Mushrooms are a natural alternative to Styrofoam, and other awful products that are difficult to recycle, or need to be processed before their next reincarnation, or worse directly headed for landfill.
With lockdowns due to Covid-19, we have seen a huge increase in online ordering of gifts and homewares. Many companies are conscientious about their packaging, and there has been an accelerated growth in those seeking sustainable packaging which is great!
Mushroom or Mycelium packaging as it is really, is 100% biodegradable, sustainable and compostable at home.
Want to know how it works? Spawn is fungal culture that has grown onto substrate, from this mycelium developes. Mycelium is the network of Hyphae, and from these our mushrooms are formed. In our kits we use a combination of hardwood sawdust, straw and used coffee grounds. For developing packaging from mycelium, producers are using several different agricultural biproducts too.
It is an entirely natural product, using mycelium, the network of mushroom roots that bind together the agricultural biproducts used in this method of production, such as woodchips of sawdust. Resulting in a durable, hydrophobic (shrugs off water) packaging that is compostable at home, in only a few weeks. The mycelium grows to form the shape of any container substate is packed into, so product specific sizes can be readily custom made. You want to send your bestie a bottle of wine to enjoy over your zoom chat? If you’ve the time and incliation-Grow your mycelium around an old empty bottle, and you’ve got your home grown packaging! Dried out mycelium is super light weight too, so won’t add lots to shipping costs either.
There are a few big-name companies shouting about this, Seedlip https://www.seedlipdrinks.com/uk/journal/mycelium-technology launched a gift product last autumn with great success and Ikea have been in the press a few times for their work towards transforming the way their products are packaged. It’s really cool!
We are working on a plastic free alternative to our current line of grow at home kits, this involves glass whether small jars for kid grow projects or big round glass jars, and we are excited to be playing around with the idea of growing our own packaging too. We’re now wondering if this is how our used substrate might be repurposed? Can we aim for 0 waste?
Time to get experimenting!