If we can’t be able to use man-made or artificial methods of pollution prevention and waste reduction to reduce waste as much as we possibly can, then we can, at least, be able to apply the principles of biomimicry and mimic nature’s methods of composting, recycling, or exchanging waste, so that we can reduce waste as much as possible.
Biomimicry is the science and art of studying nature’s activities through experimentation or observation, in order to discover natural principles and environmentally beneficial ideas, and apply them in ways that can solve human problems and make the environment better.
Biomimicry observes certain changes that nature currently makes, and goes back to study how natural systems have responded to such changes in the past or distant past; thereafter, it copies or adjusts the responses to fit into human or man-made systems in order to reduce or eliminate various environmental problems.
To create a more sustainable and low-waste society, one important goal of environmentalists is to apply biomimicry and make industrial manufacturing processes much cleaner and more sustainable by redesigning them to behave like nature and mimic how nature handles waste.
Examples of biomimicry
1. Like nature, which has been carrying out chemical recycling for ages and using wastes produced by some living organisms to serve as nutrients and aid the growth of other living organisms, mankind has been using animal wastes to aid plant growth, and vice-versa. In this way, the earth’s nutrients have been continuously recycled, and waste has been minimal in undisturbed ecosystems.
2. Similar to what nature does during chemical recycling, some industries or manufacturers have been reusing and recycling most of the waste, chemicals, and minerals they use, instead of burning or discarding them by transporting them elsewhere.
3. On the other hand, if a certain industry won’t be able to mimic nature and reuse or recycle its waste, it could interact with other industries or manufacturers through resource exchange channels, and make their waste materials available for use as raw materials, instead of burning or discarding them in the environment.
Generally, the waste output(s) from one industry can be exchanged for the waste output(s) from another industry, and converted into resources or raw materials, thereby reducing pollution, waste, and the movement of non-renewable energy and mineral through society.
4. The study of termite mounds by scientists has led to the discovery of how to cool buildings naturally, instead of artificially, which has been degrading the quality of the atmosphere and environment, especially when fossil fuels are used.
Benefits of biomimicry
1. Biomimicry can inspire companies to invent new, environmentally uplifting, and less energy-consuming processes and products that can help mankind and gain the affection of the world.
2. Biomimicry can solve human problems and make the natural surroundings/environment better.
3. Biomimicry can make man-made or industrial manufacturing processes to be much neater and more sustainable.
4. Biomimicry can reduce the costs of handling solid wastes, reducing pollution, and abiding by pollution regulations.
5. Biomimicry can reduce pollution, transfer of toxic waste, and the flow of non-renewable minerals and energy through society.
6. Biomimicry can help to prevent industries or manufacturing companies from damaging communities, thereby reducing their chances of getting sued because of how they handle or dispose waste.
7. Biomimicry can reduce companies’ health insurance costs and improve the health and safety of their workers by reducing their exposure to noxious and harmful wastes or materials.