Janine Benyus helped bring the word “biomimicry” into 21st century vocabularies. What is biomimicry? Let Benyus explain in this video.
Janine Benyus helped bring the word biomimicry into 21st century vocabularies in her 1997 book on the subject. Her company, The Biomimicry Group, encourages biologists at the design table to ask: how would nature design this? She says our human society will create a more sustainable world in part by emulating the natural organisms all around us, which have already gone through billions of years of trial and error to find elegant and amazing solutions to process and design problems.
In May Slovenia will host an international conference, “Embracing the Circular Economy”, with top experts from Circular Economy “Hot Spots” in the EU
Photo: Ladeja Godina Košir
Europe currently loses around 600 million tonnes of materials which could potentially be recycled or re-used in waste each year. The European Commission (EC) estimates that waste prevention, eco-design, re-use, and similar measures could bring net savings of €600 billion or 8% of annual turnover to businesses in the EU.
The ongoing quest for renewable energy takes a lot of cues from nature, and here’s one more. A team of scientists from Denmark’s University of Copenhagen has developed a “reverse photosynthesis” process that turns biomass into fuel using the sun’s energy. It’s essentially the opposite of what plants do by converting sunlight into chemical energy – and it could lead to new industrialized forms of clean energy that give fossil fuels a run for their money.
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced. Flooding, storm surge, and sea level rise are serious threats to natural resources, infrastructure, and human communities in coastal areas. In effort to adapt to these changing conditions, planners and policymakers should consider nature’s strategies when developing coastal resiliency plans to protect communities from increasing coastal erosion and flooding due to rising sea levels.
The recent Paris agreement sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to below 2°C. However, given the high concentration of carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere, the climate will continue to change (see Figure 1), impacting both human communities and the environment.
The water hyacinth may look like a harmless, even beautiful flowering plant — but it’s actually an invasive aquatic weed that clogs waterways, stopping trade, interrupting schooling and disrupting everyday life. In this scourge, green entrepreneur Achenyo Idachaba saw opportunity. Follow her journey as she turns weeds into woven wonders.
A working circular economy could be a practical solution to the planet’s emerging resource problems. Here’s 10 facts you should know.
1. Why do we need one?
The circular economy is touted as a practical solution to the planet’s emerging resource crunch. Reserves of key resources such as rare earth metals and minerals are diminishing, while exploration and material extraction costs are rising. The current ‘take-make-dispose’ linear economy approach results in massive waste – according to Richard Girling’s book Rubbish! published in 2005, 90% of the raw materials used in manufacturing become waste before the product leaves the factory while 80% of products made get thrown away within the first six months of their life. This, coupled with growing tensions around geopolitics and supply risk, are contributing to volatile commodity prices. A circular economy could help stabilise some of these issues by decoupling economic growth from resource consumption.
Do you want to live healthy, and have joy in life? Do you want to be an entrepreneur, and figure out how you can make a difference? This is not about the good and the bad, this is about how you can do it better.