Biomimicry as a Sustainable Practice

by ky1start on April 20, 2012

Recently, I was listening to KQED radio as I was retuning home from an event. The program referred to as “Natural Magic” was featuring a number of speakers considered bioneers for their work in developing research and practices that are designed to reduce our impact on the planet we live.

One of the most compelling ideas for me was the concept of Biomimicry. This idea seems, on the surface, to be common sense as it looks at how we can implement practices that like nature act in concert with our environment. The idea that we can harmonize our existence with every other life-form seems both farfetched  and somewhat science fiction when you look at how as humans we are consumptive and wasteful.

If we were to truly use our collective minds and technology to mimic the natural environmental systems all around us rather than simply mastering everything we touch, this would be a very different world. Imagine a world with buildings that literally breath using photosynthesis-syle processes to recycle air and waste. Imagine transportation systems that help the movement of wind water and nutrients for plants and animals.

This kind of thinking could open up all sorts of businesses that promote the greening of our planet. I can envision the reengineering of the vast whaling ship fleets into trash eaters that consume and process the endless amounts of ocean wastes (plastic and inorganic trash) back into organic food for microbes that produce clean foods and fuels. A form of this thinking is already in practice with oil eating microbes used in oil spill cleanup.

Biomimicry is really the next step in sustainable practices that will help us to both clean up and enhance our world.

You can read more about Biomimcry in the book by Janine Benyus and is available at

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