If you’re trying to be more eco-friendly this year, you’re not alone.
But it can be tricky.
For example, a lot of products, even otherwise green products, still use a lot of disposable single-use plastic.
But there’s a research project that aims to replace that plastic wrapping with a completely biodegradable version made from cranberries.
Yanyun Zhao is a professor of food science at Oregon State University who studies material compositions; in other words, what stuff is made of.
One time she was touring a juice company’s operation and saw the leftover cranberry mush.
It’s often used as animal feed or sent to compost piles, but Zhao thought it could be more useful than that.
So she started working with her students to figure out what it could be.
They’ve come up with a plastic-like but completely plastic-free film that could serve as product packaging.
It’s anti-microbial and sturdy, so it could protect fruits and vegetables that are now wrapped in plastic.
It’s also versatile: Zhou’s team has turned their film into a substitute cupcake liner, for example.
And because the only additional ingredients come from other food polymers, it’s completely edible and dissolvable.
You could open up a package of ramen, fill the bowl with some hot water, and then toss in the packaging.
Vollebak is back with another thought-provoking clothing item.
The company now has a solar-powered winter jacket that gives off a green glow in the dark.