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Down with styrofoam!

May 23, 2013

I really hate styrofoam. Not only does it make demonic noises every time I try to pry it off something, it also really sucks for the environment. I’m sure you all know that this crap is not biodegradable, or degradable at all really. If we don’t stop turning to this material just because it’s cost effective, pretty soon we won’t have oceans we’ll just have piles and piles of squeaky plastic crap.

facepalm on this even existing

So when a friend of mine passed this article along I was super excited because not only are these two guys from my alma mater (RPI represent!), but they’re also trying to make a huge impact on the world by generating a natural alternative to styroshit. If you don’t feel like clicking the link, the cliffnotes version is as follows:

These guys want to eliminate disposable plastic. To do so, they’re using spent plant products (the leftover parts), and adding a fungus. The fungus grows a mycelium, which is a big giant meshwork of filaments that grow out and around all that delicious plant material, forming what you can think of as a biological glue. By smooshing the spent plants and the fungus into molds (punny!), they are able to “grow” this material into whatever shape they like. Once it’s grown enough, the material is popped out and dried and ready to package your crap. Then when you’re done using it, the material will politely decompose and your footprint on the landfill will be reduced. TADA! Science!

So anyway, you should check out their TED talk on the subject, or watch the following short video – these guys are inspirational and make me hopeful for our future.

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From → General Science

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