Arrowearth’s Blog

Learning to live earth friendly

What The Heck is HDPE? August 11, 2009

Filed under: earth friendly — arrowearth @ 2:35 pm
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One of the things I needed to learn about recycling was “The Code”!  I could never keep it straight in my head… which plastic I was  trying to avoid?  I made up this chart to help me remember the symbols.  Hopefully it can help you. Please feel free to copy and use this as a reference.

The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) implemented the system in 1988 to allow recyclers to be able to tell the different types of plastics when sorting. Basically, the numbers in the triangle indicate the grade of plastic – the resin ID code. It’s now a system that’s used in many different countries. Here’s what to look for and what it all means:

Symbols for Plastic

Symbols for Plastic

1 * PETE – Polyethylene Terephthalate

The easiest of plastics to recycle. Often used for soda bottles, water bottles and many common food packages. Is recycled into bottles and polyester fibers
2 * HDPE – High density Polyethylene Also readily recyclable – Mostly used for packaging detergents, bleach, milk containers, hair care products and motor oil. Is recycled into more bottles or bags.
3 * V – Polyvinyl Chloride This stuff is everywhere – pipes, toys, furniture, packaging – you name it. Difficult to recycle and PVC is a major environmental and health threat.
4 * LDPE Low-density Polyethylene Used for many different kinds of wrapping, grocery bags and sandwich bags and can be recycled into more of the same.
5 *PP – Polypropylene Clothing, bottles, tubs. Can be recycled into fibers.
6 * PS – Polystyrene Cups, foam food trays, packing peanuts. Polysterene is a real problem as it’s bulky yet very lightweight and that makes it difficult to recycle. For example, a carload of expanded polystyrene would weigh next to nothing so there’s not a lot of materials to reclaim, particularly when you take into account the transport getting it to the point of recycling. It can however be reused.
7 * Other

Could be a mixture of any and all of the above. Or plastics not readily recyclable such as polyurethane. Avoid it if you can – recyclers generally speaking don’t want it.

NEWS from CPSC Lead Paint Violators June 27, 2009

Filed under: Child Safety,earth friendly — arrowearth @ 8:23 am
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OKK Trading To Pay $665,000 Civil Penalty for Violating Federal Lead Paint Ban and Other Child Safety Rules   Visit link to view recall.



Filed under: earth friendly — arrowearth @ 11:21 am
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I am a nurse in an extended care/rehab facility and have the opportunity to meet and care for truly wonderful people. One such person is a lady who is very talented with arts and crafts. Her husband had purchased her several birdhouses which she painted and beautifully decorated.

I thought that if I gave her one of our earth friendly birdhouses, this would give both her and her husband a project they could work on together. Her husband was able to assemble the birdhouse in no time and she began the project.

I work midnights which is the shift she had worked and was awake frequently during the night working on the birdhouse. Each night I watched as progress took place…creating a window here, a door there until the birdhouse was complete and a true work of art.

We had become quite close and she knew about my children and knew I had a “special” daughter with many special needs.
One night I was visiting with her while performing care and she told  me she had completed the birdhouse to give to my daughter. What an awesome surprise for my 11 year old! The joy on her face was priceless when I presented the beautiful work of art to her. I had to take pictures of the birdhouse and her hanging it up for that special bird family to find.
My simple act of sharing turned into one of the most caring moments in our lives. Who would have known that an Earth friendly birdhouse could bring so much joy? It truly was a gift from the heart.

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I write this story.  This beautiful art work was the last project my special friend and patient completed before she passed away. I know she is painting beautiful pictures peacefully.

Kathryn Talbott Owner

Last gift to a child.

Last gift to a child.

A Gift of Love

A Gift of Love

Last Project

Last Project


I am Mad, Lead Paint Harmful to Our CHILDREN June 6, 2009

Filed under: Child Safety,earth friendly — arrowearth @ 2:54 pm
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This is the reason for my RANT…. When will it  be possible for Moms, Dads, Grandparent, Aunts, Uncles or anyone to walk into a store or shop online for safe toys for the children we love.  Lead Free paint was banned in the US in the 1970’s.  Why do we still have toys with lead paint available for purchase in the US?  The toy makers continue to import toys that are sold here without regard to the consequences to our children.  The toys listed in this article have been recalled.  What about the children that were exposed before the recall?  What about the people that missed the recall and their children are still playing with these toys?

The toy companies will continue to import and pay out the $$$$ fines as long as we continue to buy the products.  As consumers it is your responsibility to find safe toys for your children.  We can not risk the health of even one child.  Earth friendly child safe toys are available in a variety of forms.  Take the time to purchase wisely.  As a child advocate I strongly encourage parents to choose safe toys for your precious ones.  As an online merchant I have made the decision to offer only earth & child friendly toy products.  I can not chance even one child’s health!

I advise Consumers to visit the CPSC for Alerts or subscribe to the Alerts via email.  Follow the links below.


