Over the last few decades, the earth has seen several changes in its normal climate. This is due to many reasons – primary among them however is the loss of plant life and natural forest vegetation. Soil erosion, increased carbon dioxide content in the air and the resultant global warming have all contributed to the change in climate we are experiencing today.
Thankfully sustainable development initiatives are slowly closing the gap between healthy nature and happy man. Leading initiatives serve not only to decrease our effect on the environment but to revitalize it with new plant life and bring back equilibrium to the biosphere.
On the forefront of this initiative is seed paper. A special type of paper that has seeds embedded into them. This serves the purpose of being able to discard waste paper in more responsible ways. Where previously paper was lumped in with other solid biomass waste – it is now a gift back to the earth for its help in our daily lives.
Used for a variety of purposes from wedding invitations to business cards and even basic stationary, seed paper is on the forefront of the green initiative. Designed with the purpose of not only reducing the effect that we have on the environment but to reverse some of these effects. With some predictions stating that it may help the replenishment of the Ozone and the clearing of the air we have so unjustly polluted.
Also commonly known as plantable paper, after use they are sown into the ground as any ordinary seed would be. The biodegradable paper becomes mulch and the embedded seed sprouts within weeks, helping us help mother nature reclaim some of her green foliage. An added advantage of plantable paper is that it is almost exclusively made out of recycled paper, reducing the carbon footprint of paper in the manufacturing process itself which accounts for between 48% to 56% of all waste produced in the production of paper.
In the last few years, plantable paper has become a global phenomenon – helping reforestation initiatives in urban areas long since transformed into concrete jungles. They can be used to create home gardens, reclaim barren land and improve the green efficiency of organizations manifold, bringing back to us some of the lost moments and sensations that the steady march of civilization has deprived us of, from the smell of flowers, the sight of birds and butterflies now rarely seen and the pleasing green color of plants and trees that is proven to induce calming effects on the subconscious mind.
The biggest advantage to the world of seed paper is the method of disposal. While most waste paper is classified as biomass fuel and systematically processed into biogas for consumption – eventually making its way back into the cycle of carbon pollutants – plantable paper is fed back into the earth creating a new source for oxygen and the processing of carbon dioxide. And while this may be a hit against the recycling of paper – it is the preferable method of disposal in areas where proper segmentation of biodegradable waste does not discriminate between waste paper and other solid biomass.
Planting this paper is also fairly easy. All you have to do is rip up the paper and wet it for an hour or so. Then mix the wet paper with mud to make a mulch before finally planting it into soil. Some varieties of seed paper even come with the type of seed mentioned in the packaging – meaning one can exercise ones green thumb while contributing in a most healthy way to the conservation of the environment – growing gardens of flowers or even fruits and vegetables.
The technology of seed paper is still in its nascent stages however and this is exciting. Some preliminary statistics show that while the non-recycling of paper increases carbon footprint by almost 1kg per kg of paper, while the processing of carbon dioxide and production of oxygen is more than 30kg per plant per year – a significant step up from the traditional method of recycling.
Considering that every year almost 20 million metric tons of paper is wasted as biomass fuel, the industry has a huge potential to change the global environment. Potentially offsetting the last century of climate change if implemented on a global scale in just a few decades. With enough replacement of traditional regular paper, we may well see these changes by the middle of the century.
With sustainable development being the buzz-word of the early 21st century, creating a ecological revolution with the use of seed paper will go a long way to the revitalization of the earth and will help create a greener and bluer planet by the dawn of the paperless generation. Allowing for more breathable air and favourable climates, decreasing landfalls, floods, famine and drought to a great extent by making the climate more predictable.
The use of recycled plantable paper in organizations can reduce the carbon footprint from paper and stationary by almost 40% at the outset. By deliberately avoiding the use of virgin paper products and the average person can produce 300kg less of carbon waste per year allowing these reforestation initiatives to take effect sooner and create a more safe ecology for us and future generations to live in.
Sustainable growth of industry is an important aspect of preserving the earths environment. As decreasing the production of products is not feasible, especially with such a staple product. Seed papers can now be seen as the future of sustainable stationary. Being both a novel invention and a near necessity, it is poised as a symbol of human ingenuity and humane ideals towards the planet we all share.
Thanks to seed paper the future of the paper industry and indeed civilization may be very different from the imagined dystopia shown in many movies. With some personal and collective effort we may yet see many more millennia of human prosperity.