Did you know that there are more trees on the earth than there are stars in the Milky Way? I didn’t until this week in Sustainable Design. I also learned that biomimicry is “an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time tested patterns and strategies. The goal is to create products, processes ad policies – new ways of living – that are well adapted to life on earth over the long haul.”
The first TED talk was by Janine who is incredibly knowledgeable. She knows so much that there is to know about biomimicry! She spoke about how biomimicry is inspired by the nature of the world. She talked about how life makes things. This is through heat, beat, and treat. Life adds information to matter which gives is a function that is different without that structure. The second TED talk was Michael Pawlyn’ who is a genius when it comes to sustainable architecture. He focused mainly on using energy that was given by nature to inspire his projects that could help the environment. I thought his idea about putting the greenhouse in the middle of the city so inspirational. Not many people think out of the box and would put something so diverse and environmentally friendly in the middle of something that is completely opposite. If there were more Michael Pawlyn’s in this world, I do believe it would be a better place.
It is good to use nature as a model, measure, and mentor. Looking constantly at natural capital and human capitol, It is the focus of the entire system. The jacket we are wearing goes all the way around the system. Just like in the Ted talk, how everything went around the system. I have used the asknature.org website before in Problem Solving Strategies, so I was familiar with the biomimicry articles and such that are in the website. I still think that it is very interesting, and they are still adding every day to it. People are so open minded with how to create sustainable products with the thought of nature as the inspiration. We also looked up asknature.org in class to find solutions to a few problems we needed to form in class that could be sustainable.
Janine Benyus had written an article over closing the loops and a few tenants that I thought were interesting were diversity and cooperate to fully use the habitat. We covered how the animals need to work together because competitiveness isn’t always the best thing. Working together can be so much better and can save energy. Another thing was don’t foul their nests. This started with the snake venom law which is that snakes only produce just the amount of venom to attack. Just like the snake, we talked about in class about how in order to save energy and resources we could produce things hour by hour and that way we will not nest out. Another point that caught my attention was don’t draw down resources. This includes wood, plants, and chemicals. There are nonrenewable resources everywhere that we aren’t fixing much of, nonrenewable resources from such as gas in cars. We can get fuel from corn, but we need to learn how to manage our resources better. We need to be creating a pull system instead of a push system. This would allow us to only create the amount of resources for the time being. There would not be a huge excess of nonrenewable resources.
A thought I have on using a systems perspective is that with industrial ecology, you are looking at the entire system. Something we talked about in class was the earth ship in Taos, New Mexico. This was completely made of the recycled tires for the whole entire building. It even has a wind unit with solar panels all over. Regardless of our major we need to come back to what nature would do. Something that I am trying to do better is instead of buying water bottles; I’m just using my own water bottle. This is saving the world from a little more plastic, one bottle of water at a time. I have also looked into the creating water bottle things from DIY videos to see if there is anything cute that you can make out of your old ones. There are some quick fixes to upcycle your water bottles.