It’s Friday evening as I write this week’s ‘Being Green‘ post. I had the opportunity this past week to watch a webinar on Biomimicry presented by Marie Zanowick, Certified Biomimicry Professional at the US EPA. The talk was called, “Biomimicry in Action: Using Nature-Based Principals to Promote Sustainable Solutions (.wmv file). You can also download the Powerpoint presentation (with notes). This talk was well done, but it wasn’t my first introduction to the idea of biomimicry; that came from two TED talks given by Janine Benyus: “Janine Benyus shares nature’s designs” and “Biomimicry in action“.
Essentially, the idea behind biomimicry is to look at the rest of the planet and see how nature deals with specific challenges, then to adapt those ideas for human use. The results may lead to better ways to capture and store water in dry regions, better ways to manage waste, less toxic alternatives to chemicals currently in use, and much more. People involved with biomimicry start with a question such as, “How would Nature move through the air?” and then come up with different strategies on how this is done. Ms. Zanowick’s talk covered the essentials of biomimicry very well, but I believe she also touched on something important when she asked the ‘opposite’ question – namely, “If nothing else in Nature is doing _____, should we?” It reminded me of the slogan on the ‘3 Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’, and someone suggested adding a fourth – ‘Reject’. If a product is over packaged for example, don’t buy it. If a chemical or process brings harm to living creatures, why use it? Is there a better way to achieve the same result?
When it comes to ‘being green’, understanding and utilizing biomimicry principles is one tool in the toolbox, but it has vast potential to improve the way we interact with the world. Some of the species with which we share this little blue marble have been in existence for millions of years, adapting perfectly to their environments. It would be the height of folly to ignore them.
There are three ‘branches’ to the Biomimicry Group. The Biomimicry Institute is the not-for-profit organization. The Biomimicry Guild is the innovative consultancy that seeks to develop solutions to challenges. One of their projects is ‘Ask Nature – the Biomimicry Design Portal‘. And next spring the Biomimicry Group will be offering an 8-month biomimicry training program called the ‘Regional Specialist Program (BSpecialty-Biomimicry Specialty Program)‘. If you’re not familiar with biomimicry and what answers it may have for the challenges your company is facing, I highly recommend checking them out.
Okay, the links for this week include:
- CSR guidelines incorporated into Norwegian corporate governance code
- Thank you, EPA! | Celebrating 40 years of the EPA’s Service and Leadership | A Project from Green For All
- Green Building Thrives in Shaky Economy
- A breath of fresh air
- SA’s industrial designers face new threats, opportunities
- Pounding Fathers: Making homeland better, one nail at a time
- European Multistakeholder Forum on CSR, Plenary Meeting 2010
- Corporate Social Human Resources: Connecting CSR with HR
- CSR for HR in the UK
- Whale-inspired ocean turbine blades
- How To: Recycle Your Old Gadgets
- Opinion: If the $30 Billion We Give Oil Sands Went to Green Energy
- Cole Roofing’s Green Roof Giveaway
- Canada won’t follow new U.S. plan to slash industrial greenhouse gases: Baird
- Alternative faces of electricity
- BSR: Going Local – Increasing the Value of Local Sustainability Reporting (.pdf)
- GREENGUARD Environmental Institute Launches Campaign to Strengthen IAQ Requirements in LEED, Protect Human Health
- How Critical is Mid Management’s Role in Stakeholders Engagement?
- In Business and Sustainability Leadership: Is fiction a good way to teach business lessons?
- Seventh Generation – When a Succession Plan Does Not Work – Now What?
- Chicago Model City
- Perkins+Will Atlanta tracking LEED Platinum
- 10 Leadership Tips from Eileen Fisher
- NS releases third annual sustainability report
- ILBI: Living City Design Competition
- The profits of goodness
- In Green Building, You Can’t Separate Energy and Health
- Carbon Disclosure Project Releases First Report on Water’s Impact on Business
- What they said at the CSR conference
- Corporate Social…Inauthenticity
- Moving On: Thriving in Tough Times
- Federal Trade Commission Proposes Revised “Green Guides”
- National Australia Bank Group (ASX:NAB) publishes Annual Review 2010
- Communicating sustainability with transparency
- Can Starbucks Really Recycle Its Cups?
- Nigeria to collaborate with US in design approaches
- The Generative Space Award
- Mark Rossolo Discusses GreenGuard Pledge Initiative To Stengthen Indoor Air Quality Standards
- Turning Wastewater Into a Revenue Stream
- Project Haiti: Orphanage and Children’s Center
- The Immeasurable Value of Retaining Women in the Workplace
- Are you a Reuser?
- Campus Green Scene
- Mexico joins ESG index rush with Cancún launch
- Factoring Sustainability in an M&A Scenario
- Sustainability Beyond 2010
- Clorox: Rudimental Simplicity
- What is Your Sustainability IQ?
- LEED Implementation on Campus: Strategies from Higher Ed, Government and Commercial Real Estate – webinar, Dec. 9, 2010
- Network for Business Sustainability News
- CPAWS: Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
- Greenroofs.com eNewsletter
- Planet Green
- Environmental Building News
- The Sustainable Tourism e-Newsletter
- Cascadia Green Building Council News
- Eco-Structure (digital magazine)
- ISEAL Alliance News
- Deltec Homes Round House Insider
- BuildingGreen eNews
- LEEDuser News
- Green Building Advisor eLetter
- Sustainable Facility eNews
- inhabitat weekly news
- Aptera Motors News
- Sustainable Santa Monica Newsletter
- Healthy Building News
That’s it for now. Have a great week!
- The Giving Effect – matches donors with organizations
- Man bikes 25,000 miles promoting kindness
- William Ury: The walk from “no” to “yes” (TED video)- one way to promote peace in the world