CheeringTech, a Chinese company that has been in technology sector for the past four years, recently launched an eco-friendly art and gardening product called PaperSoil, and it is awesome. This colorful recycled paper can be used to replace the traditional soil in glass jars or the water in glass vases, so you can create colorful layered sand-art-style designs that succulents and other houseplants can live in.

"As far as we know, PaperSoil is the first gardening jar that employ recycled paper to replace the traditional soil of jar plants, and saving trees, water and energy," the founder, Oliver, explained.

His "ah-ha" moment? "I noticed that many of the centerpieces and flowerpots in the market used gel or water beads to make different colors. While beautiful, you cannot grow plants in them. Then, there is traditional soil for growing plants that you cannot dye it (plus it is too dirty). I wondered how we could make a beautiful, rainbow-like colored flowerpot you could grow plant in at the same time and the idea of recycled paper popped to mind," Oliver recalled. 

He launched the product on Kickstarter in July and was fully funded quickly. With a solid base, he produced the first batch with MicroNovelty, a division of CheeringTech that focuses on developing and promoting micro innovations. "They collect ideas, prototype and products from Chinese makers and small companies. Then, they do promotion and marketing with a uniform brand: MicroNovelty. In this mode, the Chinese makers and small companies don't have to hire overseas marketing team, so they can focus on developing and researching," Oliver said.  

Papersoil is 100% recycled paper but can be used exactly like normal soil. "Just place seeds inside and water it," Oliver explains. However, he notes, because the material is so absorbent, using just a little bit water is key. "Be careful not to overwater them!" However, he adds, that if you do overwater, the material will not lose color or get mushy. "You could see these images, the plants have grown up and the colors are still stable," he adds. Oliver suggests planting herbs or other common house plants noting again that whatever you plant needs the same light and moisture conditions it would in soil.

Papersoil packs retail for $12 and the glass jar kit costs $15. This clever product is perfect for making teacher appreciation gifts and Earth Day presents for plant loving grandparents.