Nature is the TRUE Genius

Nature’s got the right idea, but humans are slowly starting to pick up on it. This is a true emphasis on “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. The waste in our society could be used to extract as much opportunity as possible. This is part of the prep work assigned by sustainability educator, Emilio.

In urban environments, there’s a lot of waste produced by us. What if we take what is “trash” to us and find out how we can make the most out of it and benefit the urban environment? I’m not too familiar with the idea, but from what I’ve seen in the TED Talk by Michael Pawlyn, it seems to be a very interesting idea that can be full of merit. The idea of biomimicry really stood out to me because we can use nature as a model for how we deal with waste within our own “ecosystem”. In short, it’s an opportunistic look on “waste” and “trash”. Here are some ideas/facts that really stood out to me from the talk.

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Interesting Facts/Ideas

  • Playing by nature’s rules can result in saving a lot (“factor 10, factor 100, maybe even factor 1,000”) in resource and energy use.
  • In nature, the waste of an organism becomes useful for another organism within the system.
  • Some cases create this “closed-loop model” where the cycle keeps going in using the waste created to address other issues. For example, restaurants gave cardboard to horses for bedding, soiled cardboard to create more worms to be fed to Siberian sturgeon to create caviar that made its way back the restaurants. People save and gain from this system of closed-loops. They create opportunity for the community by taking the waste and using it for something else.

…it suggests that we could actually transform a big problem — waste — into a massive opportunity.
So you can see that we’re bringing together cycles of food, energy and water and waste all within one building.

  • The more vegetation we lose, the more that’s likely to exacerbate climate change and lead to further desertification.
  • In mature ecosystems, there are symbiotic relationships. So an important biomimicry principle is to find ways of bringing technologies together in symbiotic clusters.
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