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Dan Zemlje nas spomni, da moramo poskrbeti za okolje. Vir: Public Domain Pictures
Dan Zemlje nas spomni, da moramo poskrbeti za okolje. Vir: Public Domain Pictures

Invest in our planet

April 22 is Earth Day. This year it is held under the motto Invest in our planet.

This means that we need to invest our money, as well as our actions, in the greener future of the planet.

Large companies are among the biggest polluters because they often put profit first and not the environment.

Non-organic materials are usually cheaper than organic ones.

Nadzemni del, ki mu pravimo goba, je namenjen razmnoževanju gliv. Vir: Flickr
The above-ground part, which we call a mushroom, is intended for the reproduction of fungi. Source: Flickr

But we also need to have a little imagination to get organic materials. For example, some companies have come up with different fungal products.

The mushroom you see in the woods probably doesn’t seem special to you.

But underground it creates a network of mycelium that can grow hundreds of metres around it.

By carefully regulating the growth of mycelium, bricks and insulation can be made from the fungi. Because the mycelium is very durable, as a glue it strengthens the strength of the material.

Micelij spominja na tanke korenine, vendar strokovnjaki opozarjajo da teh pojmov ne smemo enačiti. Vir: Flickr
Mycelium. Source: Flickr

The process of preparing fungal products is simple.

We only need three ingredients for the brick. Flour that serves as food for fungus, sawdust or any other solid and biodegradable material and fungal spores.

Place the mixture in a mould and soak it.

After about two weeks, the mycelium grows into a brick. The brick is then heated to allow the fungus to die and the brick to dry.

Fungal products are completely degradable as well as durable. We do not need large factories and special materials to make them. We can even use agricultural waste.

Dva logotipa in disclaimer Erasmus+

The properties of the mycelium are different for different types of fungi. Therefor, some are also suitable for making clothes, leather and even meat substitutes.

By investing in such companies, we could secure a greener future.

Glossary

Fungus is the aboveground part of the fungus. Under the ground, the fungus forms a mycelium that serves to absorb nutrients and communicate with other organisms.

Points To Consider

  1. What types of fungi do you know?
  2. Do you remember any other possible uses of fungi?
  3. What does it mean that an object is biodegradable?

***

The original version of this article was published on April 22th.

English translation courtesy of JL FlannerTotal Slovenia News, an English language website with news from and about Slovenia.

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