In her seminal 1997 book Biomimicry, Janine Benyus introduced the notion that we could be better off by simply mimicking the ways problems are solved in nature. That is because “nature creates conditions conducive to life” through 9 principles. Although usually formatted as a numbered list, we saw them for the first time as a single sentence, set up like a poem:

Nature runs on sunlight,
uses only the energy it needs,
fits form to function,
recycles everything,
rewards cooperation,
banks on diversity,
demands local expertise,
curbs excesses from within,
and taps the power of limits.

Somehow, we’d never put together exactly how perfect and emulate-able a system nature is until we saw it named. It fosters endless permutations, all working in synergy via research and development has been happening for billions of years.

Biomimicry sparks a hopeful shift of view: To know that models for solutions to our problems exist in the natural world. And that there are many brilliant people aligning with them, using the principles and ethos of biomimicry to solve problems. It is Nature-centric rather than Human-centric. You’ll find many inspiring examples HERE... Learning from prairies to grow food in resilient waysLearning from coral​ to create colorful textiles

The principles of Biomimicry add a new consideration in our ever-improvising, always-searching-for-solutions selves: Nature as role-model and inspiration

(It’s a radical shift of focus that takes practice. We got a good start here...)

Moving images via Earth Hour, an international campaign organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature to raise awareness about climate, biodiversity, and nature.

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One thought on “Nature’s Operating Manual

  1. Sally,
    Thank you for your post on biomimicry, Janine Benyus’s words and the beautiful images. Separating ourselves from, and viewing ourselves as above and beyond nature, is to my mind, where we went astray and embarked upon a destructive and very likely suicidal path. We desperately need messages like the one conveyed in your post to correct course and learn to live in ecological harmony with the whole of life of which we are a part.

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