Tree Life Box: A Seed-Sprouting Cardboard Box 8/9/2010 9:34:55 AM

Cardboard production produces the majority of pollutants associated with cardboard. When this product is made, trees are cut down and and turned into a pulp which creates sulfur dioxide emissions. Sulfur dioxide dissolves in water vapor and is released into the atmosphere, where it joins with other gases to create sulfates.

Mycologist and mycomimicry advocate Paul Stamets has released the Tree Life Box. It can be made to virtually any dimension, does not increase the cost of shipping, and the tree seed mix has been approved by the Department of Agriculture for planting in every state in the continental United States (not Hawaii), and Canada. It’s so smart that Al Gore, who is always ahead of the curve, decided to ship his new book ‘Our Choice‘ in them.

The Tree Life Box is made of recycled paper fiber. In this fiber, they have inserted a wide variety of tree seeds, up to a hundred, dusted with mycorrhizal fungal spores. The mycorrhizal fungi protect and nurture the young seedlings. For millions of years, plants and beneficial fungi have joined together in a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship.
The fungi "sprout" or germinate to form an attachment with root cells and extend into the soil with a network of fine cobweb of cells called mycelium. The mycelium mothers the seed nursery by providing nutrients and water, thus protecting the growing trees from disease, drought, and famine.

In March of 2010, Host Defense, the supplement product line from Fungi Perfecti, was awarded the Green Packy Award for Responsible Packaging from the Sustainable Business Coalition and Whole Foods Market’s Green Coalition. The award recognized the Life Box as an embodiment of the three principles of Responsible Packaging Standards: Transparency, Ecological Principles and Extended Producer Responsibility.

To make it work, you just tear up the box, plant in soil, and water. For a more detailed planting guide you can consult the Growing Instructions included with the box—and also available online. You need to plant your Tree Life Box any time within one to two years of receiving. Be sure to keep the box dry while waiting to plant it.

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