Engineered wood and plastics are all around us. From the manufacturedÂ wood products usedÂ inÂ ourÂ furniture, to the foam plasticsÂ preventing breakage or damage to consumer goods during shipment.Â But theseÂ materials have a significant impact on the environment and our health.Â Ecovative co-founder Eben Bayer wants to change that â€“ with the amazing potential of the marvelousÂ mushroom.
It’s estimated that a cubic foot of styrofoam packing material (about the amount neededÂ to ship a boxed TV or computer monitor) contains the embeddedÂ energy equivalent of 1.5 litres of gasoline and takesÂ millenniaÂ 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 aÂ pioneering biofabrication company withÂ the breakthrough idea to use the mushroom component myceliumâ€”what they call â€œnatureâ€™s glueâ€â€”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 –Â 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 beenÂ winning awards for innovation and finding eager customers in companies such as Dell, Puma SE, and Steelcase. Now the company has launchedÂ MycoBoardâ„¢ 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, examiningÂ how the circular economy is transforming the marketplace. The knowledge and experience of Eben Bayer and our fullÂ 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.Â And with a wide-ranging attendee list, it’sÂ also a great event to network with others working towardÂ zero waste and circular economy goals.
Donâ€™t miss this opportunity. Register now at: http://www.zwc.ca/Pages/default.aspx and subscribe to our blog forÂ timely updates on this yearâ€™s program, speakers, and related zero waste happenings.
Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference 2016 – Nov. 3, Vancouver Convention Centre East