Wednesday, January 28, 2009


As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.
Article from the American Library Association

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.”

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2008 in review

Well I have now officially been on the green bandwagon for 2 years now. I have learned a lot and I have found that I still have a long way to go. I thought I would record my big changes from 2008 and think about what I want to accomplish in 2009.
I accomplished most of my goals for 2008 but I did not get to all of them.

Here were my goals for 2008
1. Order natural nail polish. So I can paint my nails again.
I did not do this but my mom did and I tried hers it works great with no smell.
2. Use less paper towels and more washable towels instead
I bought cloth napkins and dish towels. I rarely ever use paper towels. In fact I this year we never even bought paper towels this year.
3. Find a way to stop buying bottled water. I hate the taste of our tap water.
We are now using a Brita to filter our water and it tastes much better this way.
4. Get reusable non plastic water bottles for the family
Done we LOVE our Klean Kanteens
5. Buy non plastic storage containers for leftovers
We use mostly glass for freezing food and BPA free plastic for storing food other foods.
6. Change the cats litter to something better for the environment
Still working on this one
7. Buy more organic cotton and eco friendly fiber clothes, towels, etc and less conventional materials
I buy organic when ever I can although I still buy conventional materials sometimes.
8. Work on a plan to produce more veggies from our garden and store them using my new food saver.
We have over 15 peppers from our garden in the freezer right now (around here that should last a month or two).

Other things I have done in 2008
Got a bread machine so I can make organic bread and pizza crust.
Bought mostly only eco friendly and handmade gifts for Christmas.
Bought these reusable produce bags for when I buy fruits and veggies.
Started making and freezing my own beans so I no longer use canned. HEB has organic pinto and black beans in their bulk section.
Made playdough for the kids instead of buying the chemical filled stuff.
Purchased reusable plates, cupcake holders, and other party supplies.

Saved power by not using it for 2 weeks after Hurricane Ike :)

Goals for 2009
1. Try the everlasting vanilla
2. Work on the garden to produce enough veggies that I do not have to buy them any more.
3. Give eco friendly gifts
4. Make reusable fabric gift wrap
5. Change the cats litter to something better for the environment
6. Buy only what I need and donate everything we do not use.
7. Give my kids eco friendly birthday parties.

I am going to keep thinking of other goals. Let me know if you have any suggestions.