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Linen biodegradation project

simple science experiment kit

Get your

Below, you can request the supplies you'll need to participate in the Shirt to Dirt citizen science experiment!

(First time hearing about this? Read the full project description here!

This page is just for one version a bigger project.)

What's our goal?

Together, our goal is to better understand how long it takes linen fabric to biodegrade.
You and I will create the first visual database of linen degradation. Along the way, we'll share the project goals and outcomes with our communities. 

How will it work?
I'll send you linen fabric squares that you'll bury anywhere outdoors. Every two weeks, you'll dig one up and upload a photo of the degradation to our online database. How quickly will yours turn back into dirt?!

Where and When?
No matter where you are in the U.S., you can be a part of this project by participating in the 8-week experiment, anytime between May and September 2023 (no science experience is necessary)!

experiment kit

Linen biodegredation project

This project is donation-based. Join for free, or chip in a couple of bucks to help me cover shipping costs. 

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This kit includes

  • Five 2.5"x 2.5" squares of linen fabric (one for reference, and four to bury)

  • Four wooden popsicle sticks with labels to mark your burial spots

  • A guided instruction book, which will give you quick and easy instructions for burying and uploading photos

  • An invitation to our group's Facebook page

your job:

Linen biodegredation project
Linen biodegredation project
Linen biodegredation project

4. Upload your photo on the Charlie Darwin submission form

2. Dig one up every 2 weeks!

Linen biodegredation project

3. Take a photo of the fabric on our photo template card

1. Bury all 4 fabric squares

5. (optional) Share your photos on social media!


Instagram: Use the hashtag #shirt2dirt and tag @charli.e.darwin

Facebook: Use the hashtag #shirt2dirt and tag @Charliedarwinco

6. Repeat steps 2-4 biweekly until all four squares have been dug up!

what to do after you request your kit:

  • You will be automatically subscribed to the Shirt-to-Dirt email thread. Check your email inbox for our first note to you!

  • You'll be asked to answer a couple of quick questions so we can get to know you better.

  • Your kit will be hand-packaged and shipped out within 2 weeks. You'll receive an email when it's on its way. 

  • When you receive your kit, read the instructions provided, and please follow them closely so we aren't adding too many crazy variables to our experiment! 

  • Once you upload your first photo (of your burial spot), you will be automatically enrolled in biweekly email reminders to do your next dig & photo upload.

Sound like fun?
come get your hands dirty with us!

Linen biodegredation project
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