Sustainability

While the material is mushroom-based, MycoWorks creates its rigid patented material by engineering mycelium cells as they grow into 3-D structures that intertwine themselves so densely, it makes a tough material, dubbed Fine Mycelium. The material has the strength, durability, and performance as traditional leather.

 

 

This Mushroom-Based Leather Could Be the Next Sustainable Fashion Material

Currently marketed as a luxury fabric, Fine Mycelium is carbon-neutral and can be grown to order

Other biodegradable bioplastics from algae, cornstarch, sawdust have lower emissions over their lifetime than regular oil-based plastics but still, need the energy provided by the fossil-fuel energy grid to manufacture.

Scientists Made an Eco-Friendly Plastic Using DNA From Salmon Sperm

The material requires 97 percent less carbon emissions to make than petroleum-based plastics

LifeLab Design's WarmLife vests are 30 percent warmer than clothing of comparable weight and bulk.

Innovation for Good

This Apparel Company Wants to Have a Profound Effect on Your Energy Use

LifeLabs Design was founded by a pair of Stanford professors who have developed fabrics capable of cooling and warming the wearer

Smithsonian scientist Genevieve Noyce conducts a plant census in a wetland at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Maryland.

 

How the Smithsonian Grapples With Climate Change

As a hub for research and education, the Institution is poised to help the world find solutions to the global challenge

Coffee leaves cultured in laboratory conditions produced a brewed batch that smelled and tasted like the real deal.

Lab-Grown Coffee Passes Taste Test

Finnish researchers brew batch using a bioreactor for a more sustainable, climate-conserving java crop

Can a machine be taught to understand the plant world?

Innovation for Good

Is This Weed-Spotting, Yield-Predicting Rover the Future of Farming?

The robot, developed by Alphabet Inc.'s X, will make its public debut at the Smithsonian

Transplanting a human protein, known for promoting growth, into crops may engender larger, heavier and more bountiful plants.

Innovation for Good

Researchers Transfer a Human Protein Into Plants to Supersize Them

While a promising route to boosting crop yields, experts say more work needs to be done to understand why the tweak works

Oceanix is gearing up to build a prototype of a 5-acre city for 300 residents in a yet-to-be determined location.

Innovation for Good

In the Face of Rising Seas, Are Floating Cities a Real Possibility?

A scale model of Oceanix City, a concept capable of supporting more than 10,000 residents, will be featured in the Smithsonian's upcoming 'Futures' exhibit

The entrance to Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California.

Fifty Years Ago, Berkeley Restaurant Chez Panisse Launched the Farm-to-Table Movement

'Local, organic, sustainable' are common buzzwords on American menus now, but it wasn't always that way

Oluwaseyi at a Movie screening hosted by her organization in commemoration of Global Recycling Day 2021.

Smithsonian Voices

How Nigeria's Oluwaseyi Moejoh's Conservation Activism Is Spreading Across Africa and Beyond

The founder of U-recycle Initiative Africa, current law student, and all-around force for positive change is a powerful advocate for a sustainable planet

Dune Lankard is embracing a method called regenerative ocean farming.

Facing Warming Waters, Fishermen Are Taking Up Ocean Farming

Called regenerative ocean farming, this model involves growing shellfish and kelp in underwater gardens

Many of the tombs in Japan are elaborately decorated. Nearby visitors can buy flowers, buckets. brooms and other gardening tools to tidy up the graves.

'Tree Burials' Are Gaining Popularity in Japan as Gravesite Space Decreases

In some cities, cemetery plots are the most expensive real estate per square foot

Sourcing her fish skin from Iceland, Elisa Palomino-Perez designs, dyes and assembles her fashion accessories. Bag handmade by Jay Zaccheus.

Innovation for Good

Does Fish Skin Have a Future in Fashion?

To promote sustainability in the industry, designer Elisa Palomino-Perez is embracing the traditional Indigenous practice of crafting with fish leather

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Innovation for Good

Innovation for Good

A look at the researchers, inventors and community leaders who are bringing creativity and ingenuity to today's biggest challenges

Miscanthus is a type of grass that is often grown as a biofuel. Trials in the United Kingdom are now underway to explore the possibility of scaling up biofuel crops like Miscanthus grasses to see if they can help fight climate change by removing carbon from the atmosphere.

United Kingdom Begins Large-Scale Carbon Removal Trials

The $42 million project will test out five strategies for pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to fight climate change

If cats and dogs made up their own country, they would rank fifth in terms of meat consumption.

We Won't Be the Only Ones Eating Lab-Grown Meat—Our Pets Will Too

Pet food companies are looking to the future with cell-cultured meat

Xiulin Ruan, a Purdue University professor of mechanical engineering, holds up his lab’s sample of the whitest paint on record.

Innovation for Good

This Ultra-White Paint May Someday Replace Air Conditioning

Developed by researchers at Purdue University, the paint reflects 98.1 percent of sunlight

Sea beans, otherwise known as sea asparagus and pickleweed, belong to the genus Salicornia, marsh plants that thrive in salty soils.

How One Farmer Is Introducing Americans to Sea Beans

In Charleston, South Carolina, Heron Farms is attempting to grow a gangly, salt-tolerant plant in the face of sea level rise

Regenerative farming, which centers on building soil health, is one promising pathway for decreasing agriculture’s carbon footprint.

To Meet Ambitious Emissions Goals, Large Food Companies Are Looking to Lock Carbon in Soil

But the logistics of moving farmers in their supply chains to regenerative agriculture practices can be complicated

In Singapore, a city-state notoriously tight on space, Apollo Aquaculture Group is building an eight-story indoor aquaculture facility.

An Eight-Story Fish Farm Will Bring Locally Produced Food to Singapore

The massive indoor aquaculture facility is an effort to boost food security for the small island city-state

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