I have to admit, being the computer geek that I am, the idea of buying a pre-built Dell isn’t really something I’m likely to do anytime soon, but a recent story about the company’s packaging practices does give me a little more respect for them. And if you’re thinking of bringing a Dell into your home, maybe this will make you feel a little better about it, too.
GreenBiz has the scoop on Dell’s multi-year plan to reduce package sizes (and hence reduce shipping costs), but also move toward more sustainable packaging material, including compostable bamboo as an alternative to plastic in its notebook and tablet shipments, as well as — get this! — mushroom-based padding material instead of foam peanuts to protect its servers during shipping.
There’s a link to an earlier story about the latter, which details exactly how the mushrooms are used:
Ecovative makes the packaging by taking waste like cotton seed or wood fiber, and adding mushroom roots, which digest the waste and take its shape in a mold. “All the energy needed to form the cushion is supplied by the carbohydrates and sugars in the ag waste,” Campbell wrote.
The packaging for Dell grows in five to 10 days. Dell will use cushions made through the process to protect its PowerEdge R710 server four-packs.
That’s bananas! (I don’t mean, like, literally bananas, but kooky, in a weird and wonderfully sustainable way.)
Head over to the source story for more deets, as well as a nod to three other companies experimenting with plant-based shipping materials. And for more info on alternative packaging materials straight from Dell, check out their links about bamboo and mushroom packaging.