From Cradle To Cradle: Ecovative Design's Acorn™ Packaging

What happens to all the packaging inside of all the computer and printer and cell phone boxes? The preformed foam plastic, the peanuts, the bubble packaging, the sponge sheets...  Waste in landfills, toxic waste.

Ecovative Design, as in eco - vative, is the brainchild of two recent graduates of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre, young start-ups themselves who decided to create a sustainable business from cradle to cradle.  They chose an area that could use some re-engineering, or a total makeover --expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging.

Ecovative Design hasn't given EPS a total makeover; its Acorn™ Packaging looks similar and performs the same way as EPS.  It can be cut or molded just like EPS. Acorn is comparatively priced, but other than that, Acorn is a totally different product. 

Acorn is made from all natural organic products, agricultural waste products that happen to be available wherever the packaging is being produced. Right now that is in Troy, New York. But as Ecovative Designs puts it, "... a factory in Texas or China might use rice hulls, and a factory in Virginia or Spain might use cotton husks and soybean hulls."

The company is careful to point out that there are no allergens in the Acorn packaging, as the byproducts used do not contain any spores. The manufacturing of Acorn uses one-tenth of the power needed to produce EPS packaging, and every effort will be made to grow and manufacture Acorn packaging in the region where it is sold, so as to keep production costs down and to keep its carbon footprint to a minimum. 

So what do you do with Acorn Packaging when it surrounds your new home gym or shipped furniture?  Anything you want.  Reuse it.  If you can't reuse it, the best thing to do with it is spread it in your garden or use it in compost.  Send it to the landfill; it will decompose and go back to the earth, where it came from. Cradle to cradle.


(check out Ecovative's other product, Greensulate™ Organic Insulation too!)