We did use the heading from Geek.com, but that really is the most succinct way of putting things. Dell has gone green with its packaging. They have used mushrooms and wheatgrass, which is totally worth the applause, and then they have even managed to harvest the power of the cow fart, and make it environmentally friendly.
Using cow farts for packaging may sound humorous, but it is an excellent move from a sustainability viewpoint. Methane from cow farts is a major pollutant, and reports have gone as far as to say the cattle are responsible for roughly 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, a figure that puts them above cars on the list.
Methane from cow farts is used in the creation of AirCarbon, a completely green mineral. For the creation of this material, carbon is extracted from the methane cow fart, and is mixed with air. While this particular case was based on cow farts, other sources of methane like landfills could also be put to use.
It is definitely a stunning technology, but more than that, it is admirable for what it manages to accomplish. AirCarbon is plastic created in an environmentally friendly manner, without the use of oil, stops pollution from entering earth’s atmosphere, and ends up being cheaper than the usual process.
Wheatgrass used in the packaging is a byproduct of wheat farming, and has absolutely no commercial use for the farmer. Which means, they end up burning it to get rid of the material. Now that wheatgrass is being bought to create biodegradable packaging that is less intensive on the environment, farmers would happily part with it. Dell and YPFJupiter, the company that supplies Dell with the wheatgrass packaging, say there is enough wheatgrass readily available and the packaging requirements can be easily met.
Next on the list is mushrooms. Dell’s packaging on shrooms is sourced from mycelium, the root system of mushroom growth. Since the valuable part for the farmer is the mushroom, they are more than happy to part with the roots for the packaging. The second component needed for this packaging is mushroom spawn.
Both components are mixed together in a mold, and as the mycelium has enough nutrition for the spawn, the spawn grows and fills up the space in the mold to take up its shape, and become a protective packaging. Owing to its components, the packaging feels like mushroom skin, but looks like polystyrene. It is completely biodegradable, flexible, and a flame retardant. These are the best qualities you could look for in a packaging material.
In review, Dell’s new packaging seems amazing. Not only because it is environmentally friendly, but because they have managed to go about it the right way. The raw materials needed are sourced from waste product that has no value, and would likely end up being a pollutant. In a very simple way, the packaging is stopping waste from reaching the environment, and getting rid of problems that usually plague packaging.