Education – Biobased Products

Creating sustainable spaces for families to live in is one of the main focuses of my design business, so I’d like to share information that I think is important when it comes to sustainable design this year on my blog for reference and educational purposes. See below how BioBased Product Certification is making a difference!

Before we go any further … what exactly are Biobased Products?

These are commercial or industrial products that are composed, in whole or in significant part, of biological products, including renewable domestic agricultural materials, renewable chemicals, and forestry materials. They would provide an alternative to conventional petroleum derived products.


If you’re not familiar with the BioBased Product Certification program managed by the USDA, find out more here

Below you’ll find an article from Metropolis Magazine with information about recent assistance from the government for those manufacturers who create sustainable materials.

With Help From the Federal Government, Biobased Products are Proliferating

Written by Kelly Beamon, September 12, 2020

See the Full Article Here

Surfaces of all kinds are top of mind these days, so we decided to look at all aspects of them, in these articles, from A to Z. Thinking of surfaces less as a product category and more as a framework, we use them as a lens for understanding the designed environment. Surfaces are sites of materials innovation, outlets for technology and science, and embodiments of standards around health and sustainability, as well as a medium for artists and researchers to explore political questions.

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that more than 2,500 construction, janitorial, and groundskeeping products stamped with its Certified Biobased Product label had saved around 300 million gallons of petroleum per year—the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off the road.

This past May, the agency extended loans and other assistance to even more biobased manufacturers as a part of a final rule issued under its broader Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program. Additionally, by requiring that federal agencies and contractors purchase these items, which are derived wholly or in significant part from forestry, marine, animal, and agricultural resources, the program also creates a steady market for sustainable materials.

Clearly, these incentives, climate concerns, and a proliferation of data on the benefits of plant- and animal-based materials are raising their status from novelty to mainstream staple. The amount of atmospheric carbon that plant-based materials such as wood, straw, and cork sequester as they grow can even outweigh the carbon emissions generated by their processing.

To fully appreciate the growing currency of biobased products, consider that when French researcher Maurice Lemoigne developed the world’s very first bioplastic, polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), in 1926, his work was ignored for 50 years while manufacturers chose cheaper, more abundant petroleum-derived versions. It took the 1970s oil crisis to spark renewed interest in healthier, sustainable resources, just as it has taken extreme climate change to bring about today’s biobased offerings. Let’s hope this third time is the charm.

Where can these products be found?

BioBased Products are available in almost any category you’d be looking for from baby toys to cleaning solutions to linens for your home to the construction materials and fabrics for your new construction home or home renovation.

Here’s a catalog maintained by the USDA with a cataloged list of businesses and items that qualify. Visit Catalog Here

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