Guys can be hard to gift shop for. That's where we come in

Non-Toxic and Sustainable 2021 Gift Guide for Men

Roundups

Why are men always so tricky to shop for? The men in our life always seem to buy themselves the cool products, which leaves us scratching our heads by the time the holidays roll around. That's why our men's gift guide this year focuses on every day items that are made to last. Yes, he has t-shirts, but he probably doesn't have a crisp, classically cut shirt made from organic cotton, or a bloody mary mix that's made from super simple ingredients and tastes so good his friends will swear it's homemade. Check out the best sustainable, non-toxic, gift picks below!

This year, we have highlighted many products by many Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) owned/founded brands. Buying from these brands is a great way to support economic opportunities in BIPOC communities and celebrates diversity in the sustainability space. Additionally, since climate change is an urgent issue with so many health impacts, we are also highlighting brands that are Climate Neutral certified. That means that the brand has committed to measure, offset, and reduce the carbon they emit. We believe that consumers and companies must work together to embrace and make true commitments to diversity and sustainability. Look no further for the ultimate gift guide!

non-toxic sustainable eco friendly men's gift guide 2021



$: Under $50

O'Brothers Habanero Hot Sauce

Upgrade his meals with this habanero hot sauce from O'brother organics! Its flavorful recipe packs a punch.

SUPRUS Lighter Electric Lighter Candle Lighter USB Lighter with Upgraded LED

Never buy a disposable butane lighter again with this electric lighter with a USB rechargeable battery. This lighter is perfect for BBQing, camping, candles, and more!

Agalima Organic Authentic Bloody Mary Drink Mix

Sometimes you just don't have the time (or energy) to make your own bloody mary mix, which is where this mix by Agalima comes in. It's made from great organic ingredients including tomatoes, horseradish, and chipotle peppers and comes in a glass bottle!

The Snowy Cabin Cookbook

This newly released cookbook is the perfect companion to a day of snow play or day of hibernation. Filled with fun snacks, hearty breakfasts, soups and stews, and delicious baked goods, this is the perfect cookbook for any cabin loving person.

Everlane Organic Cotton Crew

This mid-weight GOTS certified organic cotton t-shirt by Everlane has been tested for durability and comes in over a dozen different colors. It's a classic tee, with clean lines and a classic crew neck.

Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Tumbler (Climate Neutral)

Once you start using a stainless steel tumbler from Klean Kanteen, you'll never want to leave the house without it! Double-wall vacuum insulation keeps contents hot or iced for hours. The tumbler lid is made from a BPA free polypropylene with a food-grade silicone seal.

Cocokind Sunscreen (BIPOC Brand)

This mineral sunscreen by Cocokind offers great sun protection without harmful ingredients! It's easy to apply with no white cast. The perfect sunscreen for snow sunny days this winter.

Parks Project National Parks ECOCOOL Playmate

This limited edition Igloo cooler is made from post-consumer plastic like milk jugs and yogurt containers. It features a design from the National Parks Project on the lid and a portion of proceeds from this recycled cooler will benefit the National Parks Conservation Association.

$ $: Between $50-100

Lodge Deep Camp Dutch Oven

This dutch oven by Lodge is perfect for your next camping adventure! is the pot that does it all. The lid holds hot coals and inverts for use as a griddle. Whether you're cooking chili or baking biscuits, this pot is perfect for cooking in the great outdoors.

Klur Symemetry Fluir Anti-Pollution Serum (BIPOC Brand)

Non-toxic skin care is for men too! Upgrade his skincare routine with Klur's Symemetry Fluir Anti-Pollution serum. It repairs and protects skin from daily environmental stressors.

Kaya 3 Piece Ceramic Planter (BIPOC Brand)

A Kaya ceramic planter is the perfect addition for his home or office.... or home office! The deep blue is sophisticated and will help bring a touch of greenery to any space.

Cariuma Shoes (BIPOC Brand)

Cariuma's sleek design and wide range of color choices make this sneaker a winner! Cariuma's commitment to sustainability and ethics is what we would like to see in every shoe company. The materials are thoughtfully sourced, including recycled plastic, organic cotton, and natural rubber, and they pay fair wages to their workers. They also plants 2 trees for every pair of shoes bought!

Organic Basics Recycled Cashmere Beanie

As temperatures begin to drop, make sure he's nice and warm with this recycled cashmere beanie by Organic Basics! This hat is created from worn out cashmere garments that would otherwise go to landfill.

$ $ $: Over $100

Outerknown Apex Trunks

These Apex trunks by Outerknown are designed by Kelly Slater. They are made from recycled plastic and sewn in a Fair Trade Certified factory. Super light weight and comfortable, they are ready to take on any activity.

Estelle Colored Rocks Glasses (BIPOC Brand)

Cocktails just taste better in beautiful glassware. This set of hand-blown beautiful rocks glasses is heirloom worthy and lead-free.

REI Co-op Half Dome Tent

This flame retardant free tent from REI is a great 2 person tent. It has a great mix of being lightweight enough for adventures and spacious enough to be comfortable.

Houdini Ski Jacket

Houdini's waterproof and breathable PFC-free winter jacket is perfect for skiiing or other snow sports. Made primarily from recycled fibers, recyclable, PFAS-free and Bluesign®-certified materials, this top-of-the-line shell jacket has all the features you need without unnecessary bells and whistles.

Life

Do Personal Care Products for Men Impact Reproductive Health?

