Ecovative Design EcoCradle
Your next toilet may come packed in fertilizer for your garden. EcoCradle is the only treeless, biodegradable shipping material that can be molded into as many shapes as polystyrene, a.k.a. Styrofoam, so it can protect objects of any size or weight.
Ecovative Design fills a reusable mold with agricultural waste like rice husks and sprays on mushroom root cells, which eat the husks and grow to form a dense network that packs the mold. After baking, the lightweight material feels like Styrofoam, but its production uses one eighth the energy. The 'shrooms made their debut this fall cradling shipments of window blinds.
i'm not one who you would consider to be involved in the green movement but i use a lot of commen sense. and green usualy means green as moolah so i'm peerked. but wouldn't the mice that inhabit my garage just move to my now edible walls?
Why would you fill your walls with shipping material?
I think brainsnbrawn must have been referring to the same company's insulation product.
Which I think is basically the same thing - just in different form then the packing product. They answer brainsnbraw's question in their FAQ:
" Pests and vermin are not an issue for Greensulate™. We use non-nutritional feedstocks that can't be fed to livestock and won't interest critters that might find their way into your building. "
Why not cut out the middle-man and use mice for packaging and insulation?
The styrofoam looks kind of gross though. Is it durable?
How is it moldable?
It grows to fill its container (mold filling its mold), then is cooked hard-ish.
it's a nice idea and the company does make a form of insulation thats going through some approval processes. For insulation I see this being great, it's a standard size application so you can make a ton of it and store it till it's bought. For packaging it seems not so great at least not if the company has a high demand rate for the product they are shipping. instead of a few molds turning out hundreds of the same packaging forms per day as with styrofoam, you'd have to have hundreds of molds turning out one form each every couple of days or weeks. Not very efficient, even with some form of high growth rate mycelium any significant size packaging forms would take a day or two to make one it seems. I'd like to know more of the time per part on this production process.
I really wish that this stuff could be used to replace styrofoam trays at my school. How the hell do I contact the producer though? Or would it not be efficient to use it like that?
Hi all, this is Sam from Ecovative.
You can contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org with any other questions.
We can't yet make thin Styrofoam trays, but check out what this school recently did to protest the enormous waste of disposable trays: http://www.good.is/post/middle-school-students-tell-lausd-no-more-styrofoam/
We've developed a very low cost "grow-tray" molding technique that allows us to compete on cost with Styrofoam. Even the tooling is cost competitive with the expensive hardened steel tooling typically used for Styrofoam. We're able to provide cost effective packaging parts for companies like Dell and Steelcase.
You can learn more about our materials here: www.ecovativedesign.com