From stationery to business cards and wedding invitations, paper that grows when it’s planted is an eco-friendly way to get yet another use out of previously used paper.
Plantable seed paper provides a way to reuse paper and make something new, in this case, a garden. This paper, made from 100 percent recycled paper goods, is pressed from used, recycled paper and is mixed with pulp and wildflower seeds to create hand made plant product.
According to Amanda Stevens of Botanical PaperWorks out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the company uses a specialized paper-making technique to embed wildflower seeds into paper made from 100 percent post-consumer waste. [Editor's Note: The original publication of this post included a direct quote from Amanda Stevens that read, "We gather 100 percent post consumer waste, mash it up and make a pulp.” That quote was paraphrased for clarity on March 17, 2011 at 2:30 p.m. EST.]
“We mix in our wildflower blend seeds because most other seeds are quite large and these seeds are very small so it’s easy to print,” says Stevens.
Botanical PaperWorks makes a variety of seed paper products like their wedding collection, promotional items and stationery, but they also make a unique, separate line of herb seed card sets.
“The sets include strips of basil, chives, sage, mint, dill and parsley, and there is a corresponding recipe on the back of the card,” says Stevens. “Not only does the person get herbs that they can grow, but then once they’re grown they can do something else with it, too – cook.”
The handmade process of paper making differs from company to company, but the overall idea of reusing something that will virtually never go to waste is the same.
Don Martin of Bloomin’, a seed paper company out of Boulder, Colo., says that plantable seed paper makes great invitations and stationery because it makes sending a letter just a bit more special.
“The idea is that the consumer can actually get the card or invitation in the mail and they can tear it up, put it in the ground and it grows into a garden of flowers,” Martin says. “The envelopes are 100 percent recyclable, too.”
And just in case flower quality is a concern, Botanical PaperWorks tests every batch of seeds to ensure growth and expected quality.
“The best part is that we take something that’s already out there, that was already made for something and turn it into something completely different, brand new and eco-friendly,” says Stevens.