From: By Radish staff, BuildingGreen, More from this Affiliate
Published December 24, 2007 09:01 PM

Gifts for grown-ups: Natural, organic and non-toxic ideas

Does your holiday shopping list include someone who would love something natural? Something healthy? Something locally made? In a world full of plastics, polyester and pollution, here’s a list of non-toxic suggestions.

Body, mind and soul

* Natural and organic body care products. The people at state, “If you like to eat organic food, why absorb synthetic chemicals through your skin?” For this reason, there are natural and organic body care products available from a variety of companies. Since this can be such a personal gift, you may want to stick to something you know the receiver would love — perhaps soaps made from certified organic coconut oil, lip balms, body washes, wooden brushes and natural sea sponges. Check out regional companies Frontier Natural Products Co-Op in Norway, Iowa ( and Eco Lips in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (, or national distributors such as

* Massage treatment.

Spas around the region offer a variety of massage treatments and other therapies. Buy a gift certificate for any amount and let your recipient choose from among Swedish, myolymphatic, deep tissue, pre-natal, hot stone therapy and other options. Stonedrift Spa at Eagle Ridge Resort in Galena even offers a “golfer’s massage” for $85. 


* Life coaching.

Is someone you love going through a crisis? Buy him or her a series of coaching sessions — for use in person or over the phone — from life coach Larry Barsh of Iowa City. Barsh’s objective is to “help people feel better and be better and (to) guide them in a direction that will help that happen in the most beneficial ways.” (319) 358-0479 or

* Individual retreat. Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, offers programs and services that integrate mind, body and spirit. Among its services are private retreats for those who desire time alone to pray and reflect using their own resources. The 70-acre complex includes wooded trails, hermitages and an outdoor labyrinth. Call (319) 395-6700 or visit The Sisters of St. Benedict at St. Mary Monastery in Rock Island, Ill., also offer several retreats at the on-site Benet House Retreat Center. Visit or call (309) 283-2100 for details. The Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters host retreats and events at the Sinsinawa Mound Center, Sinsinawa, Wis.; (608) 748-4411 or Home and garden

* Candles. For all-natural candles (if used with cotton or hemp wicks), soy and beeswax are what you want to look for. These candles do not add carcinogens to the atmosphere and burn longer than paraffin. Regional sources include Arc Industries of Rock Island, Ill., (309) 786-2362; and Soy Ur Burning, 665 32nd Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, (319) 364-3442.

* Bed sheets. For the sleepyhead on your list, (through Natural Selections in Fairfield, Iowa) sells organic cotton sheets and blankets, comforters, washcloths, hand towels and more. Pottery Barn also sells organic towels (, as do Linens ‘N Things ( and Target stores (check for availability). There’s also, and Anna Sova (, which prides itself on luxury organics and sells spa-quality organic towels, home linens, soy candles and non-toxic house paints.

* Gardening tools. The Happy Gardener company ( sells a variety of earth-friendly products for outdoor and indoor gardening, birding, lawncare and other specialty items. Rich Landis of Davenport, Iowa, is a regional distributor. Call (563) 391-0214 or e-mail Gardening tools also may be purchased at the Lillian Goldman Visitor’s Center at the Seed Savers Exchange Heritage Farm, Decorah, Iowa, and online at

* Rain barrels. River Action in Davenport, Iowa, sells 60-gallon rain barrels made of recycled plastic for $70 in person or $72 online. Barrels fit any downspout and include a diverter. River Action is located at 822 E. River Drive, Davenport; (563) 322-2969, Clothing

* Check out Natural Selections, 104 S. Main St., Fairfield, Iowa. Owner Lonica Lee says her catalog carries more than what’s listed online, and you won’t have to pay for shipping if you pick your order up at the store. (888) 216-9917,

* Products by Patagonia: Adventure clothing produced by Patagonia features only organic cotton. You can find Patagonia products at Active Endeavors, 138 S. Clinton St., Iowa City, (800) 828-8802, and at 3022 E. 53rd St., Davenport, Iowa, (563) 441-9488. Or shop online at

* Go recycled: Dabluz Boutique, inside the historic Hotel Glenview, 116 E. Market St., Mount Carroll, Ill., turns used denim into skirts, capri pants, purses and more. (815) 244-4058

* If you can’t find what you’re seeking in stores, check online sites such as Its fabric is 100-percent organically grown cotton and 100-percent pesticide free, chemical free and latex free. Books

* “From the Bottom Up: One Man’s Crusade to Clean America’s Rivers,” by Chad Pregracke and Jeff Barrow (National Geographic Books, 2007). Chad Pregracke of East Moline, Ill., teams up with Jeff Barrow to share his incredible journey from one-man rubbish remover to internationally renowned river campaigner and founder of Living Lands & Waters. Available for $26 in regional bookstores or online at

* “The Last River Rat: Kenny Salwey’s Life in the Wild,” by J. Scott Bestul and Kenny Salwey (Voyageur Press, 2005). Self-proclaimed “river rat” Kenny Salwey shares stories about living along the Mississippi River bottoms in Wisconsin. Each chapter tells about a month living in the wild and details activities such as hunting, ginseng digging and mushroom picking. Available for $9.07 on

* “The Grace of Grass and Water: Writing in Honor of Paul Gruchow,” by various authors (Ice Cube Press, 2007). According to the publisher, the late Minnesota naturalist and author Paul Gruchow was a “master of trenchant insight into the right ways of living, as well as the foibles and hypocrisies of modern society.” The collection includes one of Gruchow’s last essays in addition to new writings by nine award-winning authors. Available for $16.95 in regional bookstores and at

* “The Everything Green Living Book: Easy Ways to Conserve Energy, Protect Your Family’s Health, and Help Save the Environment,” by Diane Gow Mcdilda and Kerry Smith (Adams Media Corporation, 2007). The way that you live, work, travel, eat, drink and dress affects the earth and the environment. This concise, eye-opening book gives you all the tools you need to live a green lifestyle. Available for $10.17 from Accessories and jewelry

* Original jewelry crafted by regional artisans can be purchased at a variety of art galleries throughout the region, including Quad City Arts, 1715 2nd Ave., Rock Island, Ill.; Bucktown Center, 225 E. 2nd St., Davenport, Iowa; Iowa Artisans Gallery, 207 E. Washington St., Iowa City, Iowa; CornerHouse Gallery and Frame, 2753 1st Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Hello Galena!, 121 N. Commerce St., Galena, Ill.

* Jewelry made by hand from recycled materials is available from Artswork, 221 N. Cody Road, LeClaire, Iowa, (563) 289-4058. Online, visit, a recycled precious metal Web site where you can recycle, reuse or donate your old jewelry.

* You can find almost anything in hemp and cotton, including purses, scarves, hats and mittens, wallets, pet leashes, aprons, socks and belts, at Also check out

* Virginia-based Onetribe International ( specializes in natural jewelry made from horn, bone, stone, wood and bamboo.

Finally, consider giving Radish magazine as a gift. Send a check for $19.95 for one year (or $30 for two years) to Radish, 1720 5th Ave., Moline, Ill., 61265, or subscribe online at

Ann Ring, Brandy Welvaert and Joe Payne contributed to this story.

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