Today I am thankful for the internet. I am thankful for the resources that individuals choose to share freely and for the fact that anyone can write their thoughts, feelings, and anything else their heart desires. I am thankful that there isn’t any one person or organization that can limit the internet as a whole and even as there are governments and ISPs censoring free speech, there are still wonderful people providing TOR routers and proxies so that those who are experiencing censored connections can attempt to circumvent it.
It is the internet that enables us to get news out about causes and issues that the mainstream media misses or doesn’t deem newsworthy. It is the internet that allows grassroots efforts to take hold in ways that were never possible before. It increases our reach and connects the urban with the rural.
The internet is the ultimate library and you can learn just about anything your heart desires. I have learned to knit from instructions, videos and tips posted on the internet. I have found new favorite recipes, sewing patterns, craft ideas, parenting tips, and heard of causes that I just had to get involved in.
One such cause is the CPSIA (CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act). As a mother of four I was outraged when I discovered not all that long ago that we were importing toys and clothing for our children that contained unsafe levels of lead. I couldn’t understant how in this day and age of technology this was happening to our children. Like many others, I wanted our government to do something about it and take action. I got my wish however, it is at the expense of many thousands of home businesses, and even my own hobbies.
The threat to our children came from big business and lazy multimillion dollar companies not small craftsmen making toys in their garage or the nice lady down the street making handknit blankets for babies but the CPSIA will shut them down. Rocks in My Dryer as a great article and explanation of the devastating aftermath that a vague CPSIA will have. The CPSIA will not only effect crafts people, but libraries (childrens books are not excluded), second hand stores, and thrift stores. All of these untested items will become toxic waste and be required to be destroyed or individuals and organizations could face penalties of law and/or civil lawsuits. Your only option for purchasing items for your children could wind up being by shopping at the chain stores. I find this appalling and unacceptable.
Last but not least, I thought of Project Linus and other non-profit groups that provide homemade blankets, toys, and baby hats to children that are hospitalized. These will all fall under the CPSIA and children across the country will loose that little bit of human warmth they used to receive from caring individuals trying to make them feel a little more comfortable when sick and lonely.
You can do something. Checkout the page at the Blessed Nest on what is happening with the CPSIA and how you can get involved to stop it without the needed language that makes it a catchall.