Green Materials Lab Workshop: Temporary Materials

Tuesday Sept. 12, 2017 , 5 to 8 p.m.
Temporary material workshop

Many of the materials we encounter in daily life are experienced on a temporary basis - we use them once or twice, and then they're gone. Materials such as packaging foam, bubble wrap, shrink wrap, plastic cutlery, take-out cartons, and paper cups - though lumped together as disposables, have widely varying life cycles. Depending on their material composition, products can decompose over time or remain for hundreds of years. 


This workshop explored alternative materials for temporary uses. Oliver Campbell, the Director of Procurement at Dell, discussed the company's efforts to develop ocean-plastic packaging, replace styrofoam inserts with mushroom blocks, and implement locally sourced bamboo pulp packaging for their products manufactured in China. Neil Kaufman, Sustainability Coordinator of the Division of Housing and Food Services, talked about UT's efforts to make the switch to compostable food packaging from. And, Daniel Reyes, founder of Myco Alliance, led in a hands-on workshop in which participants grew their own mushroom mycelium blocks.


This workshop is part of a five-part series called Green Materials Lab, funded by the 2017-18 UT Green Fee. Green Materials Lab workshops introduce interdisciplinary efforts in sustainable materials, and promote learning through hands-on activity.