One of the many things people will say when they give up on having plants in their houses are because they keep forgetting to water them. Well guess what, there are self-watering pots you can get now. And here’s the awesome part: they’re sustainable and they can reduce your carbon footprint!
Andrew Flynn and Martin Keane are two product designers who believe that their pots, called POTR, will have a much lower carbon footprint than traditional flower pots. Why? Because the pots’ materials are 100% recycled (specifically recycled polypropylene) and it has a flat-pack design. This design enables shipping through post instead of delivery drivers, and is more carbon efficient.
“As product designers, I don’t think there’s ever a moment we’re not actually designing something, whether it’s the day job or not,” said Flynn. “We’re always thinking about the next idea in the pipeline. So this is one of many side projects which I had on the go for a little while. This one just seemed to take off.”
The two chaps are from Glasgow and they met each other when they were studying product design engineering at the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Glasgow. Fynn said that they put a lot of thought into ensuring the pots were easy to assemble.
I mean, designing something like sustainable plastic sheet into a usable, durable pot is not an easy task and I can’t come up with something like that. However both were determined to do that. Fynn stated, “When a customer receives the product they take it out the envelope and it’s lying flat and it’s basically net-shaped,”
“What we’ve integrated is a quick draw cotton cord – basically a drawstring. The customer pulls both sides of that draw string. The pot then pulls up around your plant.” Once assembled, one end of the cord goes into a reservoir, drawing water to the other end, which goes in the soil.
Funding the project
People who are starting out their projects for the greater good do need funding, and that includes the designers. Raising funds to cover the expenses of your projects can be challenging. But with the power of internet crowdfunding, almost everything is possible. It’s just a matter of which one they should go with.
Through crowdfunding, everybody can make a contribution, albeit small. But whatever amount of contribution, it really matters to independent startups like this. Fynn said, “In the last 10 years there’s been several crowdfunding websites which have been launched. If you’ve got a great idea you can take it all the way through to detailed resolution but you haven’t gone to manufacture yet.”
He added that, in the case of their pot design, this has been a crucial factor. Their initial batch of pots needed to raise just £500. But so far, they’ve raised over £25,000, which is crazy. It also shows that a lot of people do want this pot inside their houses.
“That is really beneficial for us. It means we can raise the capital investment that’s required to do our minimum production run and pay for any manufacturing tooling costs which we require to make our product,” said Fynn.
“We began to think how we could make that moment even more special. When someone receives an envelope containing a POTR Pot, they’ll have a beautiful plant pot within seconds and will be able to look after their plants easily because it’s self-watering,” he continued.
Designed to be durable and last a lifetime, these pots won’t break if you drop it or accidentally knock it down, which is convenient compared to your usual pots. As stated before, materials used for this are 100% recycled (and recyclable!) and sourced within Europe to reduce the carbon footprint. Additionally, Fynn and Keane partner with a local manufacturer called Folio which is based in Bristol to further minimize environmental impact.
Compared to the usual, traditional clay or concrete plant pots, POTR have almost 100 times less carbon footprint. The big reason for this is that you can fit the pots in a standard envelope and mail these pots (if you’re sending one as a gift) through post. Clay pots need a much larger parcel and they require delivery by van.
The fact that POTR uses recycled plastic instead of virgin one also drastically cuts carbon impact. Also, this reduces the amount of plastic that end up in landfills as well. Eco friendly and convenience are great selling points about these pots.
Assembling POTR isn’t hard at all. First of all, you’ll get your pots flat and unfolded. In order to use it, you simply need to quick draw cotton cord and swoop, you’ve got yourself a sustainable, pretty-patterned pot.
Not only is it easy to assemble, durable, and pretty (if you’re all for aesthetics, these pots are the bomb), POTR Pots are capable of holding water in its base. Here’s how it works, the cord is tied and tucked inside the pot, before the inner pot stand is assembled into a ring and placed into the pot’s base.
Then, you loop the two ends of the cord under the inner pot stand and insert that into your plant’s soil. You can do this using your old pencil or any thin sticks. Finally, place the plant on top of the inner pot stand. Add water to the pot, and you don’t need to worry about watering your plants anymore. They will automatically start drinking the water through the cotton cord.
How do you know if the water’s gone? Well, you can see that the pots are not opaque, so you’ll know if water in the base is running out and your plants are getting thirsty. You’ll always know if it’s time to refill the water.
So now you’re planning to go somewhere for the weekend? Go on ahead. Your plants will be fine. You want to grow your own food but you’re too busy to take care of your plants all the time? Don’t worry about that now. All your worries about having plants will be old tales if you have these pots. Hopefully, POTR will be available worldwide (using eco-friendly shipping, of course) so that all of us can enjoy these pots.