Eben Bayer of Ecovative has just announced a new partnership with Ford to create compostable car parts from mushrooms.
Instead of wasting an enormous amount of energy and oil to make plastic or styrofoam, the New York-based start-up uses agricultural waste to create biodegradable parts and packing materials.
The fungus-based parts for Ford — automotive bumpers, side doors and dashboards — will be fireproof and waterproof. Best of all, if buried in soil they would decompose within one month.
His 26-year-old co-founder and chief scientist, Gavin McIntyre, says, “You would be able to compost your car.”
Ford, which already uses soy-based foam for seat cushions, wants to replace about 30 pounds of petroleum-based foam per car with eco-friendly alternatives.
Computer-maker Dell, with its goal of eliminating 20 million pounds of packaging material from its shipments by the end of 2012, announced this week that it will use Ecovative’s mushroom-based packaging to ship a line of its computer servers. In 2009, the company began using bamboo to cushion some of their electronics.
The eco-friendly packing material is just as sturdy as traditional foam, says Dell — and just as economical, according to Ecovative. Visit their website for more information: www.EcovativeDesign.com.
READ more in CNN-Money and WATCH the Planet Forward video to see how mushroom parts are made.