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Seeds of Joy’s Molly Soppet, left, Charlotte Macreath, and Macy Jenkins will be selling their eco-friendly product at markets. Photo: KELLEY TANTAU

Students make paper with a purpose

A gift that keeps on giving is in the hands of Hauraki Plains College students, who have created a way to spread joy – as well as seeds.
Year 13 students Molly Soppet, Macy Jenkins, Charlotte Macreath, Zarnae Dowd, and Irene Irvine have created their business Seeds of Joy, as part of the Young Enterprise Scheme. The business turns the humble greeting card into an environmentally-friendly product which provides its receiver with seeds to plant back into the earth.
“I saw this thing on [social media platform] TikTok about a company sending out care instructions on seed paper, and I thought that could be really cool for cards,” Seeds of Joy chief executive Molly Soppet told The Profile.
“It’s a gift that keeps on giving because people usually throw cards away and then remember the present, but what if the card was more of the present?
“It’s a bit more sentimental than going straight to the gift.”
The process starts by collecting recycled paper from the college. The students shred it up to create a paper mulch, and if they want to change its colour, they use natural dyes such as beetroot. The new paper is molded into shape and dried. Seeds are then added to the corners of the greeting cards. “My mum especially is quite sentimental about cards, she keeps all of them, so we made it so you can rip off the edge and keep the message that’s written on the inside,” production manager Macy Jenkins said.
The students stood outside Ngatea Four Square for an hour to obtain market research, and through their findings, they realised other people were sentimental about cards, too.
People also wanted to ensure the cards could be easily written on. Buyers can choose what seeds they’d like their card to hold, out of a range of herbs, flowers, and vegetables, as well as bee-friendly manuka and kanuka seeds. A portion of the businesses profits will go to the NZ Bumblebee Conservation Trust, which promotes the conservation and long term future of bumblebees in New Zealand.
“We’ve also got a negative carbon footprint,” Molly said. “We don’t create any waste because any paper that stuffs up, we can re-pulp it and re-use it.”
The students will be hitting up markets around the Hauraki and South Auckland areas ahead of the scheme’s Waikato/King Country regional finals.Winners for that round will be announced throughout October, while the ​​Young Enterprise National Awards will be held at Wellington in December.
DETAILS: People interested in buying greeting cards from Seeds of Joy can do so by emailing or finding the business on Instagram. By KELLEY TANTAU