Ikea is considering shipping furniture with eco-friendly ‘Mushroom Packaging’ instead of Styrofoam

How do you say “fungi” in Swedish?

As part of an ongoing effort to reduce its carbon footprint, Swedish flat-pack furniture purveyor Ikea is reportedly exploring alternatives to polystyrene packaging foam. Specifically, Ikea is considering using a fully biodegradable packaging grown organically from mycelium, a natural part of the mushroom plant.

Mycelium is the name of the specific roots of the fungus that allow it to grow as a system of branched fibers out of the soil where it is planted. If the mycelium is encouraged to grow around clean agricultural waste (like corn stalks), the fibers bind to each other and to the waste product in order to create a solid shape. Drying the fungus stops further growth and the spread of spoils, so the packaging can be used as a finished, safe product instead of a hungry biohazard. And because the growth process can be guided and controlled, mycelium packaging can be completely customized to any shape or design.

ikea considers Ecovative Mushroom Packaging for eco-friendly solution

Ikea is already in conversations with Ecovative, the New York-based firm that invented its own Mushroom Packaging in 2006 and already manufactures it for big name customers like Dell. Mushroom packaging grown from mycelium is completely biodegradable in a compost system or even in a garden or backyard. Compared to the thousands of years it takes for polystyrene to decompose in landfills, eco-friendly decomposition is a big benefit of mushroom packaging.

Environmentalists hope that the positive publicity Ikea gets from making a move towards green packaging will be enough to justify the high costs of many eco-friendly trash disposal solutions. Ikea has already announced many steps they will take in an effort to be more environmentally responsible, including serving vegetarian meatballs in addition to their classic Swedish style because of the dangerous greenhouse gas emissions from meat processing. Despite the fact that Ikea hasn’t officially announced they’ll switch to Mushroom Packaging anytime soon, making the change will definitely help boost their commitment to environmentalism.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Smart Home

These best outdoor security cameras will keep porch pirates at bay

Worried about porch pirates stealing your packages, or intruders entering your home? Always be in the know about who or what is on your property by installing one of these outdoor security cameras.

Apple patents hint at improved Apple Store and unboxing experiences

It looks like Apple is working on ways to improve the Apple Store and product unboxing experiences. The company has been awarded a few patents, largely for tech that can be used in product packaging to ensure products stay charged.

Don't take your provider's word for it. Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.
Smart Home

Smart light switches have become more affordable: Here are the best ones

The ability to control the lighting in your home can have a big effect on your living space. To have more control over your lighting, check out the best smart light switches on the market. 
Smart Home

Update your kitchen with the best refrigerators you can buy in 2019

There are tons of factors that go into buying a fridge, from size and capacity to color. It takes lots of testing and research, but we've chosen the best refrigerators to get you started, regardless of what you're looking for.
Smart Home

Walmart serves up a rare deal on the Google Home Max at $100 off

Some deals are predictable and others are pre-announced, but today Walmart posted a rare deal: $100 off the powerful Google Home Max. Since it rarely goes on sale, waiting may not be prudent. If you want one, grab it.
Smart Home

The best smart locks to increase your home security in 2019

A good smart lock should offer a combination of security and convenience. Fortunately, these devices keep your home protected, your family safe, and your belongings secure from possible intruders.

Suck up the savings with these vacuum cleaners on sale for $100 or less

Keeping your floors clean around the home is a constant chore. To help make things a whole lot easier, we've picked out some great vacuum cleaner deals available right now, from full-sized upright models to robot vacs.
Smart Home

Is your coffee maker hiding mold inside? Here's how to clean it

Are you a coffee drinker? If you brew your coffee at home and you don't clean your machine, you could be drinking mold, yeast, and other bacteria. Here's how to clean your coffee maker.

Walmart drops prices on Google Home Hub and Lenovo smart displays

Walmart slashed the prices of Google Home smart displays for two highly regarded Lenovo models and the original Google Home Hub. We can't think of a better way to improve your smart home setup and these deals can help you save up to $100.

Amazon lowers Echo Dot cost and slashes price of the Dot and Smart Plug bundle

Amazon just unleashed extraordinary price cuts on third-generation Echo Dot smart speakers. The Alexa device is back in stock following the blowout sales last holiday season. The Echo Dot is the best-selling Alexa smart speaker worldwide.
Smart Home

Your Instant Pot can do it all. Research says it has another important function

Researchers at Dakota State University tested a variety of pressure cookers for sterilization and found that Instant Pot provides enough pressure and heat to kill off food-spoiling bacteria.
Smart Home

Need some help? Here's our handy step-by-step guide on how to Airbnb your home

Getting ready to make your home a great rental? Here's how to Airbnb your home with the right amenities, insurance, supplies, and everthing else that you need. Use this guide to get started without making beginner mistakes!