Coins. Comic books. Tennis shoes. Pencils. Katy Perry CD packaging. The list goes on and on.

But seriously, why not try revolving an entire Christmas gift “experience” around useful/thoughtful items that can be buried in a back garden or flower bed only to emerge from the dirt some time later as edible veggies or stunning blooms?


Perhaps you’ve just been waiting patiently for some appropriately plantable wrapping paper to go along with these seed-embedded gift-ables.

You needn't wait much longer as British “innovation agency” BEAF has unveiled Eden Paper, a line of “100 percent plantable” gift wrap with vibrant veggie prints that are meant to be returned to the Earth instead of tossed in the rubbish bin. Available in five eye-catching, hort-minded designs — carrots, tomato, broccoli, chili peppers, and onion — the biodegradable wrap itself is made from 100 recycled paper and is printed with vegetable-based ink as to not contaminate the soil. Eden Paper looks good enough to eat ... and, eventually, it kind of is. Mercifully, however, the paper is not scratch-and-sniff as no one would want to receive a shiny new Kindle dressed in onion-scented packaging.

Once you’ve planted a sheet of the discarded gift wrap under a thin layer of soil in the garden and watered it, Mother Nature takes charge and soon enough you’ll have yourself a flourishing patch of veggies that correspond with the wrapping paper’s design (i.e. the broccoli wrapper paper yields broccoli). A full range of additional veggies along with herbs, fruits, and flowers are in the works for future release, too.

A bit on how exactly BEAF, in collaboration with an established U.K. print factory and an international seed supplier, went about embedding vegetable seeds seeds into gift wrap:

The layers of printed paper with the wrapping paper designs on, and layers of tissue paper containing the seeds are held together through an embossing process carried out during manufacture. Each layer of paper is interlocked with the one above it, sandwiching the seeds between them. This means no seeds can fall out of the paper, and ensures that no glues are used in the manufacturing process to bind the layers together.
Although the £25,000 crowdfunding goal established in BEAF’s highly publicized, recently expired Kickstarter campaign — a goal that would have enabled the firm to further boost production to meet demand — was not met, Eden Paper is still very much available for purchase either as individual 45 cm x 70 cm sheets ($9.95 a pop) or sets of three sheets ($27.95) per edible veggie. Or, you can start an entire allotment with a five-pack that contains a sheet of each available vegetable. Just think — instead of buying the aspiring aspiring greenthumb in your life a bunch of seed packets along with a few basic gardening tools, you can simply buy them the tools and wrap them in beautiful, seed-embedded paper.

The goal of Eden Paper is, of course, to reduce wrapping paper-related landfill waste — the brand points out that in the U.K. alone, enough gift wrap is thrown away each "festive season" to stretch  around the world nine times — while boosting hyperlocal veggie production. But can you compost or recycle wrapping paper that’s not marketed as biodegradable and/or embedded with onion seeds as Eden Paper is?

That all depends on the type of paper and where you live although the answer usually veers toward "no." Home composters should particularly proceed with caution as conventional wrapping paper may contain toxic inks, dyes, and metallic elements. Those cardboard tubes, however, can definitely be chucked in the compost with no second thought.

Via [Core77], [Gizmag]

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Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Eden Paper: Beautiful gift wrap that you can plant and, eventually, eat
After you've furiously torn through your holiday prezzies, plant Eden Paper gift wrap it in the backyard where it will grow into a patch of veggies.