Pyrus – A Wood Alternative Wins 2021 Dyson Award

Gabe Tavas – This year’s Amerian James Dyson Award winner is waging war against deforestation head first with his synthetic wood invention Pyrus. His mission is simple – don’t cut down trees to make wood.

Using Design to Save the Rainforest

Gabe, in his quest to save nature, found a way to strike a balance between nature and design. He came up with a way to create wood by using bacterial cellulose. Bacterial cellulose is the core component of wood. He managed to successfully use that to create an alternative material – the property of his invention inmates exotic woods found in the Amazon Rainforest.

How Exactly Did He Manage to Create Pyrus?

Gabe broke down two essential components of any wood – cellulose, and Lignin. Cellulose provides the basic shape, while Lignin acts as a glue. Gabe managed to use kombucha waste to create wood. Kombucha companies use microorganisms that produce cellulose on top of the liquid. To create Pyrus – Tava blended the sheets of cellulose to an even consistency. He then embedded them into a gel. Once the gel dries, the structure hardens and is then placed under a mechanical press – this press forms a wood-like material. And just like wood – this material too can be sanded, cut, and coated with resins.

How Is This Different From Other Wood Alternatives?

True, there are many companies that are creating wood alternatives, then how does Pyrus stand out from the rest? The answer is sawdust. Companies use sawdust to create wood-like material. And while it is a good option to reuse the already existing wood, slowing down deforestation – using sawdust still requires chopping of trees. Pyrus, on the other hand, completely eradicates the need for chopping wood. Apart from that, sawdust imposes some serious health risks to those workers who are over-exposed to it – in some cases; it can even lead to cancer.

Not only does using Pyrus save the forest – there are no dangerous oils being used for its creation – ensuring no health risk to its creators.

A Goodwill Employee Found $42,000 Among Donated Clothes

Andrea Lessing, who is an employee at Goodwill located in Norman, Oklahoma, made a very surprising discovery at work. As she was checking out the box of clothing donations, she touched something other than sweaters. It turned out she had found stacks of money among the clothes.

Andrea Lessing and the Goodwill VP of Donated Goods Retail, Frank Holland.

The Goodwill Employee Said Finding Money With the Donated Clothes Was Not Very Unusual

While Lessing clarified that people do leave money with their old clothes, this time, she had found a sum that amounted to $42,000. The Goodwill employee added that she was shocked by the finding and decided to alert her supervisor. Shortly after that, the employees used the documentation of the donation to find the owner of the money and return it.

Lessing Said She Had to Return the Money and Be a Good Role Model for Her 6-Year-Old Daughter

Apparently, the decision to return the money was a no-brainer for Lessing. Though she admitted that it was only human nature for her to think about the opportunities the money would present to her, she ultimately chose to be a good role model for her daughter, who is just six years old. Because Lessing was teaching her daughter the value of compassion and honesty, she said that people could not afford not to practice what they preach.

A Goodwill Employee Found $42,000 Among Donated Clothes

The Goodwill employee was also rewarded for her altruism as the owner of the money gave her $1,000 as a token of gratitude. Initially, Lessing was very surprised to receive the money because she did not expect it. She also added that she didn’t expect anything, including being on the news and becoming known to people from different states and countries. Her sole motivation was to do the right thing. It seems Lessing is also a big believer in karma because she said that while a good deed may not come back immediately, it eventually does.

When she was asked what she would do with the money, Lessing said she was planning on taking care of some bills and treating her daughter to something really nice.