Ecovative Design’s Greensulate (building insulation) and Negative Volume (packaging) are manufactured -or rather, grown-from agricultural waste products like rice hulls, which are combined with water, recycled paper and living mushroom cells to create panels that can be used to insulate buildings or protect packages during shipment.
The start-up is coming up with new and innovative ways to think about products and their impact on the environment. Its flagship product, Greensulate, is an inexpensive insulating composite that eventually biodegrades. It even enriches surrounding soil and assists in the breakdown of nearby waste. The sustainable building material is comprised of mushroom fibers, rice hulls and recycled paper. The Troy, NY company is testing its Greensulate to determine its capability to resist temperature change, stop fire and repel water according to the standards set by ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials).
On October 2, 2008, Ecovative Design won $750,000 as the PICNIC Green Challenge prize in Amsterdam. The International Competition encouraged entrepreneurs to reduce CO2 with new innovative products or services. The jury endorsed the company’s vision of their Greensulate material potentially revolutionizing an industry while decreasing carbon emissions on a significant global scale. The material performs competitively with existing products while taking five times less energy to be made and as a result producing ten times lower CO2 emissions.