I found the lecture on biomimicry and IE so interesting because there were many new concepts that I had never put much thought into. The first concept was that of an industrial ecosystem. Usually when we think about ecosystems we only think about the ones that were taught to us in our general education biology class. But this concept takes that and mixes it with industrial processes and buildings and shows where things go from the plants and animals and the industrial plants.
Michael Pawlyn’s ted talk made me think about waste and changing it from a linear system to a loop by biomimicry. A looping system takes the waste and loops it back through the system again and again making it sustainable rather than a linear system that after the waste is created it is put in a landfill or disposed in a bad way that hurts the environment rather than reusing the waste. Most of the time these closed loop models also create more value which is good for everyone involved.
The three tenets I want to focus on from the reading are, using waste as a resource, gather and use energy efficiently, and use materials sparingly. The first is using waste as a resource. I think this is an incredible thought that we should already be incorporating more than we are. In my daily life, the best way I can think to implement it is instead of buying fire starters in the winter use waste like paper plates and things to start the fire place. Next is gather and use energy efficiently. I think this means we just need to watch the amount of energy we are using o gather other sources of energy. The thing I can think of first off is splitting wood by hand for my fire place instead of using a chainsaw so that I’m using my own bodily energy instead of fossil fuels. Last, is use materials sparingly. I think this just means we need to using all our resources sparingly and maybe stop using some resources all together like fossil fuels for example. I’m going to use my fireplace for an example again but I feel like I use resources like electricity and gas sparingly by heating my house with wood instead. I’m also using a renewable resource.
I learned so much from my peers in class. It was interesting to see how people interpreted the reading. Some of my peers interpreted it the same and some interpreted it totally different and I think that this made me open my mind up to how many different possibilities that we can utilize to make our lives more sustainable.
My current recycling practices are using a large recycling bin issued by the city of Stillwater. I also compost things like fruits and vegetables to make a fertilizer for some of my flowers and flowerbeds. I also have a wood burning fireplace. I use a renewable resource to heat my home in the winter instead of fossil fuels or electricity. This is sustainable and saves me money so it’s a win-win for everyone.
Life’s principles are principles I think we should all live by and should strive to become better at. My favorite principle is integrate development with growth. This ties into biomimicry and I still find it fascinating that one day we could basically be growing our buildings from the ground up like a baby starts out in the womb. There are other things that tie into this principle like self-organize which I am trying to get better at as well and I have been excelling in this semester.