Drop some mycelium spores into your watering can, and the next thing you know, your lawn is your own personal carbon offset.
A new company called NetZero wants to make your garden lawn absorb extra carbon, via the power of mycelium, the thread-like feeding structures of fungi. It's early days yet, but this idea - and others, like mycelium creating faux leather (being financed by the likes of Gucci) - looks like it might grow pretty rapidly.
So, NetZero's idea is simple: dissolve one of its mycelium orbs (which look pretty much like a bath bomb) in a watering can or hose sprayer and water your lawn. The orb inoculates your lawn with fungi known to capture atmospheric carbon. One inoculation lasts 10 years and allows, for example, the average-size American garden, which is about a quarter acre, to absorb a ton of atmospheric CO2 every year. If every lawn used a NetZero mycelium ball, founder Joseph Kelly says, the USA could double the 650 million tons of carbon currently captured every year.
Kelly, CEO of NetZero, says he first heard about the carbon-sinking power of mycelium from research on Canada’s boreal forest, which stores 11% of the world’s total atmospheric carbon. Researchers have determined that the expansive mycelium system in the soil is one of the major reasons why.
“A lot of times people shut down to climate solutions because it’s so overwhelming or doom-and-gloom or shame-based,” Kelly says. “We want to make it fun.” It’s also a passive way to absorb more carbon; these orbs don’t change how safe your garden is for kids or pets, and don’t require special maintenance, though -unsurprisingly - you can’t use fungicide on your lawn after inoculation.
If this all becomes reality, isn't it an incredibly easy way to double the planetary good your garden can deliver? OGN will let you know as and when this great idea gets to market.
Fashion Houses Try Mushrooms: Major fashion houses expect to be selling faux leather products made from mushrooms next year. Adidas, Stella McCartney, Lululemon and Kering (Gucci's parent company) have teamed up to invest in a novel material called Mylo, which is grown from mycelium but rivals the look and feel of animal leather. The consortium represents the largest joint development agreement to-date that is aimed at introducing a biomaterial to the mass market. More