There seem to be plenty of misleading "green" companies out there. We have no idea if Dell computers is one of them. What we do know, however, is that they're trying hard to appear as eco-friendly as possible.
Instead of only using good old reliable (cheap) plastic bubble wrap presumably shipped from halfway across the world, their latest press release hails a bold new experiment: "Dell is announcing the beginning of a pilot for mushroom based packaging." The first tech company, they note, to ship products in shroom-cushioned packages.
This makes sense: mushrooms appear to be pretty soft. And when cotton hulls are inoculated with mushroom spawn, they grow into a perfectly capable packaging cushion within five to ten days, according to Dell. Bonus: "There's no need for energy based on carbon or nuclear fuels." Adds the company's senior packaging manager, "We've tested the mushroom cushioning extensively in the lab to ensure it meets our same high standards to safely protect our products during shipment--and it passed like a champ."
The only potential drawback for mushroom based packaging?
As Forbes Jeff McMahon notes, there's no word on the relative cost of harvesting mushroom cushions as opposed to just buying bubble wrap from your local paper supplier. In case you're interested in ordering a mushroom container, however, the company plans on rolling out the shroom-packaging on select orders of PowerEdge R710 servers. "It's not something we just want to start sending to our customers," McMahon notes the packaging manager explaining. "That would be surprising."
Exit question: For parents of small children, does the presumably enhanced safety of mushroom packaging make up for losing a solid half hour of bubble-popping distraction?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.