The Wonderful Paul Stamets Life Box
By James Donahue
Anyone familiar with the work of Paul Stamets recognizes him as the world specialist in studying and
providing a Certified Organic source for both gourmet and medicinal mushrooms.
Stamets has shown through years of research that there are amazing varieties of mushrooms growing
all over the world, often right under our noses that he believes have the capability of keeping us healthy and even healing
the Earth. He has, for example, found mushrooms that consume toxins and turn the soil back into rich healthy loam.
Researching the effects of mushrooms, fungi and mycelia from his family-run company, Fungi Perfecti,
Stamets has written books and papers on his findings. He believes various fungi have the ability to not only break down toxic
wastes, but deliver new medicines, filter water, reforest the land and provide healthy food for the world.
Stamets has invented a simple way of distributing about 100 different seeds of trees dusted with fungal
spores that symbiotically protect and nurture the seedlings. It is called The Life Box. It is simply a cardboard box that
can be used for shipping industrial products anywhere. But within the sides of the boxes hide the seeds and spores, just waiting
for a chance to grow.
Instead of tossing the used boxes into the trash and hauling them off to landfills or recycling centers,
recipients of the Stamets Life Box are instructed to soak it, sprout the seedlings, and then plant them in a place where they
can flourish and grow into Mycelium-friendly forests.
The same concept is reportedly being used to provide healthy, non-GMO vegetable gardens for people
living in urban areas.
Making these special cardboard boxes isn’t as easy as it sounds. Stamets says he spent years
searching for a way to do this after discovering that mushrooms have a friendly relationship with cardboard. He has used mulched
cardboard in his garden, which led to the idea of manufacturing cardboard boxes hiding seeds and mushroom spores.
The problem was that the normal manufacture of cardboard involves a heat process that kills living
seeds and spores. After working with a manufacturer that uses a cold glue process, Stamets said he finally had a way of producing
the Stamets Life Box.
The cardboard used is made of cardboard sheets glued together with the seeds and spore packed in between.
It is a simple concept and one that is helping Earth friendly people all over the world use the boxes to help regenerate our
Stamets says his company can manufacture Life Boxes at prices competitive with other corrugated cardboard
manufacturing firms and is attempting to expand the business. He says he considers this a last-ditch effort to head off a
threat of a major extinction that appears to be sweeping our planet.
"We’re seeing a massive loss of species, diversity and forests, with climate change occurring.
I’ve been to several cities that I believe have committed ecological suicide," Stamets said. "I think the Life Box is
an elegantly simple way to empower anybody and everybody to do something about climate change, and to really tie themselves
back into nature."