Save the stamp and sow it

Local stamps in a self-adhesive sheet with seeds attached (left) and a First Day Cover affixed with stamps. The stamps are printed on biodegradable paper.

SINGAPORE - A biodegradable series of stamps which can be planted in the ground to produce flowers was unveiled at the Festival of Biodiversity on Saturday.

The idea, the first of its kind for Singapore, comes from a collaboration between the National Parks Board (NParks) and Singapore Post.

The stamps come with small moss-rose seeds attached and after the stamps are soaked in water for a day they can be sown in soil.

A set of four costs $1.55 while a collector's sheet - which includes a $5 stamp - is $8.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam graced the opening of the two-day, NParks-organised festival, which is being held at VivoCity mall.

"This year we felt that it's important to bring it out to the community, especially in a mall where there is a natural crowd," said NParks chief executive Poon Hong Yuen.

He described Singapore's rich biodiversity as a "treasure" and added: "It's not just numbers because we want to reach out to the 'non-converts' as well - people who may not have the awareness of what we have."

A book titled Living In A Garden: The Greening Of Singapore was also launched along with a new biodiversity campaign for schools in which students will audit their school grounds for fauna and flora and receive advice from experts for a greening action plan.

Nicholas Yow, 15, from Commonwealth Secondary School, took part in the pilot project. He said: "It made me love nature even more when I realised that there was so much biodiversity to discover in my own school."

The authority is celebrating 50 Years of Greening Singapore this year.

Guest of honour President Tan said: "I am heartened to see that many Singaporeans are taking ownership of our city in a garden vision, and helping to conserve Singapore's natural heritage for the benefit of future generations."