It’s that time of year again. Regardless of background or religion, millions of Americans are taking time out to think about all of the things they’re grateful for, health, family, a job, a home. Part of what’s behind maintaining and protecting these for so many people are a slew of safeguards that help us to enjoy the holiday season and protect us all year round.
Just in time for the holidays, the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards in collaboration with the BlueGreen Alliance and other organizations released a report, Sensible Safeguards: The Gift That Keeps On Giving. The report examines a variety of regulations and protections that keep us all safer, including:
- Auto and highway standards that have reduced injuries and deaths during the high-travel holiday period;
- New credit card rules that protect holiday shoppers;
- Food safety regulations that help prevent outbreaks of foodborne illnesses from poultry and holiday treats;
- Product safety laws that ensure the gifts we give our children will not harm them; and
- The broad success of state and local recycling initiatives that ensure that Christmas trees, gift boxes and wrapping paper don’t end up in landfills.
Rarely, if ever, do we really think about how many regulations and testing went into the safety of a car before we get in it, or how many people inspected that roast chicken before it made its way to our dinner table.
Despite the intrinsic value of these regulations to most people, not everyone sees it that way. The information documenting safer autos, greater financial security, safer food and toys, and a cleaner environment counters the anti-regulatory rhetoric heard from some in Congress over the past few years and underscores the need to continue to improve the umbrella of protection. The battle in Congress likely will continue in 2013, as some lawmakers are sure to push proposals that would dramatically hamper the ability of the government to issue new and better safeguards.
We simply can’t afford to roll back these or any other valuable safeguards.
Apart from added safety, there are regulations such as recycling that slow the rate at which we fill up our landfills with waste and can also create jobs. Recycling diverts millions of tons of waste and employs thousands in communities across the country. Between Thanksgiving and New Year, Americans generate 25 percent more waste than usual, which is why we’re especially grateful for recycling regulations around the holidays.
As we all come together to enjoy that holiday turkey, we won’t be wondering if it really is safe to eat. As we go off to grandmother’s house, we won’t be thinking about the safety of the cars and roads. We can credit this peace of mind with many safeguards that make the season bright and protect us all year long.