It’s 2023—by now we all understand that a good self care practice is fundamental to managing stress and promoting ease in an unpredictable world. We all want to show compassion to ourselves, whether that means quiet moments of meditation, a restorative bath at the end of the day, or creating a calm space to reflect and unwind in. Unfortunately, the current self care market is flooded with products that, while they may help us relax, do so at the expense of our environment. 🌎
We can all agree that the last thing our planet needs is more unnecessary plastic packaging sitting in landfills, poisoning our water ways, and negatively impacting our wildlife. When you’re aware that the soap you just bought came suffocated in shrink wrap, or the aromatherapy spray you’re using is in a wasteful plastic bottle, it’s harder to be truly at peace with your self care decisions.
As our Greens & Browns founders were considering starting their business, this fundamental problem of sustainability in the self care space was at the forefront of their minds. How could we create products that not only make our customers feel amazing, but also minimize harm to our environment? Or, even better, have a positive impact on the environment?
The answer lies, like it always has, in ingenuity and a little elbow grease.
Inspired by the zero-waste movement, which aims to repurpose resources to keep them out of landfills and the ocean, our founders came up with an idea for product packaging that would truly give back. Instead of packaging whose life cycle ends once it reaches your hands, the goal was to create something that could take on a new life—transforming the space around you.
Plantable paper is made from recycled scrap paper that’s soaked in water, puréed, mixed with seeds, spread out, dried, and pressed to form sheets. Our Greens & Browns staff make the plantable paper in-house from donated scrap paper by hand to cut down on the environmental impact of mass production and shipping, and use native wildflower seeds in the mix. The paper is then cut down to make wraps for our soap bars and tags for our bath teas and finished off with a biodegradable Greens & Browns logo sticker, giving you the opportunity to breathe new life into what could have otherwise just been waste.
When you receive your Greens & Browns product, simply remove the plantable packaging and decide on where you’d like to plant it. Planting can be done in a pot, in your flowerbed or yard, or any space that you think could use some new color and life—like along your favorite walking path or an empty lot that you pass on your drive home.
To plant in a pot: Fill a pot with soil about 2/3 of the way full. Pat down the soil so that it is lightly packed. Drop in your plantable packaging and cover with about an inch of soil. Give it a deep watering and aim to keep the soil damp, but not totally soaked through, for about the first week. Once sprouts appear, continue dampening the soil but be careful to not overwater.
To plant directly into the earth: Dig about a 3 inch hole into soil (it will do best in soil that isn’t too rocky or too clay-like and that will get partial sunlight). Drop in your plantable packaging and cover with soil, pat down the top. Water deeply at the time of planting and, if you have recurring access to your planting spot, continue to give it water over the first week.
Either method should result in young flowers at about the six week mark. Enjoy the impact you create!
It is our hope at Greens & Browns that by eliminating waste in our self care products, you can feel even better about using them. Relax and unwind knowing that in doing so, you’re not causing further harm to the world around you. That's the true, restorative peace of mind we all deserve for ourselves and our planet. Say no to waste for waste's sake and say hell yes to wildflowers and renewed purpose.
-Casey Dunham, Staff Writer