As a countdown to the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting at Davos, we’re profiling all 30 of our fellow 2011 Tech Pioneer award winners. Check our full profile series to learn more.
What they do:
Ecovative creates products that are like plastic–except better. Ecovative’s EcoCradle packing product, for example, is just like Styrofoam, except it doesn’t require any oil or gas to produce, and it won’t sit in a landfill forever. Instead, EcoCradle is made from seed husks and mushroom roots and will naturally break down when you’re done with it. You can compost it, or, if that’s too crunchy-granola for you, just throw it out. Packing peanuts made of mushrooms? What a wonderful world this is.
Why it’s cool:
Did we mention that they make mushroom-plastic? But seriously, think about how many products use Styrofoam (the fancy name for it is epanded polystyrene or EPS foams). Hint: it’s a lot–$100 billion dollars worth in the U.S. alone. Making those foams depletes fossil fuels (which are already running out)–and once the products are made, they never go away. Hello, large and unsightly landfills. Ecovative’s products eliminate the need for these environmental enemies–and give you one less reason to feel guilty about the online shopping purchases piled at your front door.