Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Moving to Wordpress

We are moving the blog to wordpress. It offers much more functionality for writers on the back end and will be more adaptable to match our website. Please bookmark the new site: Thanks!

Monday, January 19, 2009

How CPSIA will affect you, and me, and all of us

Recently, Congress mandated that the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) lower lead and phthalate limits in children's products in a law called the Consumer Products Safety Information Act, or CPSIA.

We 100% agree with the intent of the act: protect children from needless exposure to dangerous toxins.

It is the extent and unintended consequences of CPSIA that are troubling. Think about this. Do you:

Read books to children?
Shop thrift stores for products that might be used by kids under 12?
Enjoy handmade heirloom toys?
Donate old children's items to thrift stores?
Buy children's items from small manufacturers or retailers?

All of these actions are affected under current CPSIA rules. The legislation currently mandates that as of February 10, it is illegal to sell or give away items reasonably used by children under age 12 that do not carry a general certification of conformity. Penalties include jail time and fines; the maximums have not yet been established.

Handmade toys and clothing are two other industries threatened by CPSIA. Thousands of small in-home businesses make clothing and toys available on and at art fairs around the country. Many offer custom size and decor options.

The CPSIA regulations require testing of the final product (each product, that is the red truck, the blue truck, the yellow truck, etc.) to establish lead and phthalate content, at a rate of between $300 - $1000 per item. Component testing or pass through testing of materials is not currently allowable.

I foresee, then, a toy market that belongs wholly to mega manufacturers. Custom items including specially sized clothing, name puzzles, personalized chairs will be a thing of the past or only available at exorbitant prices. Families who relied on the income provided by sale of their handmade toys will have to find other work.

For used items, the CPSC issued a clarifying statement that is anything but clear. They say "The new law requires that domestic manufacturers and importers certify that children’s products made after February 10 meet all the new safety standards and the lead ban. Sellers of used children’s products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards.

The new safety law does not require resellers to test children’s products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold. However, resellers cannot sell children’s products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties."

In my interpretation, this means that resellers can continue selling used items, but if they sell products in violation of the limits they can be held responsible. I forsee many thrift stores refusing to sell or accept donations, which means many used items will be thrown in a landfill instead of continuing their useful life.

Libraries and bookstores may be held accountable to the same testing standards for children's books as exist for toys, clothing, and other children's accessories. CPSC issued an opinion on books that affirms children's books must adhere to the lower lead limits. While I don't foresee libraries pulling all children's books off their shelves, it does appear that untested books will be considered a 'hazardous item'.

Here at Baying Hound, we have only a few items that fall into the 'primarily used by children under 12' category, namely the Klean Kanteen 12 ounce and sippy bottles. We have requested certification from the manufacturer. If we can not get certification we will stop selling these items.

I am more concerned about friends who make toys and clothing specifically for children, and how the potential loss of this whole industry will affect the American economy. Selfishly I am saddened that soon my choices for toys for my daughter will be limited to mega company junk or handmade toys bought under the table.

There is still time to affect change. The Handmade Toy Alliance has a fantastic site devoted to saving handmade toys. We share their position that the best course of action right now is to contact representatives and CPSC officials with the following proposal:

"I request the Consumer Product Safety Commission to make some very reasonable exclusions in their interpretation of the law as they continue their rulemaking process. These include exempting books and uncoated fabrics from testing and allowing manufacturers to rely upon testing done by their materials suppliers instead of paying for redundant unit-based testing. I would also like to see an exemption to third party testing requirements for micro-businesses similar to the exemptions granted by the FDA for small producers under the food labeling laws."

We have contacted our representatives by phone and email. We urge you to do the same. Find your Congressperson and Senator. The CPSC provides a web form for questions/comments.


All source data about the law was taken from the CPSC's website on CPSIA, I am not a lawyer, and even CPSIA's legal interpretations are preceeded with words of caution. My interpretations are solely mine.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Love the Earth, Love Yourself, Love Green Gear

creambackbayinghoundRomance is in the air. Why not treat your loved one to a sweet ecofriendly treat? Here are just a few ideas:

Take a romantic walk with a 27 ounce Klean Kanteen - it fits a whole bottle of wine!
women's merino wool briefs $22.50
Present your sweetest with wool underwear and watch them enjoy the soft luxury of merino next to skin.

