This week was another eye opening week of information and things we can do better in our world. The TED talk: Using Nature in Architecture showed how amazing nature is and how we have so much to learn from it. Using biomimicry can solve many problems we face in the our biosphere. Finding a way to incorporate a natural way of doing things into a current world of a very unnatural way of doing things will benefit our future and give us more time on the Earth. To make the Earth better for our future we need to change from a fossil fuel economy to a solar economy, from a liner to a closed loop ecosystem, and increase resource efficiency.
These ideas closely relates to Benyus’ Closing the loops in commerce. Benyus talks about ten approaches to sustainability. One of them is gather and use energy efficiently. This meaning that we need to use more solar energy (which was also an important concept in the TED talk). Natural systems use energy to maximize diversity so the can be more efficient in terms of mineral and nutrient recycling. This is something that we need to strive for. Another approach is to use materials sparingly. This is pretty self explanatory. We need to build for durability but not overbuild and waste. This can be shown in the way cars are being built. Cars are becoming more sleek and compact which cuts down on the amount of material used. Building for multifunctional uses is another way we can save materials. This is becoming more important in the way we build furniture. There are some furniture pieces that can be turned from a table to seating to a couch. Another way to save materials is the concept of leasing. We originally only think about leasing in the sense of a car or home, but opening the idea to other things such as clothes, technology, and other things can cut the amount of waste each individual has. Benyus also talks about using waste as a resource, which is another approach that can be taken. This is the idea of closing the loop in a ecosystem. An example given was a town in Denmark. This town has four companies that all use each other to help another. One companies waste is used to produce for another company. This is what every ecosystem should strive for.
This idea of using waste as a resource closely relates to C2C (Cradle to Cradle). This is the concept that a product is designed to function efficiently while also being designed to breakdown at the end of its lifecycle and that every part can be upcycled or repurposed. This is an important concept for designing for the future. This is helpful for designing for interiors because there is so much furniture that is wasted and not reused. Finding ways to reduce the waste is something that has to be done.
All of these ideas I have discussed also relate back to the Life Principals we read about. There are six life principals, evolve to survive, be resource efficient, adapting to changing conditions, integrate development with growth, be locally attuned and responsive, and use life-friendly chemistry. To me, I feel as though adapting to changing conditions is the most important for people to understand. In all aspect of life its important to adapt to what is needed in the particular time or area of life. We have to accept what’s happening in our environmental and make the necessary changes to sustain out lives and the future.
As the weeks go on in this class I am reminded that there is so much more I can be doing to reduce my carbon footprint. I do recycle but don’t do as good of a job as I should. I also have realized that I need to stop buying so many things that I don’t actually need. There was a documentary I watched recently about minimalism, which greatly changed my perspective on spending and the way I live. Being more minimalistic is the way we live can reduce so much waste we have each year.