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Gift Guide for those with Environmental Sensitivities
A Few Important Notes First!
IS IT A SAFE SOURCE?
Before buying a tangible item be sure to check that both the brand and the store are safe for them (the store means both online and brick and mortar options). This goes for those with chemical and/or mold sensitivity
WHAT LEVEL OF NEED ARE THEN IN?
Be sure to check in with the level of need – those who are barely affording food and basic medical needs will likely be very bummed to receive a luxury or non-essential item.
On a similar note, those without stable housing might not get much use out of a household item.
On the other hand, those who do have the basics might be excited to receive something special since many of us feel that all our money should be going to health-promoting items and not anything just for fun.
IS IT AN APPROPRIATE HEALTH PRODUCT?
If buying a health-promoting item be sure it’s something they need. We often already have an ongoing list of things we need. We know best what kinds of supplements or treatments we need. It’s not a good idea to push a treatment idea or healing modality on your friend or loved one that is not desired by the receiver.
20 Gift Ideas for those with Chemical and Mold Sensitivities
- 1. Organic bedding. I like Coyuchi for bedding because they give special attention to making their products safe for the chemically sensitive. Always ask the giftee which brand is safe for them and which stores are safe for them to buy from. My post on mattresses has more bedding brands and ideas.
- Those pursuing mold avoidance almost always can use a gift certificate to Walmart, REI (or MEC in Canada). Be sure to ask which store is best for them.
- 2. Glass items are safe for those with environmental sensitivities. See if they need something practical, otherwise go for something fun like some cool drinking glasses, a modern glass kettle or something ornamental like a glass Christmas tree ornament (Etsy has some too) or a terrarium (love these).
- 3. Ceramic items are safe for those with environmental sensitivities. Amazon sells some pretty ceramic vases, and you can even buy succulents for them on Etsy. I like these retro kitchen canisters as well.
- 4. Some plants will work for many sensitive folks (but not all). Succulents and bonsai trees could be a happy addition to someone’s home, especially if they are housebound. Check in to see if they have the energy to take care of them.
- 5. Many metals like stainless steel, are safe for almost everyone. See if your giftee would like something practical like storage bins or more decorative boxes. Other metals like chrome are safe.
- This cute jewelry holder is made of chrome.
- A metal Christmas tree is a good gift for those who celebrate xmas, but are sensitive to real and artificial trees.
- This octopus bowl is definitely unique (I kind of like it)!
- 6. Hard plastic items are often safe for the chemically sensitive. Look for ABX plastic, acrylic, PE and PP. There are a lot of modern furniture items made of hard plastic like Eames style chairs, and clear thick modern side tables. If that is their style, ask them which types of plastics (and which stores) are safe for them!
- My post on furniture has more ideas.
- 7. Real gold and real silver jewelry is safe for most people with sensitivities. Check in to see if this is the case, and if they don’t need anything more fundamental to survival. I love the selection of hand made jewelry on Etsy. Amazon has more small sellers now and their curated page helps you to find cool and unique options.
- 8. Solid wood items are safe for some, but not all, environmentally sensitive folks. Be sure to check in with the person you are buying for. Etsy features many custom made wooden items (from stools to carvings) for which you could make a special request on the sealant.
- 9. Stone items are safe for almost everyone with sensitivities if it doesn’t have a sealer. These agate coasters are cool. A small stone carving would likely work too.
- 10. Becoming fully fragrance-free so you can have a fragrance free visit! Ask them which shampoos, laundry detergents and other products you could use that would make it safe for you to visit them. To visit those extremely sensitive to mold, being willing to shower and change upon arrival can often help someone have a safe visit.
- 12. Music – a gift certificate to the Apple store or other paid music subscription service to buy or stream music.
- 13. TV and Movies – Amazon Prime comes with streaming options, or you can purchase movies to view there. Netflix is another good option. These are great for those who are more limited to the home or can’t afford these luxuries.
- 14. Healthy food – A local organic CSA delivery box for the season, or gift certificate to Whole Foods. Consider a monthly gift certificate for someone who is struggling to afford healthy food.
- 15. Supplements you know they need, or a gift certificate to a supplement store like Vitacost (ask them where it’s safe for them to buy their supplements). Consider a monthly Amazon auto ship of supplements for someone very much in need of help. I use Amazon and Vitacost myself.
- 16. Air Purifiers – be sure to check in with which brands they think they would do well with (or if they need this). I have two posts on air purifiers, one list is more focused on particulates and offgassing, the other on mold.
- 17. Water filters. Ask them if they could use a water filter or help with safe water. This could be delivery of spring water, a RO filter for under the sink, a Berkey filter which is best for well water, or a Brita filter for all-purpose or extra filtration.
- 18. A service that you know they need or like, for example, an in-home hairdresser, a cleaning person who uses safe products, an acupuncturist or naturopath, an online-based health coach, an in-person or distance healing or reiki session. Be sure to check in first to make sure it’s a service they need, and it’s provided by a person and place that is safe for their sensitivities.
- 19. Gifts made in a fragrance-free home that also supports others with chemical sensitivities!
- Like these metal ornaments, photography prints, painted wood decor (with acrylic paint), leather wallets and felt items, crocheted items, photo print art, and ornaments and jewelry.
These balms, tinctures and teas contain some essential oils but are otherwise made in a scent-free home.
- 20. Help with practical needs. Many folks with chemical and mold sensitivities need help with rides in safe vehicles, errands, research into safe products or housing.
We might have to return things!
It’s common for sensitive folks to have to return things. The item might not work for our sensitivities. Don’t take it personally! We appreciate the gift and your help with finding something else that will work better for us!