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Request a Catalog

Everything we offer is available on the website. We do not offer a paper catalog.  We do understand this is a change in the old way seed companies have operated in the past.

One of the biggest reasons we don't produce a paper catalog is current seed availability.  A live/real-time website allows us to keep availability on our rare seed current. No substitutions, no refund check in your order instead of the seed you wanted.   You actually get what you order.  Plus, we don't have to hire a person to issue daily refunds.  This savings allows us to better serve you in other ways. 

The website also allows us to build a huge database of information for our customers with many photos. No other seed company, for instance, offers historical references and documents on the origins of heirloom seeds. We could not do this in a paper catalog.

More importantly, we are committed to being a sustainable green company. This means reducing our carbon footprint. Many seed companies kill as many as 2,200 trees or more a year to print their paper catalog. We are committed to greening the planet. These choices save thousands of trees and the precious ecosystems they support.

We are aware that a few people still have slow internet connections. We have tried to design the site to load quickly. If you have a slow connection at home, remember there are community computers at local libraries and most internet cafes.

We are on the cutting edge of a society that is only now learning to change how it uses its limited resources. Sustainability is more than a name to us. At Sustainable Seed Co. we are proud to be a leader in this new movement.

It is our hope that this doesn't greatly inconvenience you and that you will still choose to do business with us.


The Facts About Catalogs

Catalog retailers send out 20 billion catalogs a year, and almost none of the paper contains any recycled material. Instead, over 8 million tons of trees a year go into catalogs alone—which means 8 million tons of trees are going from forests to the landfill, with a short appearance as junk mail in between. What does that mean?

1 ton of virgin printing paper for catalogs uses 24 trees. Now take the number above of 8 million tons used a year and you get 192,000,000 trees that are killed every year so you can thumb through a catalog!! That is roughly 640,000 acres of trees and forest ecosystems destroyed for JUST catalogs. How in good conscience could you or anyone participate in this behavior?

To put that into perspective, that is almost the entire state of Rhode Island being cut down every year for catalogs. These are not just trees, but entire ecosystems of living beings that are destroyed for catalogs. Our mission is to green the planet, not de-green it. We will not be a part of this irresponsible behavior. Yes, we might lose some customers to this policy, but someone has to take the first step in making a change. We are NOT driven by the dollar but by our consciousness and the knowledge that human beings can do better in the world.

Our company vows to leave the smallest footprint on this planet as possible. In fact, we hope to green more than we take. We are, after all, a seed company!

In fact, most of the book publishers we buy from are a part of the Green Press Initiative. The goal of the Green Press Initiative is to help those in the book and newspaper industries to better understand their impacts on endangered forests, indigenous communities, and the Earth's climate. GPI also works with those in the industry to implement solutions, and to provide the tools and resources necessary to support industry transformation.

Comments on Request a Catalog

Jon 04-27-2012 09:05 AM
While I appreciate your commitment to going green and being sustainable, do you realize how many people are just going to take your on-line catalog and print it out anyways? Also, how about all the people who will just choose to go with another company instead of ordering from you, and recieve a paper printed catalog from them. I'm not speaking for myself here. I can deal with the inconvenience of having to do everything online and I appreciate what you guys are doing and want to support it, but most people won't. And what about people who don't even have a computer? You will loose there business as well in favor of another less green, less sustainable company.

As mentioned by a few others, I feel you should come up with a 100% recycled material to use as paper with a biodegradable ink. Also you could have the online catalog also (I also agree that it would be nice if it had a table of contents w/ quick links), for those who share your feelings and would like to support your movement. I feel all others will either just print the catalog out anyways (on non recycled paper likely, with non-biodegradeable ink), or just go elsewhere.

Thank You,

Betsy 02-27-2012 04:46 PM
While I appreciate your commitment to green, some of my husbands fondest memories of his childhood was in the spring when he and his dad would go through the catalog circling the things they were going to plant that year. This year my husband is curling up in the arm chair with our three year old going through the seed catalogs for the first time. It just doesn't create the same connection to sit infront of an electronic device clicking on the things you choose. I would love to be able to have a better catalog than Gurneys to offer them. Perhaps you could offer a 100% recycled material catalog to help make sure all those other catalogs don't just end up in the landfill.
jim 02-12-2012 03:40 PM
I'm a older gardner and I love being able to hold and look thru a seed catalog. Looking at catalogs online is fine ,but I don't order anything online. Everyone has to stand for something and that is alright. There are plenty of seed companys that still print a catalog for people. I saw your ad in Countryside Magazine and thought I would see what you offered. The online catalog is nice , but I will stick with the ones that still send out catalogs. Thank you, jim
Sami 02-10-2012 09:17 AM
Great post and dcssuision. Of course, newbie gardeners have to start somewhere before saving their seeds. Let’s hope individual research shows that there are a few trustworthy companies out there.
Straight Tillin' 10-28-2011 10:51 AM
How Much coal is burnt to make the electricity that is used to power up my computer, monitor, speakers, hard drives, printers and whatever else may be plugged in at the time while we sit back and lackadaisically browse your web-only catalog? While I appreciate every effort to green ourselves, I still think there are sustainable that would allow for paper catalogs to be more sustainable than strictly online viewing. How about recycling all of the competitors virgin paper catalogs into your own 100% recycled content catalogs printed in a biodegradable ink? Then you could claim to be a part of the solution as opposed to just pointing out the problem and diverting to a new medium.

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