Of all the ways humans have thought up to deal with the excess carbon in our atmosphere, this one caught me most by surprise: use the extra carbon to make shoes.

We should call it the Mars Blackmon plan to stop climate change: it’s gotta be the shoes!


This is a real project: shoe giant Nike is involved, through a partnership with a biotech company called NewLight.

The process starts with ocean microorganisms that take carbon and oxygen and turn them into a polymer called polyhydroxybutyrate, or PHB.

Newlight has been developing a way to dry the PHB into a powder that can eventually be melted into solid forms they call AirCarbon.

They’ve used that material to make and sell a range of products from wallets and purses to cutlery.

Shoes are next.

And not only are the shoes carbon negative, they’re also biodegradable!

We’ll have to see how the name AirCarbon works, though.

I can’t think of a time when the name Air helped sell a lot of gym shoes, can you?

Oh wait.

If it’s green space you’re after, check out the work of Victoria Rose Richards.

She takes parts of the world and puts them into her needlework.

The artist from England embroiders overhead views of moors and other parts of the countryside.

Nike Is Designing Biodegradable Sneakers Out of Carbon (Interesting Engineering)

Landscapes (Futility Closet)

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Photo by Sam Beebe via Flickr/Creative Commons