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Extending Value: The Life Box

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on July 19th, 2010

Source: Core 77

From “The Life Box: Packaging That Turns Into Trees“:

Now this is some truly brilliant package design: Mycologist Paul Stamets’ Life Box, a simple cardboard box impregnated with a mixture of Department-of-Agriculture-approved seeds.

The Life Box suite of products builds upon the synergy of fungi and plants by infusing spores and seeds together inside of packaging materials that can be planted.  The Tree Life Box is made of recycled paper fiber. In this fiber, we have inserted a wide variety of tree seeds, up to a hundred, dusted with mycorrhizal fungal spores. The mycorrhizal fungi protect and nurture the young seedlings. For millions of years, plants and beneficial fungi have joined together in a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship.

You can get started by simply tearing up the box, planting in soil, and watering.

The fungi “sprout” or germinate to form an attachment with root cells and extend into the soil with a network of fine cobweb of cells called mycelium. The mycelium mothers the seed nursery by providing nutrients and water, thus protecting the growing trees from disease, drought, and famine.

Stamets estimates that 1 tree out of 100 will survive to the 30-year mark, at which point it will have sequestered one ton of carbon. And how’s this for an endorsement: Al Gore is shipping his new book, Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis, in Life Boxes.

Read the full article on Core 77.

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