How to: Decorate more sustainably

A new exhibition in the Donghia Materials Library, part of the Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons School of Design in New York, showcases more than 40 biomaterials that have the potential to replace fossil fuel-based plastics.

It includes some of the most innovative products either in development or already in the market, accompanied by research on both the benefits and challenges of using them as replacements for petroleum-based products. Lab co-founder Jonsara Ruth shares information about some of the new materials in the pipeline.

“The choice of healthy materials used to create everyone’s homes can slow climate change, dramatically reduce toxic pollution, and improve the health of communities,” said Ruth.

Agropene is foam made from seaweed, so it is free of petrochemicals and biodegradable, and has a low carbon footprint. It can be used as an alternative for upholstery foam. Photo courtesy of Jonsara Ruth.
Duracryl is made primarily from castor oil, linseed oil and cork. It acts like a poured epoxy or terrazzo floor and can replace vinyl or luxury vinyl tile, which is toxic across the supply chain. Photo courtesy of Jonsara Ruth.
Bolt Threads makes a biodegradable silk-like fiber from a fermentation process of protein to mimic the elastic, durable and soft silk made by spiders. Photo courtesy of Jonsara Ruth.
Real Milk Paint is made from lime or potassium silicates and casein, a protein found in milk. It can be used in place of acrylic or latex paints, which contain potentially toxic ingredients and add microplastics to oceans and waterways. Photo courtesy of Jonsara Ruth.

See also:

Related Posts