Thank You, EcoForms!
by Caitlin Bishop
An important component in the emergence of our From Fire to Flowers initiative was the generous donation of 120 plant pots by EcoForms, a family-run business located in Northern California. EcoForms manufactures biodegradable planting pots made entirely from renewable grain fibers and plant by-products, as a more ecologically appropriate alternative to the traditional black plastic gardening pot that can be found in almost every plant lover’s shed or yard. Not only are these pots completely biodegradable, they are
touted to last 5 years outdoors and 10 years indoors, are thaw and frost resistant, and are QUITE gorgeous to look at (personal opinion!).
In doing some research about why the need for an alternative product, I uncovered much about the nuances of plastics and the myth of recycling. For instance, referring to plastics in general, more than 76% of the plastic used in United States goes to landfills each year (based on a 2017 EPA report). When it comes to black gardening pots specifically, well, guess what -- it turns out they aren't actually recyclable at all! They are dyed with a carbon ink that can't be sufficiently broken down, and are considered single use plastics. At the risk of painting with too broad a brush, it seems fair to suggest that most folks who spend their free time working in the soil, cultivating new life via garden beds and lovingly tending their beautiful landscapes are cognizant of the precarious position of our natural world, and care deeply. I’m certain I’m not alone in carrying around bamboo silverware to avoid plastic forks, and yet haven’t given the same consideration to plastic pots once they’ve exceeded their purpose in my yard.
To me, this is the larger and truer offering of the wonderful EcoForms donation. Not only is Pollinator Project Rogue Valley able to offer portable native plants to support our fire-affected neighbors, we can do so without the perpetuation of petroleum-dependent products and with a renewed awareness of the larger issue of sustainability in the world of gardening. And, we notice that the soil in these pots do not seem to dry out as fast.
We are so thankful to Jed and Andrea Loveday-Brown for their assistance with bringing the From Fire to Flowers project to life!