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Seeds Of Change Sows Displeasure With Some

Seeds of Change which sells 100% certified organic seeds has decided to switch to plastic envelopes to store and ship seeds to it's customers. A statement on the company's website states in part:

"When we holistically examined the entire process of manufacturing, transporting, storing and using this type of new plastic packs, we concluded that they had less of an environmental impact than our old paper envelopes, as well as superior performance and better user-friendliness. We are confident that this is the most functional and sustainable seed packaging available, and is consistent with our 20 year old Mission statement. We trust that you will agree."

I personally use plastic resealable bags to store and trade seeds. But other people who have a greater commitment to the environment are expressing their displeasure on gardening forums. On the Craigslist gardening forum a person posting under the handle farmerbee initiated a thread on the decision by Seeds of Change.

"...i'm going to write them and have decided to quit buying their seeds until/unless they make the switch back to a more renewable, biodegradable alternative."

It seems a couple of posters, unaware with the statement on the company's site, figured that they were using plastic made from cornstarch or one that was somehow biodegradable. I called the company to inquire about customer reaction to the change and was referred to a "product specialist" who was not in. But the person I spoke to on the phone told me that he was unaware of any customers commenting on the change whether it was "good or bad."


  1. Well, I'm like you.. store lots of things in plastic bags. About the only thing I do with paper- garden related- is seedlings in bags and newspapers and using newspapers for blocking weeds instead of the rolls of weedblock. I do try and use my bags over and over.

  2. I couldn't care less about the environment. I just throw everything everywhere because they'll eventually sink into the ground and be one with nature even if they don't fall apart.

    ;) Okay, not really.

    Though, I have to admit, I was surprised when a milk jug completely obliterated itself when I went to grab it by the handle. It had been sitting outside all winter long with rainwater for my venus fly trap. I didn't think that was able to happen.

  3. What are the disadvantages of storing seeds in paper packets? I am rather ignorant of this, I suppose.

    I guess the feel of paper better, though I imagine the plastic is probably sturdier for storing and transporting seeds.

  4. @ pmo3ws I too reuse plastic bags mostly because it's a habit our grandfather got us into. He even had a specific way of putting a knot in the middle of the bag for storage so they would take up less space.

    @ DragonStone you crack me up. Although I've never heard of that happening to a milk jug. Did you happen to take pics?

    @ kate

    You know I'm wondering the same thing. I tried not to comment too much in the post about it because there are probably factors which seed distributors have to face that we don't have to factor in while storing seeds at home.

    I can understand not wanting to use paper because contributing to deforestation is probably not something a company that sells "organic" seeds wants to be part of. But what about recycled paper? If anything I think a lot of people I've traded seeds with go out of their way to use paper envelopes.

    Some people fold their own packets out of newspaper and magazines and one person I've traded with even prints her own on recycled card stock which is very sturdy. I don't know that paper has any real disadvantage-if anything the ability to absorb moisture is an advantage.

  5. Another negative of paper is the nastiness of the bleaching process... some scary stuff, there. I try to reuse those plastic baggies when seeds come in them. But for sending out to friends, I fold my own out of the paper recycling bag. I think that I recently sent a friend seed packets fashioned from a very cheery carton of Reed's Extra Spicy Ginger Beer. Yum. :)

  6. @ BSG,

    Folding your own packets is really cool. For some reason from the folded packets I always enjoy when I get some folded from used wax paper. It's rare to get them in wax paper so whenever I spot it always stands out.

  7. Seeds of Change is owned by M&M Mars.

    All plastics are made from oil. They don't biodegrade into something nice for your garden. Do I use plastic? Sure, when it's called for. I can't carry everything around in clay pots or straw baskets. But for the most part I try to get by without it.

  8. Hi ernest,

    Thanks for stopping by. I had no idea the Mars company was in the garden business.



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