This week we talked more about nature as a design inspiration. On Tuesday my group spoke about the Run on Information and how in nature, everything runs on information and taking information in and responding to it. The reading used the example that wolves will howl in certain ways that gives certain information to other wolves, and used the example of how a thermostat will detect the temperature of a home and automatically shut off or come on when necessary, similar to how the environment works in many ways. However we as humans aren’t responding to the environments signs it’s sending when we are hurting it. Businesses need to be more responsible and adaptive to respond to changes in the environment and be able to take that information and make their own changes to improve without waiting for government regulations to require it.
Thursday we focused more on waste and its impact on sustainability. I thought it was interesting to see the key differences in recycling versus reusing and learn about C2C & C2G and the differences there.
Industrial ecology is using nature’s principles/lessons as a model to increase market competiveness and stability with less impact and an increase in natural capital, and is more about the design of the entire industrial system. Yale University website offered information on their use of a Center for Industrial Ecology which is a good example of this.
- Evolve to Survive: Continually incorporate and embody information to ensure enduring performance. Replicate strategies that work, integrate the unexpected, and reshuffle information.
- Be Resource Efficient: Skillfully & conservatively take advantage of local resources & opportunities. Use multi-functional design, use low energy processes, recycle all materials, and fit form to function.
- Adapt to Changing Conditions: Appropriately respond to dynamic contexts. Maintain integrity through self-renewal, embody resilience through variation, redundancy, and decentralization, and incorporate diversity.
- Integrate Development with Growth: Invest optimally in strategies that promote both development and growth. Combine modular and nested components; build from the bottom up, and self-organize.
- Be Locally Attuned and Responsive: Fit into and integrate with the surrounding environment. Use readily available materials and energy, cultivate cooperative relationships, leverage cyclic processes, and use feedback loops.
- Use Life-Friendly Chemistry: Use chemistry that supports life processes. Build selectively with a small subset of elements, break down products into benign constituents, and do chemistry in water.
My Carbon Footprint Value/Recycling and Reusing:
I felt that my carbon footprint was better than expected, I don’t really go out of my way to live in a more sustainable way at this point so I was relieved to find that even with my normal habits I was still under the national average. I could definitely make some changes that would be relatively easy and be able to reduce that number even more. I wish that our apartment complex would provide recycling facilities for us to use to make it easier to recycle, as of now I only really recycle paper, plastic, and cans when I’m on campus and there is a bin convenient, but I don’t really have room for a bin in my own home much less an easy way to take the bin in, where as it’s so easy to just sit my trash bag out to go to the dumpster. It would be nice if the city or apartment would even offer an optional additional charge or something that we could opt in to provide recycling pick up. As for reusing, I have always liked doing up cycling projects, especially on home goods, I’ve reupholstered a chair that was going to be thrown out and other things in my home were redone or reused from friends and family members. I also love finding thrift store or second hand finds, and not only are they reusing and good for the environment, but they are also unique and special.
You mentioned in class about your dreams of going completely off the grid one day in your own home and I just wanted to show you this cool Airbnb I stayed at this summer by the grand canyon. It was a “glamping” experience and was completely off the grid, the owner hauled in his own fresh water and everything. It was a really cool experience. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/12669988?sug=50