How does a river filter fresh water? How does a spider manufacture resilient fiber? These are the questions that biologist Janine Benyus are asking, along with architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart, to make products safer and more environmentally friendly. The fact is that nature has already given them a head start.
Viewing nature as a source of ideas, rather than merely a source of goods, goes way back in history among indigenous people; however, Western industrial culture has mostly dismissed the idea to academic research. Thanks to work of Benyus, Braungart, and McDonough, such ideas are starting to become a reality. From oil-repellent coating inspired by water bugs, to using prairies as a model to grow food sustainably, to observing how chimps cope with illness, the possibilities of learning from our planet’s unexplored sources of intelligence are endless.
Read more about the work of McDonough, Braungart and Benyus in making the world a more sustainable place in this article in Christian Science Monitor.
Images: CNN, GreenatWork