~~ Free Energy ~~

I have enjoyed the past four weeks of class, I am happy we learned more in depth about biomimicry. I find it fascinating that we can learn so much from nature. Nature is the key of our existence. Creating environmentally sustainable projects can be challenging; I feel as though if we were to sit back and observe nature we would find ourselves very inspired.

~Michael Pawlyn is an established leader in biomimicry; his TEDtalk consisted of explaining innovative ways to approach sustainability. He talked a lot about how we can use nature because it is already so genius. One of the three habits of nature that stuck out to me was drawing energy from the sun. This concept has been around for years and is just now being properly implemented. We can use the sun so much more than we do, it is like free energy.

-~The Benyus reading was information and helped me to open my mind to the idea of getting hands on with nature. Using an organism to do something is bio-assisting. When you learn something from an organism and apply it, that is biomimicry. There are organisms that have already solved the problems we are trying to solve.

  1. Gather and use energy efficiently- we have sunlight and wind provided so we should use these renewable resources
  2. Shop Locally- we should be shopping in our local stores for food, yes some food we can’t get simply because of us not having them available in the area. It helps our city when we shop and support our local farmers. As larger corporations move into our small towns it is so important that we shop smart and stay local.
  3. The third reflection from this article that I am going to reflect on is use waste as a resource. This really stands out to me because I feel like I see so many things that are wasted. Certain products are packaged so tightly and have so much extra packaging with plastic wrap and it is just wasteful. It uses energy, and the toxic chemicals that are released during the process are bad for our environment.

I think the concept of industrial ecology is rare; using nature as a model to a design in an industrial system. We can reuse man-made materials and objects and recreate something that was even better than the one originally created. Glass bottles are something that can go through an easy process to become fiberglass. Another example is creating a simple piece of artwork.

Life Principles- Evolve to survive, be efficient, adapt to change, integrate development, be locally aware, use friendly processes.  I think these 7 life principles are good to follow. My top two to follow are being resourceful and adapting to changing conditions. Adapting to changing conditions is so important because sooner than later we won’t have an option. We must not get lazy and stay persistent when it comes to recycling and saving energy. Everyone can do a lot by doing a little.

Cradle-to-Cradle. The cradle to cradle activity in class was beneficial

My carbon footprint:

Results-

Home Energy- 35

Driving and Flying- 31

Food & Diet- 3.4

Recycling & Waste- .9

  • The total greenhouse gas emissions of my carbon footprint calculator is 70 tons of CO2 eq/year
  • I am way above the national average for home energy usage. Driving and flying I hit right about average with a comparison of 43.8% to 43.5%. Recycling and waste I was below the national average.

Cradle2Cradle- I really enjoyed the C2C activity, working with a team is so much more fun than individually. Our team came up with making rain gear out of plastic bags and bottles. I think this concept could actually be really cool and fashionable.

My recycle/reuse practice plans are to be way more conscious of the amount of energy we use in the household. Being more conscious of turning off the lights and fans when we leave the house. Another huge thing I would like to work on recycling is the amount of cans and water bottle that we drink at our house. We need to monitor throwing the lids away. I love thinking about new ways to recycle, starting a compost is something I’ve always wanted to do.

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