For this assignment we used Damon’s living space as a place to test what was happening. Our mycelium trash can is still growing because it caught mold when we tried making it last, but we put the mold in his apartment to see how his roommates interacted with it.
Look: The roommates did not pay much attention to it. The mycelium can was placed directly next to a regular trash can in the common living area much how a recycling bin would have been placed. One of the roommates did ask why this second can looked like it had “seeds” in it. It was later explained to them the concept of our project and he liked the overall idea, especially being that it looked like another normal trash can until a closer look was given.
Ask: Damon has a friend that studies Biology at the University of California, Berkley that we asked for this part of the assignment. His feedback was positive and he expressed that if mycelium can indeed devour plastic then it could easily change the landscape of how society disposes its plastic. He did express concern with having a live fungi in a person’s home and said that it may be a better idea to have it as a larger can that sits outside a person’s home and people come collect it every week like any other type of compost system.
Try: We tried placing the mycelium can in different spots both outside and inside the home. Some spots such as close to water or an eating area were places that probably should not have a live fungus such as mycelium near it. Outside seems to be the best place for this project.
Learn: The biggest take away from this is seeing how this may affect a home’s natural state when introducing mycelium to it. Because mycelium is still in it’s early stages of development, placing it in the home may cause unforeseen circumstances to arise. Also since our mycelium can is rather small, it went unnoticed in quite a few places, so it definitely would need to increase in size to catch people’s attention. Overall, the feedback we got was that this is definitely a project that would benefit a lot of people. Disposing of plastic in a natural way such as this is appealing to everybody that heard the idea because of the well known fact that plastic is destroying our oceans and our environment in general.