine two tablespoons of oats, one teaspoon of baking soda, and wintery spices like cinnamon and cloves in a square of muslin. Tie the muslin at the top, and you have a cute DIY bath ball! Add a note telling the recipient to just pop the bath ball in the tub as it fills with water. You can also try these bath bomb and bath cookie recipes from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
- Tape: The Green Guide recommends stocking up on PVC free tape or recycled gummed paper tape. And remember, when that flurry of gift opening is over and it's time to gather up and recycle the wrapping paper, tape interrupts the recycling process. Make sure to remove all tape from leftover packaging and paper that you recycle this holiday season.
- Cards: Decorate recycled paper to create homemade Mother's Day cards! If you're feeling crafty, try this Mother's Day Drawer Sachet Card craft tutorial.
- Wrapping paper: Recycle, recycle, recycle! Newspaper, coloring book pages, old maps: All of these paper items make perfect wrapping paper. Let your kids decorate recycled paper by drawing or painting hearts, tracing hand prints, or just adding their own gorgeous scribbles.