What’s the Difference Between Seed Paper & Traditional Card Stock?

The demand for paper products is growing so it’s very important to look at how we are using them and what options are available. Every choice we make can contribute to a more sustainable future! This post will help you understand the environmental benefits of seed paper over traditional card stocks and empower you to make a more informed and eco-friendly choice.

Let’s take a look at how the two paper options differ so you can decide what’s right for your next project.

Manufacturing & production 

Traditional virgin paper is typically machine-made from trees that go through processing stages including debarking, grinding, washing, and bleaching. This process has made the pulp and paper industry the third largest industrial polluter of air, water, and land in both Canada and the United States.

Seed paper is handmade from 100% recycled paper waste, committing from the get-go to being environmentally friendly. Instead of using energy-intensive methods like traditional paper production, seed paper is made through a process that saves energy and doesn’t require new materials. The result is a reduced carbon footprint and lower overall environmental impact.

Graphic showing the lifecycle of seed paper vs traditional virgin card stock


Traditional virgin paper is used to record information, communicate ideas, create art, package products, and more. It comes in a variety of finishes, including glossy, matte, and some textured options. A variety of white tones and colored options are available. The hues and thickness are typically very consistent because the product is usually machine-made with virgin fibers.

Seed paper 
can be used almost anywhere traditional card stock is used. For example, popular seed paper products include greeting cards, business cards, invitations, promotional materials, and more. It’s uncoated with a slightly textured appearance due to the embedded seeds and has a more natural feel compared to the smooth finish of traditional card stock. The brightness of the white, color, and thickness of seed paper may vary slightly due to the fact that it’s 100% recycled and handmade.

End of life

Traditional virgin paper can usually be recycled but sadly, it often ends up in the trash. The recyclability of the paper will also depend on the coating/treatment of the paper and how it was used. While recycling paper is very important and it will extend its lifecycle, additional resources are required to do so.

Seed paper 
is made to be planted. The paper quickly decomposes and leaves no waste behind. Seed paper closes the loop, eliminating the need for any additional resources to recycle the paper. As the paper breaks down, the embedded seeds sprout and grow into plants. As these seeds grow and flourish, they attract pollinators and contribute to local biodiversity. This can have a positive impact on the ecosystem, supporting pollinators like bees and butterflies.

The next time you’re considering sending out invitations, business cards, or promotional materials, consider the impact of your choice. The environmental benefits of seed paper outweigh traditional card stocks. By choosing seed paper, you’re not just making a statement: you are creating a more sustainable tomorrow—one plantable sheet at a time.


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