With more people preferring to stay at home during the pandemic (hopefully over soon), more and more people are turning to tending plants or growing their own vegetables.
Growing gardens not only rewards one’s mental health; it’s also great for the environment if people can grow some of their own food at home.
In New Zealand, tech startup Greenback has launched PlantMe, a one-stop digital platform that aims to help reverse climate change by encouraging Kiwis to grow plants in their own backyard.
The platform comes with a seed delivery service, a digital growing guide, a planting diary, an online marketplace and a built-in crypto rewards system.
“We’re building crypto rewards that will be a world-first in rewarding individuals for their climate action and biodiversity restoration, and now we are inviting Kiwis to sign up to the platform and be citizen scientists to help us prove what’s possible and generate the data,” said Fliss Roberts, founder and CEO, PlantMe
Subscribers can opt to have their seeds delivered to their homes on a monthly or quarterly basis so they can grow their own fruits or vegetables. They’re also supported with access to growing guides and seed recommendations depending on the recipient’s location to ensure optimal growth.
In addition, the platform has a feature showing each subscriber’s climate impact and dollar savings when they log their plant’s progress and record harvest photos.”
Roberts, who has an MBA in sustainability, had the idea to develop PlantMe in 2018 to help individuals, families, and the wider community to start localising food and make a collective impact on biodiversity and emissions.
The number of Kiwis growing their own veggies increased during the 2020 lockdown. In New Zealand and Australia, sales of vegetable seeds were 10 times higher than usual.
Roberts also added that besides having everything delivered to customers’ doorsteps, the platform also has a land-share feature that allows anyone who has extra space or land area to share or rent it with other interested gardeners who do not have their own plot.
“The idea is to encourage more people to get growing at home as meaningful climate action while also improving nutrition, health and wellness and your bank balance,” said Roberts.