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Emerging Thoughts: “Growing” Your Own Consumer Goods

Is Living 100% Waste-Free Consumer Life Possible?

Christopher Mims over at Fast Company showed us some emerging thoughts in technology that caught our attention: using microorganisms to literally “grow” the products we use everyday. 

OK, we admit, the initial reaction to the thought of drinking coffee out of a mug that was produced by E. coli bacteria incited the “ick” factor among many of our staff members, but the ramifications of this thought process really amazed us.

Imagine for a moment using this technology to produce products that we use every day – like a water bottle – but one that is “grown” rather than manufactured with plastics.  That’s right – 100% biodegradable all-natural product that has limitless resources to produce.  Imagine having that favorite bowl or cup you loved as a child but accidentally chipped or broke being able to miraculously “heal” itself by growing that chip back or even mending a complete break.

Yeah, It's all a little bit weird, but this idea is based on sound science and nature is way ahead of us in doing these types of things every day.  Perhaps what intrigues us the most is the thought of being able to “grow” your own products rather than relying on a manufacturer to make them, and then being able to recycle what’s left over – much like we do with the food in our own gardens. 

Well, it’s a neat thought, and it will be interesting to follow this technology through its development lifecycle.  We’ll just have to try to forget about that “victimless leather jacket” made out of mice stem cells that ultimately had to be euthanized.   Thanks for bringing us back to reality, Christopher.

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