U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Office of Information and Public Affairs

Washington, DC 20207

June 5, 2009
Release # 09-237

CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Mattel, Fisher-Price to Pay $2.3 Million Civil Penalty for Violating Federal Lead Paint Ban
Penalty is highest ever for CPSC regulated product violations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of its commitment to protecting the safety of children, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Mattel Inc., of El Segundo, Calif. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Fisher-Price Inc., of East Aurora, N.Y. have agreed to pay a $2.3 million civil penalty for violating the federal lead paint ban.

The penalty settlement, which has been provisionally accepted by the Commission, resolves CPSC staff allegations that Mattel and Fisher-Price knowingly (as defined in the Consumer Product Safety Act) imported and sold children’s toys with paints or other surface coatings that contained lead levels that violated a 30-year-old federal law. In 1978, a federal ban was put in place which prohibited toys and other children’s articles from having more than 0.06 percent lead (by weight) in paints or surface coatings. In 2007, about 95 Mattel and Fisher-Price toy models were determined to have exceeded this limit. Lead can be toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health consequences.

This civil penalty, which is the highest for violations involving importation or distribution in commerce of a regulated product and is the third highest of any kind in CPSC history, settles the following allegations:

  • Mattel imported up to 900,000 non-compliant toys between September 2006 and August 2007, including the “Sarge” toy car and numerous Barbie accessory toys, and distributed most of them to its retail customers for sale to U.S. consumers. The “Sarge” car was recalled in August 2007 and the Barbie toys were recalled in September 2007.
  • Fisher-Price imported up to 1.1 million non-compliant toys between July 2006 and August 2007, including certain licensed character toys and the Bongo Band, GEOTRAX locomotive, and Go Diego Go Rescue Boat toys. Most of these toys were distributed to retail stores for sale to consumers. The licensed character toys were recalled in August 2007, the Bongo Band and GEO TRAX toys were recalled in September 2007, and the Go Diego Go Boat toys were recalled in October 2007.

“These highly publicized toy recalls helped spur Congressional action last year to strengthen CPSC and make even stricter the ban on lead paint on toys,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Thomas Moore. “This penalty should serve notice to toy makers that CPSC is committed to the safety of children, to reducing their exposure to lead, and to the implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.”

This settlement also resolves other potential matters. In agreeing to the settlement, Mattel and Fisher-Price deny that they knowingly violated federal law, as alleged by CPSC staff.

CPSC is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about it by visiting

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC’s teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270. To join a CPSC e-mail subscription list, please go to Consumers can obtain recall and general safety information by logging on to CPSC’s Web site at


Is that Car Green? June 4, 2009

Filed under: earth friendly — arrowearth @ 2:08 pm

Have you looked at any of the hybird cars available?  I need to purchase  a new vehicle and started comparison shopping about 1 week ago.  Now granted I am at a disadvantage due to the fact I require a vehicle that can handle transporting a wheelchair by a lift installed in the vehicle.  I was not impressed with the choices I found.  I keep asking myself why is the technology so far behind?   What is it going to take to change the car industry?  What are they doing with the bail-out monies?  We can find almost any type of electronic device on the market to play games, but we have few choices as far as vehicles.  Whats up with this?  Why have we been so complacent as individuals  that we now do not have energy efficient vehicles available for all to choose from. The price of gas and I have to drive a Ford E 250 van to accommodate my wheelchair.  Where are our priorities?  I am as guilty as the next person….    when gas was  $1.40 a gallon I purchased a gas hog because it did not take $100.00 to fill the tank.  Why did I wait until now to be so upset?

A lot of questions in this rant… Just one more reason I am determined to change my purchasing behavior.  I want a GREEN car and I do not mean the color green.

I would love to hear from you. If you have information please share. I am aware that there are many other people that have issues that require them to purchase items that can adapt to their personal needs. Let’s share our thoughts, ideas, brainstorm or rants.


Reusable Becomes A Way of Life With EcoBags June 2, 2009

Filed under: earth friendly — arrowearth @ 9:02 am
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“One Step at A Time” to a New Shopping Experience!

ECOBAGS opened for business in 1989 with a simple goal: to produce quality bags at great prices so that “reusable becomes a way of life.”
Founder of ECOBAGS Sharon Feldman Rowe states. “I started this company because I was tired of all the throw away paper and plastic waste.” Sharon had taken a trip to Europe and noticed the wide use of using drawstring reusable bags. With this thought in mind, she came up with the idea of producing quality reusable bags so that this could become “a way of life.”

were first introduced in 1990 at the Earth Day celebration in New York City and instantly became a “big hit.” ECOBAGS is now a member of Co-Op America, the organic trade association and a certified Women Owned Business. (NBENC) All products are manufactured Fair Trade and Fair Labor with products manufactured with a Co-op in India. All ECOBAG products are made from SKAL certified organic cotton, recycled cotton, hemp and hemp-cotton blends and natural untreated and unbleached cotton as well as other natural fiber products and provides sturdy reusable source of goods.
Reusable ECOBAGS have been featured on the Martha Stewart show, Oprah, and NPR radio as well articles in several well known magazines promoting “reusable as a way of life.”

Starting with the simple “One Step at a Time” by bringing your own bag to shop may seem trivial; it creates a “mindset” that has a big impact on the earth and on those who make this choice. Like anything, the more you take this simple step, the more it seems like the natural thing to do.