Endocrine disrupting chemicals can be a big problem for men's health

Personal care products for men are abundant today. Shaving creams, aftershaves, hair sprays, hair gels…the list goes on and on. And it's likely to keep growing . The men's personal care market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 6.0% from 2020 to 2027, and the decision to buy is not just influenced by looks. In fact, 81% of men globally believe that grooming purchase decisions are influenced by three things: health, hygiene, and looks (1).

But have you ever looked at the ingredients included in your go-to products? A large percentage of the men's personal care stuff out there today can contain harmful chemicals like phthalates.

So what the heck are phthalates and what dangers do they pose to our health? And how do we find non-toxic men's personal care products with clean ingredients? Read on and find out!

What are phthalates and what are they used for?

Phthalates (phthalic acid diesters) are a class of manmade chemicals that are used in a wide variety of consumer and industrial products (2-4). They are found in personal care products, medications, paints, adhesives, and medical equipment made with polyvinyl chloride plastics (4).

Their function depends on the type of product and specific phthalate, but their role is typically as a plasticizer, solvent, and/or stabilizer. In nail polishes, phthalates are used to reduce cracking. In hair sprays and hair gels, phthalates are added to help avoid stiffness, allowing the spray to form a more flexible film on the hair. And in fragrances like in cologne or lotions, phthalates are included as a solvent.

A study of 72 personal care products obtained at a supermarket in the United States detected phthalates in more than 70% of hair gel/hair sprays, body lotions, fragrances, and deodorants (4).

How do they find their way into our systems?

Human exposure to phthalates occurs throughout most of our lifespan, due to the products that utilize them (3). Although the science is still being understood, it is thought that they can be ingested, inhaled, or absorbed in the skin (4).

During childhood and adulthood, a major source of exposure is through the use of personal care products: hair sprays, hair gels, colognes, lotions, or deodorants, for example. Research has even shown that unborn children can be exposed in utero through maternal exposure (e.g., the mother inhales perfume or cologne that uses phthalates while pregnant) (3).

A 2005 questionnaire administered to 406 men ascertained their use of personal care products, including cologne, aftershave, lotions, hair products, and deodorants (4). They then studied the amount of phthalates present in the same group's urine samples. Men who used cologne or aftershave with the 48-hour period before the sample was collected had higher levels of phthalate in their urine. Further, they found that men who used multiple of these products had higher levels than men who used one.

What are the health effects of phthalate exposure?

Phthalates have been studied in animals extensively, but the human health effects are still being researched. But the potential effects on human health are starting to come to light.

Due to the way the phthalates are digested, continuous exposure to phthalates in humans may result in liver dysfunction (5). Some studies have shown a positive association between phthalate exposure and the development of hypertension and atherosclerosis in adults as well as some cardiometabolic risk factors in children and adolescents (6). In a Denmark study, high-level dibutyl phthalate exposure (≥ 10,000 cumulative mg, compared to no exposure) was associated with an approximately two-fold increase in the rate of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer (7). In addition, an association between phthalate exposure and allergic diseases has been suggested, although the literature is still far from conclusive (8).

The potential male reproductive effects of phthalate exposure are still being studied. However, there was a recent literature review of male reproductive effects associated with exposure to six phthalate types at typical exposure levels to humans (3). This review found that phthalates affect semen quality, testosterone levels, and time to pregnancy (3).

Ways to reduce your exposure

Given these health effects, it's a good idea to reduce exposure when you can. While reducing exposure may seem like a daunting task, thankfully there are some great non-toxic men's personal care products out there. So relax! We'll help you find some simple ways you can do it.

The easiest is to swap out phthalate-heavy products for safer versions. You can start with finding products that are fragrance-free, as fragrances tend to utilize phthalates. You can also swap your current personal care products for cleaner versions - and we'd recommend doing this with one product at a time so it's not overwhelming. A great place to start is our lists of non-toxic men's hair styling products and men's shaving creams.

Finally, it can be incredibly helpful to find retailers who limit the toxic chemicals in their personal care products. Target and Sephora both have a "clean seal" to help you search for safer products. And retailers like Credo Beauty, Detox Market, Whole Foods, and Follian have a wide variety of clean, screened products as well.

So get out there and start swapping out the non-safe for the safe!


References

1. https://www.grandviewresearch.com. Men's Personal Care Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Skincare, Personal Grooming), By Distribution Channel (Hypermarket & Supermarket, Pharmacy & Drug Store, E-commerce), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027.

2. FDA. Phthalates. https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-ingredients/phthalates. Accessed February 6, 2021.

3. Radke EG, et al. Environment International. 2018 Dec;121(Pt 1):764-793.

4. Duty SM, et al. Environ Health Perspect. 2005 Nov;113(11):1530-5.

5. Praveena et al. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018 Apr;25(12):11333-11342.

6. Mariana and Cairrao. J Cardiovasc Dev Dis. 2020 Jul 22;7(3):26.

7. Ahern et al. J Clin Oncol. 2019 Jul 20;37(21):1800-1809.

8. Bølling et al. Environ Int. 2020 Jun;139:105706.

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But, don't fear, we have some super easy tips to help you protect your sperm. A couple highlights from the list: 1) clean your home 2) use cold water when you cook 3) keep your phone in your back pocket or in your bag Check out the full article for more simple tips and the reasons why you should follow these tips. A little secret, they are good for your overall health, too, not just your sperm.
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