When I started Sow ‘n Sow 9 years ago, being an eco friendly business was at the forefront of my vision. I wanted to produce products in Australia with a low carbon footprint, using recycled materials where possible. Our Gifts of Seeds are printed in Australia on 100% post consumer waste recycled card and we produce everything within Australia. But more recently there has been something that I knew we could do better with.
Back when we started, we used paper envelopes to package our seeds within our Gift of Seeds packaging. They actually came from China, and the quality was less than impressive. The seeds literally slid out through the cracks in the folds of the envelopes! For fine seed like Poppy this was especially problematic, so we switched to little plastic zip lock baggies for poppy seed. With on-going issues with the paper envelopes, we ended up deciding to switch all of our seed types to the little zip lock baggies. I liked how the seed was visible, and also that the package was water proof and re-sealable so you didn’t have to use the seed all in one go. But this has had me increasingly feeling uneasy. Especially with the plastic bag bans across many of Australia’s states and territories, it seems that everyone is now focused on reducing waste and reducing the use of single use plastics which is so awesome! So those little zip lock baggies were really starting to weigh me down. It was time to switch, but the decision on what to switch to wasn’t an easy one.
We looked at heaps of different options, including getting a machine to package our seeds with. We might still do this down the track, but I wasn’t satisfied with the eco credentials of the packaging available for the machines, and the outlay was going to be significant.
In the end we decided to go back to the paper envelopes, but this time we’re having them produced locally in Australia by a family run envelope manufacturer. This factory is literally located behind the business owners home, and they make beautiful, high quality envelopes. The cost? It is literally 10 times more than we were paying for the plastic zip lock bags. But it’s a cost that we are willing to wear in a bid to be more eco friendly.
All of our seeds are now packaged in a lovely white recycled paper envelope.