Mushrooms are used for a lot of things, including ingredients in a lot of your favorite recipes and a cheap trip into the deepest depths of your mind, but two former mechanical engineering and design students have figured out away to utilize the fungi for packing material!
Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre use mycelium — a term for the hidden "roots" of mushrooms found under dirt and wood — to create an eco-friendly packaging alternatives to plastic foams. Unlike the material you will commonly find inside the same box as a new television, their company's product breaks down between six and nine months, so it's okay to include in a compost pile.
Ecovative Design, which has been steadily growing over the past five years, mixes mycelium with pasteurized seed husks or plant stalks to create their packaging pieces. Yes, it's as edible as it sounds, but certainly not recommended or tasty.
On top of already cushioning products from companies like Dell Inc. and Crate and Barrel, Evovative is using their "low-tech biotech" to create car bumpers and shoes!
That's right, mushroom shoes are not that far off, along with all sorts of fungis fueled products like roofing material that can repair itself!
Pretty cool, right?
If it can be made from plastic, the young entrepreneurs believe it can be made from mushrooms!