by Cassie Mattia

Loveland, Ohio – Making a difference is what the community of Loveland is all about and longtime Loveland resident Cindy Kessler is one of those special individuals that has done just that!

Kessler made it her mission to dedicate her time and energy to growing tree seedlings in kitty litter buckets that she then gives away for free. “Rumpke doesn’t recycle the buckets,” Kessler said, “so this is a perfect way to repurpose them in a manner that benefits the earth.” 

Although Kessler does most of the growing, she also has several friends who help her bag and distribute the seedlings. 

“Our kick off is Graeter’s Valentine’s Day 2-for-1 special,” Kessler shared with us, “The atmosphere is festive, plus people are just starting to get spring fever… so we give them something to do outside; plant a tree.”

Cindy Kessler grows tree seedlings in kitty litter buckets which are plentiful because Rumpke Recycling doesn’t take the buckets.

Kessler said one year she and her crew gave away 766 seedlings! The seedlings will be offered at Starbucks, Graeter’s, LaRosa’s, Lenten fish fries, and many other hotspots around Loveland.

Free tree seedlings at the Loveland Starbucks

Kessler said the Loveland community has had an overwhelmingly positive response to the free tree seedlings.

“Baristas at Starbucks said that customers show them pictures of their newly planted seedlings and thank them ‘for doing this.’ Then the baristas turn to us and thank us for making it happen. When restocking our baskets, people often start meaningful conversations, that always include appreciation for our efforts.”

Cindy Kessler (on left) and two of her seedling partners

The response from the community in regards to Kessler’s tree seedlings has created so much hype that Kessler decided to create an instructional website that teaches you how to grow seedlings yourself! The website is as follows: seedstotrees.org. The abundant amount of pictures and resources make the growing process that much easier to mimic.

“Truly, anyone can do this; individuals, families, groups of friends, social clubs, school classes, religious groups, businesses, etc.,” Kessler said.

A display of free tree seedlings in a local shop

“Environmental degradation is a serious problem, but every tree that gets planted is part of the solution. So, put those kitty litter buckets to good use and start growing your own tree seedlings. If a lot of people do this, the impact can be huge. Spread the word,” Kessler said.

For more information about Cindy Kessler’s tree seedlings email her at info@seedstotrees.org. You may also contact Kessler to donate kitty litter buckets.

Seeds to Trees is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, dedicated to getting more trees planted worldwide, by showing individuals how to grow tree seedlings for distribution within their own communities.  Whether you give away 5 seedlings or 500, you have made the world a better place!

If you would like to follow Seeds to Trees on FaceBook click the link!


Although Rumpke doesn’t take kitty litter buckets they just announced recently a new list of added recyclables you can place in your recycling bin. You can read about that by clicking the link below!

Butter tubs, yogurt containers now accepted in Rumpke’s recycling program


Cassie Mattia is the Associate Editor of Loveland Magazine and our Account Executive. She can be contacted about advertising opportunities.

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Columnist Cassia Mattia is a resident of Historic Downtown Loveland. She is the Associate Editor of Loveland Magazine.

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