packaging-the-future

Amazing Natural Packaging: Eggs – What Makes Them So Tough Anyway?

Amazing Natural Packaging: Eggs – What Makes Them So Tough Anyway?

However you feel about eggs - love 'em fried with onions, hate 'em in anything, or are morally opposed to consuming them at all - one thing you can't argue about is that they are an incredibly effective

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Designer Aaron Mickelson Shows How a Product Can Be Its Own ‘Disappearing Package’

Designer Aaron Mickelson Shows How a Product Can Be Its Own ‘Disappearing Package’

In the case of each product, Mickelson sought out a method to eliminate the package altogether, producing a no-waste packaging solution that is still aesthetically pleasing. In the case of Glad trash

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Brazilian Fast-Food Chain Cuts Waste By Serving Up Burgers Wrapped In Edible Paper

Brazilian Fast-Food Chain Cuts Waste By Serving Up Burgers Wrapped In Edible Paper

A Brazilian fast-food chain has introduced a clever solution for customers tired of having to unwrap their hamburger before eating it: edible packaging. As part of a marketing campaign designed to

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Packaging the Future: Edible Wrappers, Containers and Bags (Yum?)

Packaging the Future: Edible Wrappers, Containers and Bags (Yum?)

Here at Inhabitat we've been hoping for, and advocating, biodegradable packaging for years, but now designer entrepreneurs are thinking even bigger; how about packaging one could actually consume? Turning

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Amazing Natural Packaging: Cork, a Sustainable Classic

Amazing Natural Packaging: Cork, a Sustainable Classic

Photo: Background pattern of wine bottles corks via Shutterstock If you are involved in the creative community, you will have noticed the slowly-but-surely growing preponderance of cork as a material

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Packaging the Future: REI “Unpackages” Five of Their Popular Products

Packaging the Future: REI “Unpackages” Five of Their Popular Products

“Before” example of a kids Novara bike: Smarter, lightweight packaging means most of the waste above is eliminated. According to Eric Abraham, REI’s packaging engineering manager, the

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Egregious Packaging Hall of Fame: Fast Food Restaurants That Defy Waste with Savvy, Sustainable Packaging

Egregious Packaging Hall of Fame: Fast Food Restaurants That Defy Waste with Savvy, Sustainable Packaging

One in four Americans eats at least one meal a day in a fast food restaurant. Besides it being an arguably high-calorie and low-nutrient choice (processed food loses vitamins and minerals at each step of

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Packaging the Future: Can Plantable Seed Paper Give Way to a Blooming Garden?

Packaging the Future: Can Plantable Seed Paper Give Way to a Blooming Garden?

A memorial plant Card by Botanical Paperworks I didn't think about my experiment through the fall and winter, and by springtime, I had forgotten I'd even planted the seed embedded paper. But then an

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Egregious Packaging Hall of Fame: Why Toilet Paper Needs a Redesign

Egregious Packaging Hall of Fame: Why Toilet Paper Needs a Redesign

Image via Wikimedia Commons TP's Sustainable History In the past, (and commonly today, in developing nations) people used their hands and water after they did their 1's and 2's - and in fact some

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Packaging the Future: Is Boxed or Bottled Wine Better for the Earth?

Packaging the Future: Is Boxed or Bottled Wine Better for the Earth?

Photo © Chris Willis You might be wondering what the heck is wrong with using a glass bottle for wine anyway? Well, not that much -- if your wine is from down the street, ie. very local. Plenty of

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Packaging the Future: Three Packages Worth the Resources They Use

Packaging the Future: Three Packages Worth the Resources They Use

In my column ‘Packaging the Future’, I’ve looked at the myriad ways the materials around us contribute to environmental pollution and human health issues (from manufacturing, use and

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Amazing Natural Packaging: Human Hair as Packaging?

Amazing Natural Packaging: Human Hair as Packaging?

I've always had an overabundance of hair; when I was a little girl my grandma taught me to pull the wads from my Mason Pearson and throw it out the window. I lived on the end of a dirt road in a deeply

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Packaging the Future: Could Paper Take Plastic’s Place?

Packaging the Future: Could Paper Take Plastic’s Place?

