The Life Box is a perfectly normal cardboard box. Sellers can ship goods in it. Receivers can recycle it. But recycling would be a waste, as the Life Box can also be torn up and planted to grow 100 trees.
The makeup of each box is simple – recycled paper laced with 100 or so tree seeds, each dusted with mycorrhizal fungal spores. When planted, the seeds sprout thanks in part to the nurturing fungus. Hopefully, the UPS guy doesn’t get the box wet, or the process might start a bit early.
Right now, Life Boxes are produced on the small scale. You can order up to 100 for your business at an undisclosed price, or a single for $US30-$US50. (Yes, it’s too pricey to consider.) But imagine if a big company – like an HP or a Sony – got behind the idea and funded the process on scale. As inhabitat points out, “a 1-2% share of the cardboard box market in the United States could cover up to 25,000 acres of land per week”. And if only one tree from from any box survives for 30 years, it’ll still suck up a literal ton of carbon.