March 18, 2009

To Everything There is a Season

Yesterday I made a mock program using our lovey seeded paper from Of the Earth for covers. On a whole, the program turned out great, but just as I was about to do another test after fiddling with the margins, our printer decided to stop working because we are out of color ink. What a scam.

Anyhow, here is the story behind our program cover paper (the inside pages are on regular white recycled printer paper):

This handmade lotka paper is made in the highlands of Nepal by rural craftspeople in an environmentally-friendly process with 50% recycled content. The raw material for our paper is the Daphne bush. It is farmed and harvested from 3-4 year old plants that are cut down and stripped of their bark. The plant is not destroyed when cut down; it regenerates from the root. The cane-like stick, once its bark is removed, is dried and used to heat villagers' homes, to provide fuel for cooking and also for the production of the paper. All of the water used in the paper production is reclaimed and reused. The bark is beaten by hand and boiled to break it down to a pulup (where it is mixed in with recycled pulp and paper scrap collected from the card and envelope manufacutring process) that is then poured into screens to form the sheets. These sheets are then dried in the sun. The whole process is not only earth-friendly but also provides a large community with a healthy enterprise.

Not only can you recycle this paper, you can compost it or even plant it and watch flowers bloom. We have embedded these sheets with a combination of tiny seeds that will grow in North America. The seeds found in our paper include 15 annual species which tolerate partial shade, need 4 hours a day of direct sunlight and grow to about 3'. Seeds include Red Corn Poppy, Corn Poppy, Spurred Snapdragon, Catchfly, English Daisy, Showy Evening Primrose, Gold Yarrow, Roman Chamomile, Tussock Bellflower, Foxglove, Fringed Safewort, White Yarrow, Red Yarrow, Monkeyflower and Creeping Thyme. If you plant this paper in a pot or in your garden, please cover with just 1/8" of soil and keep moist until established.

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