Alternatives to technologies that depend on fossil fuels are all around us, modeled in the natural world, and studied in the new field of bio-mimicry.
Janine Benyus, author of Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, is founder of The Biomimicry Institute, whose mission is to nurture and grow a global community of people, who are learning from, emulating, and conserving life's genius to create a healthier, more sustainable planet.
As one delves deeper into biomimicry, Benyus says there are three levels of analysis:
There are instances of complex natural processes that could be adapted for human use all over the planet, Benyus says. African ant mounds are just one interesting example of what is being called "enabling technology."
SMIT GROW is an example of biomimicry. By creating solar panels in the shape of leaves, to gather energy from the sun and wind. Find out more here.
When you look at the global ecosystem, Benyus explains, humans as a species are akin to weeds, gobbling up resources with scant thought for their long-term presence where they have taken root.
Janine Benysus will be a keynote speaker at the annual Bioneers Conference, October 16th-20th, at the Marin Center in San Rafael. For more information, click here. There is a full roster of presenters here , and a detailed conference schedule here.