Green:??Earth Friendly Doggie-Bag

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We are restaurant people.  We love to dine out but inevitably have leftovers that we want to bring home to savor for a late night snack or lunch the next day.  The only part of this whole scenario that makes me cringe is the styrofoam to-go box that most restaurants use.  I try to be as earth friendly as possible and styro is totally NOT an earth friendly option especially when you eat out as much as we do.  This BPA free box is a happy compromise and since it is insulated, your leftover lunch  will stay nice and toasty once it has been reheated!
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Give: KLUTCHclub

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I love receiving gifts in the mail and discovering new products! Who wouldn’t, right? With KlutchClub‘s monthly box o’ surprises you get just that…a box filled with little “presents” of new products for you to discover and fall in love with.
Here is a sample of what the lucky gals received this month.

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Right now through Rue La La, you can receive 2 months for the price of 1!! If you are not a member of Rue La La, follow this special link to join for free!

Oh and one more thing…did I mention that they have these fun boxes for guys, too?!?  Talk about an easy, no brainer gift for that special guy in your life!!

Eco-Alternative for Styro packing material…hooray!

GREEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Turns out that mushrooms — great in soups and salads — also make decent packaging material.

Gavin McIntyre, left, and Eben Bayer, co-founders of Ecovative Design, with some of their eco-friendly packaging materials.

 

By Mike Groll, AP

Gavin McIntyre, left, and Eben Bayer, co-founders of Ecovative Design, with some of their eco-friendly packaging materials.

 

By Mike Groll, AP

Gavin McIntyre, left, and Eben Bayer, co-founders of Ecovative Design, with some of their eco-friendly packaging materials.

Mushrooms are a key ingredient in pale, soft blocks produced by the thousands in an upstate New York plant. The blocks are used to cushion products ranging from Dell servers to furniture for Crate and Barrel.

More precisely, the packaging blocks are made with mycelium — the hidden “roots” of the mushroom that usually thread beneath soil or wood. Two former mechanical engineering and design students in their 20s, Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre, figured out how to grow those cottony filaments in a way that binds together seed husks or other agricultural byproducts into packaging shapes.

  • Workers at Ecovative inoculate mycelium into pasteurized bits of seed husks or plant stalks, then place the mix into clear plastic molds shaped like the desired packaging pieces, such as a cradle-shaped mold for a wine bottle.

The mix is covered for about five days as millions of mycelium strands grow around and through the feedstock, acting as a kind of glue. The piece is heat dried to kill the fungus, insuring that mushrooms can’t sprout from it. Since the mycelium is cloned, the product does not include spores, which can trigger allergies. The packaging is edible, technically, though it doesn’t look appetizing and isn’t recommended as a snack.

Similarly, Crate and Barrel contracted with Ecovative as part of a push to reduce packaging and cut reliance on expanded polystyrene, a commonly used packing material. The home and furnishings company has a pilot program using the mushroom product for corner blocks to cushion a large room divider with shelves.

Ecovative’s products cost slightly more than expanded polystyrene, says Crate and Barrel executive Aaron Rose. But Dell’s Campbell called the difference negligible and said cost would come down as production grows.

In contrast, Ecovative’s product breaks down in six to nine months and is OK to throw on a compost pile.

There are other “green” packaging alternatives, such as starch-based packing peanuts made from grains. But Johnson said sustainable packaging alternatives that depend on potential food crops are likely nonstarters.

Ecovative recently announced a deal with Sealed Air to accelerate production, sales and distribution, and Bayer and McIntyre are starting to branch out beyond packaging. The young visionaries — Bayer is 26, McIntyre, 27 — talk about roofing material that can repair itself and a mycelium alternative to plastic office furniture. They already have contracts to work on footwear and material for car bumpers.

Essentially, if something is made of plastic, they believe there’s a decent chance it can be made of mushrooms.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Way to go Gavin & Eben! Finally a solution to “peanut” problem:) The above article was edited by Verum Vita enabling a quick read.