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We're being a little more conscientious than usual about spring cleaning in the garden (got to impress potential donors, you know) and in the process I've turned up quite a number of old plant tags.

plastic plant tags

rather fresher than daisies

Very old: I don't think we've put in a plant from a store with tags like that in three or four years. And yet there they are, looking as good as new. The plants themselves are long gone, and wood garden structures built when we put the plants in are starting to decay, but the tags live on. Not that they're in perfect shape: the years out in the sun have turned the plastic much more brittle than it was when it came out of the factory, so if you handle them much they start to break. But each piece still looks as shiny and new as the day it was made.

I'm not against plastic in general. I love the big tubs where we store our off-season clothes, the molded body of my camera, and even black trays that I use to hold my seedlings and indoor herbs. In all of those cases I want something that's going to last forever. But plant tags don't need to last forever, nor do grocery bags or those stupid stickers they put on fruits and vegetables (I absolutely hate those stickers). Therefore, they should not be made of a material that will take longer than a human lifestyle to degrade even to the point where the item can't be recognized for what it was originally—never mind biodegrading entirely.

So yeah. Bring your bags to the grocery store and start your own seeds or get plants from friends (we've got lots, just ask Leah!). And I don't know what to do about those stickers.

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