10 of the World’s Weirdest Biodegradeable Products

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Biodegradable products are making a big difference in green living. We’re using biodegradable trash bags, frequenting restaurants that care enough to use biodegradable take-out containers, and have switched to biodegradable soaps – but what about biodegradable cars, clothes, bikes, and motor oil? Take a look at some of the weirdest¬†biodegradable¬†products we’ve come across…

Wooden bike by 16-yr-old Marco Facciola
Wooden bike by 16-yr-old Marco Facciola

Every single component on this biodegradable bicycle was designed and made by 16-year-old high school student, Marco Facciola – right down to the ratcheting system created for downhill coasting. Facciola created the bike entirely from wood and glue as a ‘personal project’ for his academic career.

Grassy mobile phone designed by Je-Hyun Kim
Grassy mobile phone designed by Je-Hyun Kim

Eco-friendly cell phones are already hitting the market, but this biodegradable gadget is made of hay. The phone’s screen and keypad are designed to be recycled, while the rest of the handset naturally breaks down within 2 years. Most of us trade in our cells within that time period anyway, but would a grass phone be durable enough to last a year?

Biodegradable umbrella by Brelli
Biodegradable umbrella by Brelli

Have you ever thought about the landfill litter umbrellas can cause? Brelli obviously did before introducing their biodegradable line of umbrellas. The umbrellas are made of bamboo, featuring a bioplastic canopy. The entire umbrella will decompose within a year-and-a-half to 2 years – although I would imagine that heavy usage would speed up the process.

Biodegradable camera by Sony
Biodegradable camera by Sony

Vegetable-based plastics are used to manufacture the latest eco-friendly camera from Sony and kinetic power eliminates the need for batteries. The Odo camera requires a few seconds of rolling before it’s ready to take a pic, but the quality is supposed to be decent, and the biodegradable casing and lack of batteries is a big plus for the planet.

vernacare-biodegradable-bedpans-liners-hospital
Biodegradable bedpans by Vernacare

Hospitals have gained a bad rep for their traditional eco-unfriendliness. While medical facilities across the nation are adopting greener practices – nontoxic paints and cleaners, solar power, green roofs – Toronto based Vernacare is adding a new option. The biodegradable bedpans are made of old phonebooks and beeswax, they’re not as uncomfortable as cold metal, and when their life is over – they’re flushed down the toilet!

Hemp and potato car by Warwick University students
Hemp and potato car by Warwick University students

The Eco One is a biodegradable sports car, created by students at Warwick University in England. The brake pads are made of nut shells; the tires – potatoes; and the body of the car is crafted from hemp. While the car still uses steel for a durable chassis, the creation aims to be at least 95% biodegradable or recyclable – and boasts a top speed of 125 mph.

Mushrooms Ate My Furniture by Shinwei Rhoda Yen
Mushrooms Ate My Furniture by Shinwei Rhoda Yen

Is it a chair or is it a garden? Maybe a bit of both! This biodegradable furniture is designed by Shinwei Rhoda Yen and grows some variety of mushrooms during its life cycle. The wooden bench is embedded with mushroom spores – not sure if they’re edible ‘shrooms, but the entire chair will compost back to nature when its time is over.

Green engine oil from cow fat
Green engine oil from cow fat

If motor oil was biodegradable…Green Earth Technologies has introduced a new line of biodegradable engine oil – made from cow fat. When it’s time for an oil change, mix the old stuff with a little G-Disposoil and the waste turns into nutrients that are actually safe for the earth. G.E.T. offers a variety of biodegradable oil for boats, ATVs, lawn equipment, and biodegradable car care products.

Pens made of corn by GrassRoots
Pens made of corn by GrassRoots

A trend toward paperless living hasn’t eliminated the need for a good ink pen. ¬†How many of these disposable plastic tubes are thrown out, lost, or otherwise left to litter the planet each day? Biodegradable pens solve the waste problem created by our favorite writing tools. These pens are made of Mater-Bi, a biodegradable plastic-like material made of cornstarch, and will decompose within a year.

Biodegradable running shoes by Brooks Sports
Biodegradable running shoes by Brooks Sports

Stinky, sweaty midsoles are another landfill disaster – typically taking as long as 1,000 years to decompose. Brooks Sports has developed BioMoGo – a biodegradable shoe midsole that can eliminate almost 30 million pounds of trash within a 20 year period.

11 thoughts on “10 of the World’s Weirdest Biodegradeable Products”

  1. Biodegradable is great, as long as these items are disposed of under the right conditions. Residential waste usually ends up in one of two places: an incinerator or a landfill. Landfills today are designed to be capped when they reach their holding capacity. When a landfill is capped, it is sealed off from sunlight and moisture, two key factors in decomposition. Take newspaper for example. Newspaper can be added to your compost pile and it makes a great barrier to prevent weeds from growing in your garden or landscaped areas. At the end of the growing season, the newspaper has broken down, mainly due to exposure to a moist environment. That same newspaper can be put in a landfill and capped. Twenty years later, you could expose that newspaper and it would look like you just threw it away. I've seen it at a major landfill project where a section of a cap had ruptured and had to be replaced.

    The point is, we need to change our habit of just tossing things into our garbage cans for the trash truck to pick up. Corn starch packing materials will dissolve readily in water, but under dry conditions, they'll be around for a long time. Perhaps the degradation periods mentioned above are under landfill conditions, but in my experience, I've seen what happens to items in a sealed environment. If someone knows differently, please share your information.

  2. sorry, but there is absolutely nothing “green” from a fuel made from cow fat…. or from anything made from a cow really.

  3. sorry, but there is absolutely nothing “green” from a fuel made from cow fat…. or from anything made from a cow really.

  4. What we leave in the land-fills are the riches of future generations, the only resource flow they will have, the last great underground treasures on Earth! We must carefully separate and compost bio-degradables into top-soil, that other commodity totally ignored by short-sighted Factory Farms in the U.S.A. We must leave the reminents, the basic tools for humanity to continue once we have eliminated ourselves! Shortly, in the next “Down-Cycle” yes depression is cyclic in a fiat monied Capitalist system like ours, we face likely food and fuel shortages as the noose of the Higher and higher ROI syndrome is tightened around our economy, and the Uber-Rich squeeze a few more % points out of the proletariat! be careful to provide for yourself, and compost all bio-deragables to food producing material, We will need it!

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