Ikea looking to local company for mushroom packaging

From Buzzfeed:

Ikea UK’s head of sustainability, Joanna Yarrow, told The Telegraph that Ikea is looking to introduce so-called mycelium packaging because “a lot of products come in polystyrene, traditionally, which can’t be – or is very difficult to – recycle”.

Viky Anderson, Ikea UK’s sustainability projects spokesperson, told BuzzFeed News on Thursday that “mycelium is one of the materials Ikea is looking into, but it is currently not used in production.”

Ecovative, a Green Island company is leading the industry in growing mycelium packaging. Dell currently is using Ecovative for packaging.

You can learn more about mycelium packaging is made on Buzzfeed.

Recordings from TEDxAlbany 2015

TEDx has posted the videos from the recent TEDxAlbany event at Overit. The playlist above contains the 10 talks from the day.

Talks and speakers include:

  • Dr. Valerie Rapson, speaking about STEM education
  • Catherine Hill, speaking about immigration
  • Emad Rahim, speaking about empathy and social violence
  • Chad Orzel, speaking about exotic physics
  • Heather Jacobsen, speaking about nutritional research and dieting
  • Colleen Costello, speaking about the use of light to minimize hospital-acquired infection
  • Jaye McBride, speaking about life as a transgender comedian
  • Ty Allan Jackson, speaking about literacy in low-income regions
  • David Haight, speaking about reversing farmland loss in New York State
  • Sandhyaa Iyengar, speaking about early literacy and its impact on life-long learning

To learn more about TEDx, head to the TED website.

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Ada Harper wrote me to spread the word about the website she’s started,

From the about page: is a site for the Capital District’s urban community to discover events and information relevant to them. It’s a place to start conversations and connect with like-minded people.

My hope for this site is to bring attention to noteable events and positive people in this area. With enough support, I hope to begin having events, so thanks in advance and tell a friend!

Bookmark it, tell a friend, and be sure to check it out.


5-year-old Schenectady arson victim who lost siblings and father wants only cards for Christmas

Two years ago, an act of arson ripped apart a Schenectady family. Safyre, 5 years old, was the sole survivor of the arson, and she has burns on 75% of her body. She lost her father, 32, her brothers 2 and 11 months, and her sister, 3. The internet has been passing around her story and address lately as she has asked for cards to fill her aunts card tree, since they never have before.

From Buzzfeed:

Dolder bought a tree to hang Christmas cards on this year, and Safyre instantly got excited: “I can’t wait to fill it up.” Dolder said her response was, “Honey, that’s probably not gonna happen. We maybe get 10 cards a year, and the card tree holds 100.”

Cards can be sent to Safyre Terry, P.O. Box 6126, Schenectady, NY 12306. You can make a donation to her aunt and uncle, who now have custody of Safyre and have recently lost their primary source of income, via YouCaring.


Sessions at Overit

Overit, who has recently finished setup of their studio has launched Sessions at Overit, a great way to showcase artists and their facility in tandem.

Sessions at Overit is a web series created to showcase international talent in the music industry. We ask bands to perform a few songs in our Albany, NY recording studio and talk a little about what inspires them.

You can view the full sessions on their website. Sessions so far include Philm, Greg Nash, Sit Kitty Sit, John Brodeur, and Owl. I just checked out the most recent session and it’s a really incredible effort on all those involved to create these sessions.

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A 50-acre field in Geneva NY is the worlds largest collection of Apple varieties

From Aaron Lowinger, writing for The Public:

Earlier this month, in a room outside a greenhouse, two men sat beneath a cloud of fruit flies, using oversized knives to cut into the flesh of grape-sized, lime-green fruits. Generically, even colloquially, speaking: southern crab apple. Untold years of research, unknown hours of searching through tough terrain, and no doubt some element of luck have brought these oddly shaped and brightly colored fruits to a USDA research facility in Geneva, New York, where they will be the newest accession to the national apple collection. The USDA’s collection holds around 6,600 accessions representing more than 2,500 genetically unique varieties of Malus, the fruit’s Latin name.

Perhaps due to the monolithic preference for the popular cultivated varieties—Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji, McIntosh, Granny Smith—apples are very susceptible to disease and blight, and require extensive use of pesticides. The collection’s trees are no exception. Researchers hope that somewhere within the near infinite number of possible crosses that can be made from the Geneva apples, horticulturalists will breed apples that are disease-resistant and better engineered for various soils and climates. Fewer pesticides and fertilizers mean a cheaper crop without the negative side effects of animal poisoning and water pollution.

Really wild to know that a place like this exists, and it’s especially interesting after reading all the blurbs at Indian Ladder about apples made at Cornell. If you’re into this kind of thing, check out Episode 627 of Planet Money: The Miracle Apple.