Your carpet can be like a forest and your furniture like mushrooms

The natural environment provides carbon sinks, and the built environment can, too.

If you’re familiar with the term “carbon sink,” you know it is very important in the fight against climate change. Many elements of the natural environment, like healthy forests and soil, keep carbon dioxide in the ground. They even take it out of the atmosphere, creating a negative carbon effect.

What could be better than reversing CO2 pollution? How about manufacturing carbon sinks into our built environment!

Interface, the world’s largest designer and maker of carpet tiles, planned their business around the realization that calcium carbonate could serve well as a building material for its products. The company’s Proof Positive carpet tile stores more carbon than the production process generates. this makes it a carbon sink. Plus, at the end of its useful life, the tiles are easily recycled into new carpet.

Now that your carpet can share something in common with a forest, let’s add furniture made of fungus! A London design firm mixes mycelium with wood chips and plants, and puts it into molds that quickly grow furniture. After drying, the furniture is strong, lightweight, feels velvety, and easily composts when you tire of it. MycoWorks and Ecovative are companies actively offering mycelium furniture and accessories.

Or maybe you’d prefer furniture made of ocean trash and recycled cell phones? Startup Pentatonic is pioneering contemporary, customizable, flat-packaged home-ware made entirely of post-consumer waste. The pieces are fully recyclable, with a buy-back guarantee. Plus, the sci-fi set of your home or office space is sure to start good conversations in your community about setting an example for sustainability.

The choices we make for our built environment can have a huge carbon impact — a positive one if we recognize the materials used as well as the design, before we build.


This brief is a text version of radioBANG episode 1708, available on SoundCloud and iTunes. Please follow our good news in the format you prefer, and join the conversation on Facebook.com/SolutionsInSustainability.

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