Paper-Green a New Way to Recycle and Plant




This is as far as I know an original idea of planting medium that is has not been currently developed or under investigation.

Therefore (and until someone probes me otherwise) I am the developer of the adaptation and the rights of this idea are for public use and development as far as the name "Paper-Green" and my authorship are respected.

I have done several experiments with different seeds and all of them have fully grown, but as paper has different chemicals or whitening purposes I do not advise plant for human consumption until otherwise proven.

Please do your own experiments and share!

Pablo J. Chalita

ps. Made a Fb page where I want to keep updates and share others users photos. No commercial stuff. Join!

Step 1: The Basics

First of all you have to collect paper, I personally use any kind of paper that gets into my hands, without taking care if it has ink, charcoal, if it's plasticized or else. The only thing I don't do is mix it with paper with organic residues (e.j. food)

I use a paper crusher but sometimes I cut it by hand, it's important so the future process is easier.

After the paper is cut I put it in a pot with water and let it rest for a while (this can go from minutes to days), then place it in the blender and strain the remaining water in the pot for re-use.

Note: this process is exactly the same as you do for other types of paper recycling.

Step 2: Placing the Mix

You have to do the previous process several times until you fulfill a plant pot with the mix.

Be sure that you don't drain all the water from the mix, it has to have a texture as if it was play-doh.

At the end I do some holes with my fingers but this is not needed.

After you have at least 1 1/2 in of mixture you can place the seeds. Please note that I have found that plant height is related with the amount of mix, more mix, bigger plant.

Step 3: Watch It Grow

So far so good.

The mix has the needed moisture until the plant starts to grow, you don't have to place more water, just make sure to put it in a warm place with no direct sunlight.

Depending on the seed and other weather conditions it will start to grow in a week or more.

Step 4: Final Thoughts

What I have seen doing this adaptation is:

The weight of the plant is drastically reduced because you are using paper instead of ground.

The amount of needed water is reduced because the water is captured in the paper.

The ink and other substances contained in the paper are expelled by the plant to the roots (this is really interesting because you can see how the bottom of the Paper-Green mix darkens with time).

That plant lives long and well, and if you notice that it does not grows you can always change it to a bigger pot, add more mix and do the transplanting.

I have planted, grass, flowers and cactus all of them with the same nice results. More plants, feedback and research needs to be done.




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    11 Discussions


    3 years ago

    For growing grass or ornamental plant it is fine but for food consumption it is best to find the source of the paper ie. no bleach, no chemical, etc.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Since it's much lighter than soil you could probably do some cool living wall hangings!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    great idea, but...there is a company in Oregon that has been producing this for a few years. They also use it as a "seed wrap" and makes long strips of homemade planting strips that you place on the ground and water and they grow. It works great, esp with smaller seeds. I have also seen a greeting card with seeds made in the paper, it makes a great homemade gift and after you "gift it" the person who received it can plant it as a reminder of a nice gift. This might be another way to use the idea. I don't know if it is trademarked or not. Good luck to you.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Hey Jeff, yes as you say this has been used as a protecive wrap (there is a related instructable), but this companies do not use it as a soil. If this had been done in the past there would be studies of safety and other commercial products.

    I say this from a research I made a few years ago and couldn't find anything related to this. Anyway thanks for the comment.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Interesting, I'd have never thought this would work so good!

    Great concept, you always get too many papers and advertisments. I will try it come spring.

    Slightly off-topic, regarding the "waiting until warm"-water, we use a bucket to catch that, then flush our toilet with it.

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is a fabulous idea. Not only is it eco friendly but it's wallet friendly. Potting soil is expensive! It's just dirt!

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, it really is eco-friendly, I also keep my paper near shower so I can re use the "waiting until warm" water that usually is wasted.