Eco Clutch $29.95Outfit your honey with a new bag for travel. Women love our OLovesM clutch and purses made from reclaimed yoga mats. Everyone loves our Green Guru Gear billboard and blow out messengers.

Whatever you choose, Love the Earth, Love Yourself, and you will Love Green Gear.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Green Living Project

We attended a Green Living Project lecture at Outdoor Retailer last summer. It was a truly fascinating and beautiful look at sustainable projects around the world. The lecture gave us hope that people are doing interesting good work.

We are happy to share their latest news with you, including the 2009 lecture series. If you can, get to one of these lectures and enjoy learning about sustainable living projects around the world beautifully documented.

Read on for their full press release:

Green Living Project
Announces 2009 Tour Schedule & Partners

New expanded schedule features new & existing event partnerships (Green Festival, Adventures in Travel Expo, Go Green Expo, REI); Over 40 events across North America

Los Angeles, CA (January 13, 2009) – Green Living Project™, the leading media production and marketing company focused on global sustainability initiatives, has announced their 2009 lecture tour schedule for North America. Following a successful 2008 tour schedule which featured over 30 events in North and South America, Green Living Project™ has established new strategic event partnerships to educate and inspire attendees, while increasing the promotion and distribution of the company’s multi-media production work on unique and successful sustainability projects from around the globe.

The “Green Living Project™ Lecture Series” offers free multi-media events that are open to the public, attracting a wide audience from high school students to working professionals to retired baby boomers. Events showcase projects from around the globe focused on relevant and important sustainability topics such as responsible tourism, renewable energy, wildlife conservation, community development, waste management, and organic farming. Attendees learn about the geographic regions covered, local communities, examples of sustainability, and responsible tourism. Each event also shows how people can get directly involved with each project and organization by volunteering, visiting, donating, or purchasing items.

In 2009, over 40 different multi-media events will be held across North America in partnership with new and existing festival, trade show, and retail event partners, including:
* Adventures in Travel Expo (ATE Travel Show):
* Green Festival:
* Go Green Expo:
* Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI):
* L.L.Bean:

The current lecture tour schedule is available at:

"Green Festivals seek to showcase the best of what works for our communities, at home and abroad, and we’re proud to host Green Living Project”, says Alix Davidson, Washington D.C. regional director of Green Festival. “For example, their [GLP] focus on success stories from Africa highlights the Green Festivals’ vision for the future, one that combines social justice with ecological balance and a sustainable economy."

"Green Living Project’s tour creates a space for communities to experience work focused on creating solutions to the challenges we face”, says Sally Johnson, retail events coordinator of REI. “This amazing work is taking place all over the world! And Green Living Project is an excellent channel for people to connect to this work and see the possibilities for change. It is very exciting for REI to promote and be involved with their unique work."

"The most rewarding aspect of these events has been the overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees and event partners,“ said Rob Holmes, founder and president of Green Living Project™. “Attendees are engaged, inspired, and have the unique opportunity to get directly involved with interesting projects from around the globe. They also learn about the world, sustainable living, responsible tourism, and how each of us can make a positive impact. Our professional content and unique storytelling about positive success stories really resonates with people since it celebrates and instigates activism to make a difference locally and globally. These educational components will be expanded when we launch our new Education Program this spring. This exciting new program will further develop our educational objectives, and will expand the lecture tour to elementary, undergraduate, and graduate schools nationwide."

About Green Living Project
Green Living Project™ is the leading multi-media production, marketing and entertainment company showcasing sustainable initiatives from around the globe. Through various production and distribution techniques, Green Living Project™ aims to educate, inspire and entertain while encouraging individuals and communities to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. The company markets its exclusive content online and offline, including an international lecture tour. Key partners include National Geographic Adventure, REI, Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), Adventures in Travel Expo (ATE), African Wildlife Foundation, Earthwatch Institute, Timberland, Gregory, and Keen Footwear. Green Living Project™ is a privately held company located in Los Angeles, California. For more information, visit or contact Rob Holmes at (818) 988-2234 or

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Survey for Improvement

Our new year's resolution for the business is to redesign the site. Before we make any changes, we want your input.

If you have time, please take a few minutes to fill out a simple 5 minute survey. One randomly selected participant will win a reusable bottle of their choice!

Last chance to respond to the survey is January 22.

Thanks for your input!