Guerrilla Gardening? Seedbombs Support Green Spaces & Provide Jobs in California

Posted by on October 19, 2012 in Green

Seedbombs are grenades for good – made out of clay, compost, and seeds, they are small balls that you can throw into urban spaces and home gardens alike to grow something green. This week, Designed Good is selling them and offering the story about why they’re good for the world:

Seedbombs are the brainchild of Kim Karlsrud and Danny Phillips, the co-founders of Commonstudio, which grew out of their chapter of Project H Design – a volunteer group of community-focused designers with a pretty sweet set of mandates. Out of Commonstudio came Greenaid, their urban ecology branch that is responsible for the seedbombs – so there’s been plenty of growing and branching all around.

Seedbombs don’t qualify as Designed Good products just because they came out of a design studio – they qualify because the energetic designers behind them thought about how both the product and the process could make clear, sustainable steps towards community changes.

For instance, formerly homeless and economically disadvantaged men and women in Los Angeles make the seedbombs out of local materials. Chrysalis is the organization that partners with Commonstudio to employ these men and women; the nonprofit that has been committed to creating employment opportunities in the area since 1984.

“The thing about seedbombs is how accessible they are,” Kim told me in our interview. “People are divorced from natural things that can grow, especially in an urban environment. That simple act is very empowering for people.”

You might be more used to combining war and the environment than you think. For instance, weeding your garden might feel like waging a war on your local environment. Forcing yourself to spend five fewer minutes in the shower might feel like an assault against your much-needed luxury time, and convincing your carpool driver to turn off the engine while waiting for the next person to hop in the SUV might feel like a constant battle.

That’s why we unearthed a product that combines war and the environment in a way that’s a little more productive, and a lot less guilt-ridden.

Katy Gathright

Katy Gathright is the co-founder of Designed Good, a new community that curates the best in design and social good. They hand-select and sell clothing, accessories, gear, gadgets, and artwork and tell the stories of how each product is designed for social good. She graduated from Williams College in 2012 and is most excited about engaging other millennials in the idea of great design for social change.

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