I’ve been collecting seed and flower catalog information over the last few days. The Internet has so much to offer that it’s pretty easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of information out there.
To make it a little easier to find the information about the offerings of the different gardening catalog companies, I’m creating a database. In the future all I’ll have to do is refer to information that I’ve already gathered to recall where I purchased a particular seed or plant. The seed catalog database will have information about the companies and the products they offer, as well as reviews of the online and print catalogs.
In the spirit of helping others I’ll make the database available to anyone stopping by usethatherb.com – I’ll even let you download a pdf file of the database contents whenever it’s ready, that is.
So far I’ve requested a couple dozen print catalogs to be sent to me via snail mail. I know some of these will take 3-4 weeks to get to me due to the printing/mailing process, but I can wait. Here in central Pennsylvania the planting season doesn’t start for a few weeks yet.
Why would anyone who is green-minded, like myself, order anything in print that is available in a digital format? Even though I’m acting like a consumer by requesting that something be physically created and shipped to me, what I do with those items can help to offset the costs I’ve put on society, indeed consumer-driven society. If I can find a way to adhere to the three laws of recycling, reduce-reuse-recycle, I know I’ll feel better.
First, many of the seed and gardening catalogs stem from a long history of providing information to prospective gardeners. The shift to using the Internet for providing that information is happening, but at a slow rate. More companies have more catalog offerings on their websites now than at any other time, so that’s a good thing. A few have done away with print catalogs entirely – Bravo! The savings in printing and postage costs should help those companies survive and do well. Reducing costs and paper waste adheres to the first law of recycling, reduce.
Next year, I won’t be ordering those catalogs again because of the information I’m picking up now. Avoiding consumption should be emphasized more often, but we do live in a consumer-driven society and change is difficult. We can still try though!
Second, gardening catalogs are easily passed from one person to another and many of the ones I expect to receive will be shared in this way. Reuse is the second law of recycling.
Third, any catalogs that don’t pass muster will promptly be fed to the worms. Composting paper with food wastes is easy to do and will let us recycle those old catalogs that are no longer needed. Obeying the third law of recycling just makes ya feel good! Recycle.
Don’t have a worm bin or a place to compost your old papers? We’ll have to investigate what other options you might have for recycling your old catalogs in a future post.
Can anyone offer what they do to reduce-reuse-recycle with respect to all the catalogs they get in the mail? Leave a comment!