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It’s no secret that the world has a less-than-healthy dependency on plastic, which, as it turns out, isn’t a good thing. Even though we have the technology to recycle much of it, lots still ends up in landfills, and worse, in the ocean. And on top of the waste, there’s the danger from the chemicals used to produce the products. It’s enough to make us want to move to the country and live off the land. Of course, that’s a lot easier said than done.

Thankfully, there’s a growing movement in the design and manufacturing world to incorporate fungus (AKA mushrooms) into sustainable products like furniture, home insulation, and packaging. A couple in BC are at the forefront of this technology and have already put their designs to good use by installing a mushroom-based bench at University of British Columbia.

If you’ve ever walked through the woods after a rainstorm, you know just how quickly mushrooms can grow, which makes them a great candidate for sustainable design. Even IKEA is apparently exploring the technology, so you know it’s a big deal. Check out the video above and find how when you might start using mushrooms for more than just a pizza topping.

mushroom