Heroes of the 21st Century

Biomimicry – Look it up!

Behind the Episode: Biomimicry – Look it Up!

Biomimicry is an absolutely fascinating field in which scientists, engineers, architects, urban planners and many others look to nature for cues on how to do things better. 

The basic idea is this:  The traditional ways in which we humans make the things we need (fuels, rubbers, plastics, dyes, glues, structural materials, etc…) require tons of energy and far too many toxic chemicals. And they produce endless streams of waste and pollution.  Nature, on the other hand, has devised ways to make the same “products” in ways that are highly efficient, non-toxic, and that create only reusable “waste.”

And so as experts search for ways to redesign human-made systems that will be more sustainable, and that help fight against climate change, they are increasingly looking to nature for ideas and inspiration.

And it’s not just about individual products or manufacturing processes. Natural “systems” (a forest, a grassy plain) are incredibly complex systems in which they parts all work very well together.  And so people are also looking to nature for ideas in how to better design cities, transportation networks, and so on.

The Biomimicry Institute has been a hub of information about biomimicry for many, many years.  It’s the perfect place to start your journey if you want to learn more:



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