Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Despite what you may feel about the West’s glacial response to climate change, there are people and companies that are committed to finding and providing restorative solutions. What’s exciting is that they challenge us to view our world in a different way. During the past few centuries humans have regarded nature at best as an everlasting commodity and at worse an enemy. Something that must be conquered.

We are challenged to change the relationship. Rather than our enemy, nature is our instructor. Very wise and very powerful. The Bioneers, a collective of biologists, chemists, artists, social activists, farmers and engineers, look to nature to find non-toxic and highly effective solutions and approaches to products and processes. Also referred to as biomimicry, this approach studies the intricate process of nature and seeks to imitate it. After all, nature works. It works incredibly well. Why do we think we know better than it?

An example of biomimicry is the study of the glue produced by the blue mussels. This glue, which cures underwater, is being studied with the hope of using it to bind wood in construction and furniture, replacing the highly toxic urea formaldehyde that is currently used.

Other examples include the study of leaves to improve the design of solar cells, and the study of the colour of peacock feathers to provide non-toxic colouring options for industry.

For more on Biomimicry
Biomimicry: 'We ask questions like, which paint is less toxic? A biomimic would ask, how does nature paint?' by Elizabeth Nickson

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