When my son was being bar mitzvahed, I was determined to green the event as much as possible. One of my goals was no paper, whether it was recycled content or not. The invitation was a web page created on Myevent.com. Inexpensive, creative and definitely a big hit.
When it came to the thank you notes I was stumped. Was it proper to send out email thank you notes? I knew I could create a beautiful thank you note on the website Ping which could be emailed to his guests. So, I twittered all of my twitter followers and asked them. Even the die-hard greenies said no to the email thank you unless it was close personal friends. I even wrote about it on Green Talk hoping the consensus would say yes. Everyone basically told me to do the right thing. Handwritten.
Back to the drawing board. At the Go Green Expo, I met the owners of Greenfield Paper, which create seeded invitations and paper. As my loyal readers know, I can get a little garden obsessed and this concept was right down my alley. According to the Company, all the paper is made in San Diego, California and they use recycled post consumer pulp and cotton to make the paper. Then they add earth pigments not dye for color.
The card stock was a little pricey for me at $3.50 a card. We had 125 thank you notes to write. To my relief, they also carry just plain paper which they gladly cut into postcards for me. This cut the price down to less $2 per thank you note. The envelopes had to be recycled unfortuneately.
I was beyond excited about my new find. People could plant their thank you notes! That year, they would have wildflowers to remind them of the amazing time they had at my son’s bar mitzvah. All you have to do is wet the paper and plant. Genius, I thought.
So, I thought. Being the ever obsessive detailed person that I am, I looked to see what type of wild flower seeds were in the paper. One contained mostly annuals. Some may or may not have been deer resistant. Looking back, I have no idea why all of these things mattered since the chief goal was not to recycle or trash.
The Company did carry paper with Catnip seeds, which is a perennial in my area. I love Catnip. (See picture above. I grew this one from seed and look at it now!) When it is in bloom it has white flowers. It is easy to grow and deer do not like it. (Cats do!) See here about cats and catnip. I was set! So, I thought…
What about the people who lived in apartments or who could care less about gardening? I know non-gardening types exist (hard to believe) but could not imagine who would not care. I had to plan for this contingency since minimum recycling was my goal.
In the body of the thank you note, we added a sentence that if they did not want to plant the thank you note to give it back to us. Some people mailed them back. Not one of my best ideas, I decided. Adding to the carbon footprint by having people mail them back? Some times I definitely over analyze situations…
What did my son think of the cards? He found them hard to write on because the seeds slightly protrude. He suffered through.
Did it grow? My aunt and uncle in Florida tried to plant it in a pot and told me it did not grow. Hmm. I thought, perhaps it was the pot? I tried this, and planted it in the ground. We have had an overabundance of rain so I was sure that it would sprout. Two weeks later, nada. Not one peep.
I called the Company and they told me that like any new seed you have to make sure that you water it often. Perhaps mine dried out or that pesky neighborhood cat ate my seeds. No wonder she has been hanging out at my house lately…They advised me to put it in a pot like you would new veggie seeds to monitor their progress.
I absolutely love the idea but I am not sure you should buy it to have wildflowers. It definitely disintegrated since I checked the site where I planted it. If you love the idea for invitations, the Company offers this as well. See their bar/bat mitzvah and other invitations and announcements. The Company even makes custom paper made out of forget me nots and vegetables!
In addition, to their seeded offerings, the Company carries exotic paper made out of non-conventional sources such as recycled blue jeans, junk mail, and the skins of garlic bulbs just to name a few, hemp paper, recycled wrapping paper and holiday cards. My favorite product besides the grow your own notes is the “do it yourself” business cards for your computer made out of hemp. If you love their products as much as I do, see here for a list of retailers. I ordered directly from the Company.
- have you used these types of seeded papers?
- Did I do something wrong?
- Could it be the seed were too old? Too much light exposure to grow?
- Would you have thumbed your nose to proper protocol and emailed a thank you instead?
Planting minds would like to know!