Ecovative Design Wins PICNIC Green Challenge 2008!

I’m so excited for our friends at Ecovative Design. They have recently won the 500,000 grand prize at the PICNIC Green Challenge in Amsterdam a few weeks ago. I’m absolutely ecstatic for Eben and his partners!

I stopped by Troy, NY back in August at the beginning of my cross continental journey into nature to visit Eben at his Ecovative office on the Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute campus. I had recently become fascinated with the mycelium substance that they’re using to … that’s right, grow… a polystyrene substitute. As many of you know, polystyrene, also known as styrofoam, is one of the most non-biodegradable products made by man, and utilizes a ridiculous amount of to produce. It is a peak product of egoic, ecological destructive manufacturing that must be eliminated from our supply chain and environment.

Ecovative Design’s flagship product, Greensulate, combines local agricultural products with cellulose to form a particulate that is then bound together using the magic of mycelium. The finished product is a grown biological composite. The world’s first sustainable rigid board insulation that serves as a direct replacement for polystyrene. This is fascinating stuff!

Here’s an endorsement of PICNIC by President Clinton that I thought was interesting:

Also, here’s some sci-fi mycelium perspective for you:

1) The largest and oldest living organism in the world is a mycelium patch in eastern Oregon

2) If we were to terraform Mars, we would start with mycelium (fungi) in a symbiotic relationship with algae to make the soil inhabitable for seedlings and create photosynthesis to oxygenate the atmosphere.

3) More and more studies are showing that this stuff is natures neural network and that our minds have evolved from it! Check out Paul Stamet’s book Mycelium Running for more info or his TED talk on 6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World… this is going to be big.

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