From the outside, the Life Box looks much like any cardboard packaging. In fact, it's exactly the kind of container I expect merchants to ship goods in. More than just a regular recyclable box, however, it offers a secondary function that more actively performs planet-saving duties - you can use it to grow over 100 trees. Huh?!?
Invented by mycologist and mycomimicry advocate Paul Stamets, the design is rather straightforward. It's a box made from recycled paper, laced with approximately 100 tree seeds. Each of the seeds are dusted with mycorrhizal fungal spores, which protect and nurture them once the shredded paper fibers are planted on soil, allowing you to literally start a forest right in your own backyard.
Manufactured by Planted Planet Productions, the boxes can be made to practically any dimension, which means it can replace regular cardboard packaging for everything from refrigerators to books. It weighs nearly the same as equivalent traditional packaging and contains a seed mix that has been approved by the US Department of Agriculture for planting in the whole continental United States.
Obviously, this is packaging that boasts seriously green credentials, probably more so than any other you can find in the market. However, the extra materials and manufacturing step means this tacks on additional cost too. Judging from the pricing, the extra expense ain't peanuts either.
You can order a single Life Box for between $30 to $50, with pricing for bulk orders likely to be more negotiable. It's considered a project in development so large-scale orders are probably not on the table.