By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter
The first day of spring provided me with the perfect weather for one of my favorite eco-friendly activities.
After a long, cold winter I like any excuse to celebrate Mother Earth and encourage others to do the same.
So on the first warm day I get all my supplies together to start my celebration that I spread across the country.
One may ask what such a project could be and I would surprise you with one simple answer that is a plantable letters or cards.
These letters or cards are made from all the junk/scrape paper that I have kept over the winter and seeds that I have saved from my garden or purchased from a local discount store. These handmade letters or cards are mailed to my friends across the country with updates about my life and reminding them to celebrate April 22 (Earth Day) by planting their letters or cards.
Planting these letters or cards can spread seeds of hope and truly can prove that 1 person can make a difference in this world even if it is one plantable letter or card at a time. So with the directions below spread your own seeds of hope.
- Flat pan
- Paper towels
- Window screen
- Flannel or felt
- Wooden frame or picture frame
- Window screen
- Staples or tacks
- Liquid starch
1. Tear junk/scrape paper into small pieces and place in bucket. Cover with water and soak for 24 hours.
2. While this is soaking one can make a mold for your paper with the wooden frame or picture frame. Staple or tack your window screen tightly to the wooden frame or picture frame. If you do not want a mold you can use flannel or felt to free form your paper.
3. Drain paper and fill bucket with water again.
4. Place water/paper in blender 2 cups at a time. Blend in blender until all pieces of paper have been chopped.
5. Place slurry in shallow pan along with 2 teaspoons of liquid starch if using a mold. This pan must allow your mold to fit into it. Place mold in slurry and swish around. Pull mold up and place on table. Sprinkle with herb/flower seeds. Take sponge and press seeds into the paper while pushing excess water out of paper. Continue to push water out until sponge no longer absorbs moisture.
6. Gently place felt or flannel over mold and gently flip.
7. Sponge off other side of homemade paper as before and let air dry until completely dried.
8. If not using mold pour slurry into colander, mix in seeds, and 2 teaspoons of liquid starch.
9. Pour onto felt or flannel and free-form paper onto fabric.
10. Sponge surface as before and let air dry completely.
11. Once dry you can cut into any shape or form to complement the message you are sending.
12. Leave directions on how to plant your letter or card. “Place on ground and sprinkle soil around. Water in fair and prepare to share. Mother Nature’s bloom will be soon to help celebrate April 22 Earth Day’s tune. So every time you tend your garden look over at your plantable letter or card and think what true beauty lies there.”
Earth Day may remain as one of those unique holidays that pass with not much hoop-la but for me it is an excuse to once again remind people what Mother Nature gives us and it gives us a holiday by which we can give back. So reuse, repurpose your way to a better world one plantable letter or a card at a time and remember 1 person can make a difference.