From biodegradable plastics to non-animal leather, mycelium has often proven its incredible potential to support a number of industries in transitioning towards sustainability.
Now, a startup called NetZero wants to make your lawn a bit more climate-friendly by using mycelium’s ability to draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it into the ground.
Their simple solution consists of mycelium orbs which look an awful lot like bath bombs, but instead of throwing them in the bathtub, you dissolve them into the water that goes to irrigate your lawn. Once in the ground, the dissolved orb inoculates your yard with mycelium, the thread-like feeding structures of fungi, known to capture atmospheric carbon.
According to Fast Company, one NetZero inoculation is expected to last 10 years and allows the average-size American yard to absorb a ton of CO2 out of the air every year. If all the 40 million hectares of lawns in the US were to use a NetZero mycelium ball, our yards could go from capturing 650 million tons of carbon every year to 1.3 billion tons.
Just like bath bombs, the orbs also come in different shapes and colors, from mushrooms to the Earth to a 20-sided die. “A lot of times people shut down to climate solutions because it’s so overwhelming or doom-and-gloom or shame-based,” says Joseph Kelly, NetZero’s founder. “We want to make it fun.”
What’s more, the inoculation process is soil-friendly, non-toxic, and requires almost no maintenance though, for obvious reasons, you wouldn’t be able to use fungicide on your lawn anymore.
NetZero is preparing to become the subject of a Kickstarter campaign that launches in 11 days, and says its orbs will cost $125, though people can register early for the campaign here and get an orb for $69. Part of the sales of the orbs will go to fund the Sacred Rivers Climate Project.