Million Miles Technologies

This startup makes carbon-neutral wood from fallen trees


A few years ago, Ben Christensen, who had been working at the intersection between forestry and climate science, had just completed a visit to a wood waste property in his native Albuquerque. What he saw there was expected: seemingly infinite piles of logs waiting to be mulched and discarded — a common destiny shared between the 36 million trees that fall each year in and around U.S. cities.

“From a carbon perspective, you’re pretty much making it as efficient as possible for that wood to off-gas and turn into methane,” Christensen tells Mashable. Not far from the waste site, he noticed that a local grocery store was selling chopped firewood from Estonia. “And I thought, What are we doing? We’re throwing away wood from half a mile away, and we’re shipping it in from 5000 miles away.”

Christensen describes this anecdote as the genesis of Cambium Smart Wood, a startup he co-founded alongside Marisa Repka and Theo Hooker. Their mission is to help decarbonise wood-making by salvaging fallen trees, and to significantly reduce the number of actors (and kilometres) within the supply chain by keeping it all local.



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