Friday, May 4, 2007

Mother's Day Shopping List

More for Mom

Pretty Little Nothings

Moms adore receiving those little luxuries we never buy for ourselves.

If Mom’s eyes start to water on her day, it should be from joy, not a reaction to her makeup. But some conventional cosmetic ingredients, like Quaternium 15 and petrolatum, can cause irritation or allergic reactions. Formaldehyde and “coal tar colors” have been linked to cancer. “Fragrance/parfum” can mean synthetic scents containing toxic phthalates, associated with abnormal development in animal and some human studies. Parabens have caused proliferation of breast cancer cells in lab tests.

Eye Makeup Alert: In April 27, after investigating several cases of lead poisoning, the New York City Department of Health issued a warning against imported kohl, kajal and surma eye makeups containing the neurotoxic metal. In violation of U.S. FDA regulations, none of the products displayed ingredients lists.

The following are free of the worrisome ingredients above.

Aveda’s Petal Essence eyeliners, in “Cacao,” “Black Orchid” and other colors, are made only with plant oils and least-toxic minerals such as iron oxides. And the pencils themselves are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood. Triple Action double-pointed, two-color pencil can be used to accent eyes, lips or cheeks, $18; Eye Definer pencil, $12,

For the face, Dr. Hauschka’s Quince ($29) or Rose Day Creams ($39) smell delicious as they moisturize and tone the skin.

For the body, Pharmacopia’s lotions with certified organic olive oil and herbal infusions, and essential oils of ginger, citrus, rosemary or lavender, $16.99 at

For Mom’s hardworking hands, put a Badger in her bag and lighten her load. Tiny .75 oz tins pack a lot of comfort. Certified organic olive and aloe vera extract, cocoa and shea butter, plus essential oils of ginger/lemon, tangerine, mint, lavender/orange or rose. About $5 at Lip balms, $3, also come unscented.

The Better to See You With

You’ll always shine in Mom’s eyes, so give her Greenwear reading glasses made of 100% reclaimed plastic by ICU, which will also take them back for reuse and recycling. Don’t know her prescription? Get her a gift certificate at

What to read? Let Mom reconnect with the primal mystery of nature in the GREEN MANSIONS—A ROMANCE OF THE TROPICAL FOREST, by W.H. Hudson, first published in 1904 (Lightning Source, 2002). She’ll be delighted and inspired by MY FIRST SUMMER IN THE SIERRA, by John Muir, first published in 1911 (U. of California Press, 1990). Destined to become a classic, THE WILD TREES, by Richard Preston (2007, Random House) is an uplifting saga of the ancient redwoods and the scientists who explore their rich and diverse canopies.

Basic Rule of Mother’s Day: Thou Shalt Not Let Her Cook!

But you can give her a gorgeous nontoxic pan—and cook her breakfast in it. Lodge now sells a preseasoned cast-iron frying pan, $7.95-$24.95 at, which also sells stainless steel and enamelware. Lodge has a new enameled ovenware line, including apple green, at the dirt on nonstick finishes, see Word of the Week on the home page at and The Green Man’s Daily Ramble at

Serve her breakfast in bed on a lacquered tray made of bamboo, a fast-replenishing grass, in orange, green or turquoise. $18.95 at

Does Mom do most of the household errands? Cosset her feet with shoes that tread lighter on the Earth. Larkspur bamboo platform sandals from Timberland, with “comfortia” padding and leather straps in white, brown or black, $80 at
Cushy crisscross slippers in hemp, wool, yak hair and organic cotton, with soles that can pad outdoors, $48 at

She’ll want to stay in bed all day on a dust-mite-busting, unpesticided wool mattress pad, $230/ queen size at Not to mention organic cotton sheets and pillows $49 for a queen set at

This summer, let Mom get away in sustainable style with a white & black paisley quilted cotton bag, free of water-polluting AZO dyes, made by the craftspeople of the Barefoot College of Tilonia, India, which helps rural communities become self-sufficient and preserve their environment. . Entire code Penny07 for free shipping.

For more ideas and products, see “Top Ten Mother’s Day Gifts” on the home page at .

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