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Biomimicry: 12 sustainable design ideas from nature

Heartening examples of ways in which nature is influencing the products and systems we build

Janine Benyus, Founder and President of the The Biomimicry Institute, provides a great look into in the ways in which nature can, and is already, influencing the products and systems we build.

Bit of a long intro – the meat starts at about 10:30 – but definitely worth the time.

  1. Self-assembly. Take a lesson from how life shapes itself: by adding information to matters. Imagine, for example, spraying a PVC with an organic substance that can  create a layer of solar harvesting material.
  2. CO2 as a feed stock
  3. Solar transformations
  4. The power of shape
  5. Quenching thirst. Learn how certain animals pull water out of fog, or out of air.
  6. Metals without mining
  7. Green chemistry. Replace industrial chemicals with life’s ‘recipe book’.
  8. Timed degradation
  9. Resilience & healing. Create vaccine that lasts without refrigeration.
  10. Sensing & responding. Learn how to avoid collisions when speeding from fish and bats.
  11. Growing fertility. Producing food like a prairie is different from industrial farming.
  12. Life creates conditions conducive to life.

Organisms that have been evolving for billions of years have figured out ways to pass their genetic materials on without destroying their living space. Human beings, one of the youngest species on earth, should learn from them.

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