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How to turn your cosmetics into carnations thanks to the growing eco trend that's really taken root

With an unwavering spotlight on the environment, the quiet months of lockdown have resulted in some ingenious, climate-friendly inventions.

The latest eco-craze is plantable seed-infused materials. Cover them in a sprinkling of earth, water them, and in a few weeks you are rewarded with a crop of fresh flowers or herbs. Here are some of the most innovative options…

PLANT OUT YOUR WEDDING INVITE

Greeting cards, from £3.95, theseedcardcompany.com

PLANT OUT YOUR WEDDING INVITE: Recycled paper embedded with wildflower or herb seeds and used for wedding invites, confetti, business cards, greetings cards (pictured)

What is it? Recycled paper embedded with wildflower or herb seeds and used for wedding invites, confetti, business cards, greetings cards.

The story behind it: The Seed Card Company uses upcycled paper waste printed with vegan ink (so it doesn’t introduce toxins into the earth) embedded with wildflower seeds such as bird’s eye, black-eyed Susan, catchfly, snapdragon and sweet alyssum to create a variety of cards and printable stationery.

‘There’s been a sharp increase in awareness of sustainable products and packaging,’ says co-founder Kay Patel.

‘The pandemic means people have had time to think about the environment and different ways of living, and this seeded paper is part of that process. Every sheet you plant tells a story.’

The Seed Card Company team is also planting trees in order to offset the carbon footprint of production.

GROWTH MARKET IN PENCIL PLANTING

Sprout Plant Your Pencil kit of five pencils, £9, amazon.co.uk

GROWTH MARKET IN PENCIL PLANTING: Ordinary pencils made from wood and graphite but which have a cellulose ‘pouch’ at the end (where the eraser would be), filled with seeds such as basil, cherry tomato, chia, sage, thyme, coriander, carnation, daisy and forget-me-nots

What is it? Ordinary pencils made from wood and graphite but which have a cellulose ‘pouch’ at the end (where the eraser would be), filled with seeds such as basil, cherry tomato, chia, sage, thyme, coriander, carnation, daisy and forget-me-nots.

The story behind it: The main manufacturer, Sprout World, is based in Denmark and also sells plantable eyeliner pencils.

It is developing a plantable lip liner, too (available in the UK later this year, shop.sproutworld.com). Founder Michael Stausholm says: ‘A plantable pencil is a great way to make sustainability easy to understand for everyone. Instead of throwing something out, you are literally using it to give new life.’

Guess jeans recently gave a sprouting pencil to everyone who bought jeans from its eco-denim range.

To plant your pencil, simply stick the seed capsule end into a pot of soil at a 30-degree angle, place in a warm spot and keep the soil moist.

FLOWERS FROM A FACE MASK

Marie Bee Bloom Face Masks, 15 euros (£13) for five, mariebeebloom.com, Currently only available in the EU, but there are plans to ship worldwide soon

Marie Bee Bloom Face Masks, 15 euros (£13) for five, mariebeebloom.com, Currently only available in the EU, but there are plans to ship worldwide soon

What is it? A compostable face covering made from seed-infused rice paper with sheep’s wool ties and stamped with biodegradable ink. Expect a Dutch meadow mix of asters, cornflower, coreopsis, gilia, gypsophila and dill.

The story behind it: These are created by Marianne de Groot-Pons, a graphic designer with the Pons Ontwerp agency based in Utrecht, in the Netherlands.

She says: ‘After weeks of tripping over all the blue disposable masks on the street, I woke up one morning to the idea of a biodegradable face mask with flower seeds in it.’

FRESH HERB CANDLE COVERS

FRESH HERB CANDLE COVERS: Each of the two candles (made from organic soy wax with cotton wicks) in the Plant A Tree collection comes with a recycled seed paper ‘dust cover’ embedded with basil seeds

Plant A Tree collection candle, £13.99, thelighthouseuk.com

What is it? Each of the two candles (made from organic soy wax with cotton wicks) in the Plant A Tree collection comes with a recycled seed paper ‘dust cover’ embedded with basil seeds.

The story behind it: The discs of recycled paper keep dust off the candle when not in use and carry planting instructions for when the candle is finished. Simply fill the glass jar with a layer of pebbles, then soil, and plant the paper disc. Water and the seeds will grow.

The same basil-seeded dust covers are also available with Lilyreedcandles (£15 from etsy.com).

BEAUTY THAT TRULY BLOOMS

BEAUTY THAT TRULY BLOOMS: This clay mask comes in a glass jar inside a compostable and plantable box, which is embedded with wildflower seeds

The Detox face mask, £39.99, loopeco.com

What is it? A super-hydrating face mask packaged in cardboard that is embedded with wild chrysanthemum seeds.

The story behind it: This clay mask comes in a glass jar inside a compostable and plantable box, which is embedded with wildflower seeds. The face mask is 100 per cent natural, too.

Simply tear the box up and cover with 3mm of soil, place in a sunny spot, water often and watch flowers bloom.

‘Our product range contains wildflower extracts and oils chosen for their skin healing and replenishing properties,’ says Loopeco founder James Skipper. ‘So we were keen to construct a unique form of packaging that has the ability to give back to nature.’

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