A Good Business Thanks To Bad Beetles

ImagePhoto: The New York Times

What’s the latest way to recycle trees? Repurpose them as Apple accessories. That’s what Montana property owner Larry Lipson did when 22,000 of his trees became ravaged by mountain pine beetles (MPB). The bug epidemic affected much of his 37,000 acres, but Larry didn’t respond the same way his neighbors did. Instead of burning the wood or turning it into sawdust and mulch, he followed his entrepreneurial spirit and created Bad Beetle – a line of wood products for Apple computers, tablets and phones.

The gadget accessories target eco-conscious consumers and feature a unique blue stain that develops from a fungus left by the beetle. While naturally beautiful, Bad Beetle products are also intended to raise awareness about MPB infestations.

Larry’s story teaches us how it’s possible – and sometimes profitable – to adapt to environmental crises beyond our control. Since his bug problem began, his number of contaminated trees has been resolved, and his company sales continue to grow.


– Daejin Youn, Graphic Designer, and Francisca Ovalle, Copywriter

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