Engineered wood and plastics are all around us. From the manufactured wood products used in our furniture, to the foam plastics preventing breakage or damage to consumer goods during shipment. But these materials have a significant impact on the environment and our health. Ecovative co-founder Eben Bayer wants to change that – with the amazing potential of the marvelous mushroom.
It’s estimated that a cubic foot of styrofoam packing material (about the amount needed to ship a boxed TV or computer monitor) contains the embedded energy equivalent of 1.5 litres of gasoline and takes millennia to decompose. The formaldehyde and toxic glues used in wood products like particle board are known carcinogens. But instead of being recycled or reused, these materials often end up in landfills, or worse yet, our rivers, lakes, and oceans.
To address this issue, Bayer and Ecovative co-founder Gavin McIntyre built a pioneering biofabrication company with the breakthrough idea to use the mushroom component mycelium—what they call “nature’s glue”—to grow biodegradable products (packaging and furniture) that are safe, healthy, and certified sustainable.
“What we’ve discovered is, by using a part of the mushroom you’ve probably never seen — we can actually grow materials with many of the same properties of conventional synthetics,” explains Bayer in a talk at TEDGlobal (see video above).
Ecovative has been winning awards for innovation and finding eager customers in companies such as Dell, Puma SE, and Steelcase. Now the company has launched MycoBoard™ furniture, with a vision that in time everything for your home will be grown.
Bayer will be sharing his story Nov. 3 as part of the 2016 Zero Waste Conference session Innovation in the Marketplace, examining how the circular economy is transforming the marketplace. The knowledge and experience of Eben Bayer and our full list of speakers and panellists promise to deliver the vital business intelligence that can be the difference between success and failure for your own efforts. And with a wide-ranging attendee list, it’s also a great event to network with others working toward zero waste and circular economy goals.
Don’t miss this opportunity. Register now at: http://www.zwc.ca/Pages/default.aspx and subscribe to our blog for timely updates on this year’s program, speakers, and related zero waste happenings.
Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference 2016 – Nov. 3, Vancouver Convention Centre East