How Regenerative Materials Will Heal an Overextended Planet

The materials we use to make the products that meet our needs determine the form and function of every one of them. However, humanity is using 1.7 times more natural resources than Earth regenerates in a year – and doing so in a way that surpasses the planet’s ability to repair itself.

We need to rethink the materials we use and how we source and dispose of them. Technology can help us invent new materials that are regenerative and less harmful.

Woman looking at beautiful scenery

In the process, we will get more versatile, less-harmful materials and restore the Earth’s ability to sustain life.

Sustainable alternatives

Sustainable materials are being developed that perform as well or better than those they replace.

  • Plastics: Durable but biodegradable biopolymers produced from food waste, cellulose, fungi, or crushed stone could replace some of the 350 million metric tons of plastics produced each year.
  • Textiles: Fast-growing hemp and mycelium fiber leather can reduce the estimated 148 million tons of waste that the textile industry will produce by 2030.
  • Construction: We can rethink building with ultra-strong “super concrete” and transparent “wood” made from diverted waste streams, and durable carpet tiles made from captured carbon, recycled vinyl, and salvaged nylon.

Replace – and repair

Renewable materials will have astounding new properties.

Actively regenerating the environment

Technology will be key to developing self-sustaining, ecosystem-restoring, and waste-consuming future materials.

Designing beyond durability

Instead of extraction, processing, consumption, and disposal, we will find ways to reuse materials, restore dwindling natural resources, and repair the damage we’ve done. In the process, we will get more versatile, less-harmful materials and restore the Earth’s ability to sustain life.

Learn more about regenerative materials

Read “The Road to Regeneration.”