Sustainable Innovation: Mushroom Materials

Now we can enjoy mushrooms in more than the obvious way!


From whites, crimini and portobellos to chantrelles and shiitakes, you may only know these mushrooms as flavours that grace your plate. However, they’re making a new appearance in a surprising and innovative way. Mushrooms are now making an appearance in packaging materials!

Mushroom based packaging materials have been found to use 98% less energy than the much less environmentally-friendly and commonly used, styrofoam. Further decreasing its energy footprint, Ecovative Design (makers of EcoCradle packaging and Greensulate insulation and company behind Mushroom Materials) has developed a new sterilization technology, which enables their process of growing mushroom fibres on agriculture waste such as cotton seed, wood fibre and buckwheat hulls to significantly reduce it’s energy requirements. Thanks to Ecovative Design’s innovation, this efficient packaging alternative requires one-fortieth (2.5%) the amount of energy to produce as compared to¬†traditional foam production.

Now, Ecovative has developed a plan to allow conscientious consumers grow their own Mushroom Materials! Coming this year is their “Grow it Yourself” Kit, which will serves a means of sharing their technology to new products and ideas. Mycelium, the natural self-assembling glue, is making an appearance in surprising new places beyond packaging ¬†materials such as lampshades, flower pots, surf boards and building materials!

Learn more about Ecovative and Mushroom Materials HERE and HERE.

Have a great weekend!

(Image via Wikimedia Commons, Family of Mushrooms, Luke Price; CC BY 2.0)