As discussed in the documentary WASTED!, nearly half of the crops America harvests are tossed in the trash. Arup, an engineering firm that has experimented building with non-traditional materials, recently released a report exploring the idea of taking food waste and turning it into building materials.
In the “The Urban Bio Loop,” Arup connects the wastefulness of both the food and construction industries. They propose an effort in making recyclable building materials from food waste to lessen the amount sent to the landfills.
For instance, the remnants of sugarcane harvest can be mixed with fibers to create boards that can be used in building furniture, floor and fiberboard. Corn cobs can be sandwiched between boards to be used for walls, doors and furniture. Rice husks can be made into cinder block-like blocks, potatoes into insulation, banana leaves into carpeting and pineapple into leather. Boards can also be made with waste from sunflower, wheat and peanut harvests.
Using this information as a foundation for future construction could greatly help in the fight against food waste. Until then, we’ll have to be happy with pineapple leather and yarn weaved from oranges.
h/t Fast Company