1,700 words, 5.7 min read
“The planet’s health actually depends on our respect for fungi.” - Paul Stamets
Build awareness of and accelerate mycelium use cases that solve climate challenges.
Mycelium is the vegetative part of fungus. It’s a living organism that consists of a network of filaments called hyphae. More than 90% of plants depend on symbiotic fungi, which supply plants with crucial nutrients and defend them from disease.
Without fungus — without mycelium — all ecosystems would fail. Mycelium connects our entire world and performs incredible, often unseen feats.
However, considering how inconspicuous it can be, fungus hasn’t attracted the same scientific attention that microorganisms, plants, and animals have. Even conventional mycologists are just starting to scratch the surface of the possibilities with mycelium.
We want to spotlight climate technologies that are rooted in mycelium and the climate challenges that innovation in the mycelium space can address.
Why is mycelium particularly exciting as a climate solution? Mycelium sits at the intersection of biology and technology, which allows you to utilize it to really grow a new object. For more on how this process works, explore this video (and skip to 2:45). Importantly, mycelium-based materials can be grown in molds or in vertical ‘farms’ using cheap base inputs such as agricultural waste. Additional key qualities include its versatility, resilience, and its ability to thrive in a wide range of environments.
While there are thousands of applications of what mycelium can do, there are a few key applications that mycelium performs better than many other materials. Here are 3 critical climate challenge areas that mycelium has already started to revolutionize:
(to go deeper on these climate tech challenge areas, checkout our content overview)
The Opportunity: Mycelium based products can replace existing foods and agricultural products that require intensive land use and are heavy greenhouse gas ("GHG")-emitters.
The Opportunity: Mycelium is uniquely malleable and could replace many materials, especially those used in construction, industrial chemicals, and heavy industry that are most taxing on the environment.
The Opportunity: As outlined in the opportunity for Heavy Industry above, GHG emission heavy materials such as concrete that make up much of the world’s Built Environment could potentially be replaced by mycelium based materials.
1. Alternative proteins
2. Plant-based ingredients
3. Edible Mushrooms
4. Cultured Meat
5. Textiles and Fashion
2. Skincare and Beauty
3. Industrial Chemicals
1. Building and Architecture
2. Interior Design
Conserve: Fungi currently only represent a meagre 0.2% of our global conservation priorities. Add your signature to one key petition that can help.
Create: Grow your own mycelium creations with Ecovative’s “Grow-It-Yourself” technology.
Cultivate: Become a Mycocomposite licensee and develop a mycelium facility near you.
Feed the world with mushrooms:
Restore: Become a mycorestoration specialist to replenish contaminated environments. Here are some some great examples to explore:
Save the 🐝🐝🐝: Invasive parasites and the viruses they transmit to honeybees are a pervasive problem. Can we save the bees without chemical treatment? Ideally, yes. Here’s a comprehensive report outlining the vision on how “Extracts of Polypore Mushroom Mycelia Reduce Viruses in Honey Bees”
Evangelize: Become a Reseller of MOGU products to promote adoption of mycelium-based interior design.
Teach: Create your own courses, like this one on how fungi impact nature.
Oh and in case you haven't... 🙃
Open Positions at:
Interested in working in climate tech and not finding the perfect role above? Shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org - we’d love to help.
Other Moonshot Ideas
This concludes our report #0001. Did you learn something new? Did we inspire you to delve into something further? Do you feel the growth happening? We sure do. 🍄🍄🍄
As we continue on our learning journey, we’d love to hear from you and chat further, whether about mycelium, our content, or other ideas you may have. Shoot us a note at email@example.com
We appreciate you, big time,
Gabe & Nick
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