Manufacturing interacts with climate change on a number of levels. On the one hand, it requires energy to manufacture goods, so it is currently a source of greenhouse gasses. On the other hand, the materials used can ALSO be a source of CO2. Advances in manufacturing can take the form of reducing energy costs, changing energy sources, or materials that either replace carbon-intensive ones, or even act to pull carbon out of the atmosphere at some level.
This company uses mushrooms, grown in molds, to create materials for packaging, insulation, car parts, structural building materials, and even surfboards. Not only does their product require relatively little energy to create, it replaces other, more energy-intensive products, and has a wide range of applications.
A Dutch designer has developed a way to convert beetle wing casings—made mostly of chitin—into a kind of bioplastic. Given that a number of people are trying to develop ways to farm insects for food, chitin-based plastics could turn out to be a major part of manufacturing in the future.