[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/31/art.eben.jpg
caption=”Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre, both 24, created an eco-friendly replacement for Styrofoam.”]
We all use Styrofoam and don’t realize it. Beyond packaging, it’s in the tables we use and the airplanes in which we fly. We’ve long heard, though, that it’s not the most environmentally friendly product, taking 10,000 years to break down. Enter two 24-year-old innovators with some mushroom roots and seed husks.
Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre are the co-founders of Ecovative Design, a company that builds a completely organic and natural Styrofoam replacement. In non-scientific terms, they grind up seed husks and glue the small pieces together with the mushroom root, yielding a product that’s natural and completely compostable. Unlike other sustainable inventions, like ethanol, their product doesn’t come from anything humans or animals can consume, so their materials are available in abundance.
The two now run a 10-employee operation that is fueled primarily by grants and scientific competitions that have brought the young men upwards of $1 million. “If you have a passion and a vision and something that you know is attainable, drop everything and go for it. Don’t keep your side job because your concentration and focus will be deterred. Follow your passion,” Gavin says.
Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview
Who in your lives have you gained inspiration from that has led you down the entrepreneurial path?
Great! I wish some day we get rid of Styrofoam in this world.
Hmmmm mushroom packaging, and they recommend not to keep our jobs.
I’m so inspired! You guys are doing something amazing–congrats and good luck and many wishes of success to you! I know that I will DEFINITELY use your products.
I can’t believe these people! I love people that rock! Down with the old.
I HATE styrofoam! and I bet tons of companies will be chomping at the bit to say they ship with ‘green’ packaging… amazing idea guys
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Way to go guys! you really have taken an idea that people would not even consider and turned it around creating a brand new avenew for your selves and adding a brillieant dimension to packaging materials making it a win win situation for every one and also for mother nature.
I really wish you guys the very best in your endeavour and i am really looking foreward to you guys solving more issues that are affecting the invironment. So good luck and take care.
eco- frienldy product need to keep on being produced in order to make the world a cleaner better envirmoent for all of us living on it today, we need to clean the mess that we have generated so far before it to late.