In the last decade, destructive mountain pine beetles have spread through North America, destroying millions of acres of forests and billions of trees. The spread of the beetles is fueled by global warming (they thrive in warm temperatures), and unless invasive wasps step up their game and eat more of the pests, the problem will only get worse.
The silver lining of the epidemic is the availability of wood from dead pine trees, and Marco Pimentel has a way to both reap the benefits of the problem and work to end it: gorgeous iPhone and iPad cases made from beetle infested wood.
Based on the Quirky page, where Pimentel is raising funds to bring the design to market, the project is in its early phases. But the photo of the wooden iPhone case is a promising start. Pimentel hopes to sell the cases for $40-50 for the iPhone and $60-90 for the iPad.
His hope is to provide customers with a beautiful sustainable product that will raise awareness of the pine beetle infestation, and at the same time make sure the deceased wood doesn't go to waste. As he puts it, "win-win-win!"