In our convenience-obsessed culture, no matter how many articles about slow food are passed along online or liked on Facebook, fast and easy vittles are still king. And most everything fresh in

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Compostable Packaging Test: Natureworks Ingeo Corn Cups

Compostable Packaging Test: Natureworks Ingeo Corn Cups

The corn cup, moments before I took it out to compost. I went to the website for the cups, which are made by Natureworks, and my initial frustration with the fact that the cup hadn't broken down was

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Packaging the Future: Micromidas Makes Biodegradable Plastic from Sewage

Packaging the Future: Micromidas Makes Biodegradable Plastic from Sewage

Right now, 8% of the world's oil is used to make plastics -- and oil has to be extracted from the belly of the earth using extremely energy and cost-intensive processes. At the same time, the world's

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Packaging the Future: Biodegradable Planter Pots for Spring Gardening

Packaging the Future: Biodegradable Planter Pots for Spring Gardening

Over the last decade there has been a dramatic increase in the availability of biodegradable plant pots, and I'm finding them everywhere from my beloved Gilbertie's Herb Gardens (which sells locally

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Amazing Natural Packaging Design: Human Skin!

Amazing Natural Packaging Design: Human Skin!

Many of us don't give our skin much thought -- except when it seems to betray us. Teenage acne, painful sunburns, scratchy winter dryness and mosquito bites alert us whenever our body's largest organ is

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Packaging the Future: Poop Paper is Some Useful Shit!

Packaging the Future: Poop Paper is Some Useful Shit!

When I mention paper made from elephant poo (or dung, if you prefer), most people get a horrified look on their faces. (If you've already heard of the paper, what was YOUR first reaction?) Everything from

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Packaging the Future: The Road to Greener Packaging at Ben & Jerry’s

Packaging the Future: The Road to Greener Packaging at Ben & Jerry’s

Despite the fact that Ben & Jerry's was bought by Unilever a while back, it has still engaged in some pioneering work -- from encouraging customers to oppose GMOs to donating thousands each year to

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Packaging the Future: Banana Leaves as Natural Packaging!

Packaging the Future: Banana Leaves as Natural Packaging!

Nature has had millions of years to come up with perfect natural packaging solutions -- brilliant designs made from elements as simple as water, sun and nutrients that keep liquids wet, protect cargo

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Egregious Packaging Hall of Shame: Plastic Bags Truly Do Suck

Egregious Packaging Hall of Shame: Plastic Bags Truly Do Suck

Each year nearly 380 billion plastic bags are used in the US -- any only 7 percent of them are recycled. The plastic scourge clogs waterways and takes hundreds of years to break down into smaller plastic

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Compostable Packaging Test: Do Bambu Plates Breakdown?

Compostable Packaging Test: Do Bambu Plates Breakdown?

While they’re definitely an attractive set, have you ever wonder how compostable Bambu brand bamboo plates really are? This week in Packaging the Future, we’re thrilled to bring you the latest

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Compostable Packaging Test: Bambu Plates Breakdown

Compostable Packaging Test: Bambu Plates Breakdown

This week we're thrilled to bring you the latest installment of our Packaging the Future compost tests, where we break down the real-life biodegradability of eco packaging. Although I started this series

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Packaging the Future: Fluffy Natural Packaging!

Packaging the Future: Fluffy Natural Packaging!

So far in our Packaging the Future series we've explored how nature solves the packaging problems of strength, buoyancy and moisture-retention (coconut shells), tough-but-flexible protection (wombat

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Egregious Packaging Hall of Shame: Styrofoam Packaging

Egregious Packaging Hall of Shame: Styrofoam Packaging

By now we’re all privy to the environmental pitfalls that come with using styrofoam - so why in the world is this material still so prevalent? Known to boast a biodegradability factor of just about

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Egregious Packaging Hall of Shame: Styrofoam

Egregious Packaging Hall of Shame: Styrofoam

Photo © David Gilford Styrofoam is one of the world's most environmentally unsound packaging materials - not only does it stick around in the environment forever (I'll never forget swimming around a

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Packaging the Future: Packaging Reuse – What a Concept!

Packaging the Future: Packaging Reuse – What a Concept!

Recycling, reducing, and composting are all important concepts when it comes to more sustainable packaging design, but reuse, the second directive of the 'reduce, reuse, recycle' mantra has thus far been

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PACKAGING THE FUTURE: Inspiration from Ants!

PACKAGING THE FUTURE: Inspiration from Ants!

Thus far in our Packaging the Future Series, we've looked at how plants (coconuts) and animals (Wombat butts) can serve as inspiration for planet-friendly packaging. But insects, with their tough,

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Egregious Packaging Hall of Shame: Electronics Packaging!

Egregious Packaging Hall of Shame: Electronics Packaging!

If there's one thing that non-greenies and enviro-heroes can agree on, it's that the way that most electronics (and their concomitant accessories, additional parts and hardware) are packaged is really,

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Packaging the Future: Amazing Mushroom Packaging!

Packaging the Future: Amazing Mushroom Packaging!

Fungus amongus! Mushroom filler is fire resistant and biodegradable Mushrooms are amazing. Not only do they tasty-up pizza, pasta, soup and salads; not only are edible 'shrooms pretty much calorie-free

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