HOW NATURE INSPIRES INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY

Melanie Valente-Leite |

World leaders are avoiding the conversation that is: CLIMATE CHANGE. Fortunately, there are things you can do in your everyday life to help the earth. 

With inspiration from nature to save our current climate crisis, people can continue to do what they love by using environmentally friendly products. These not only function as an everyday consumer items, but also help reduce global warming.

Whether it is to promote being environmentally friendly or to imitate nature, engineers have been gathering ideas from their surroundings for decades. 

“We come not to learn about nature so that we might circumvent or control her, but to learn from nature, so that we might fit in, at last and for good, on the earth from which we sprang,” says Janine M. Benyus, a natural sciences writer, in her book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.

But what is Biomimicry? It is ideas, designs and products inspired by and found in nature.

Scientists and engineers across the globe get creative when it comes to new inventions by incorporating inspiration from the environment around them.

A Wonderous guide about our planet found in Eco store Sustain .
[Credit: Melanie Valente-Leite]

Biomimicry has been happening since the 1800s. For example, Leonardo da Vinci, an Italian polymath, studied the flight of birds to determine how he could replicate their wings to create several flying machines. Although he failed, several times, the effort and passion were there. 

Certainly, the designing of these prototypes has begun to get quite creative, from innovative window designs used to protect birds from flying into skyscrapers to intercity trains shaped to resemble bird beaks and bodies of penguins to reduce noise, energy and power.

Japan began designing these trains in the early 1990s to resemble the beak of a kingfisher bird to allow air to flow through the wind more effortlessly, which significantly reduced the use of electricity by 15 per cent and the noise levels as well. 

With a high demand for eco-friendly products, several companies have begun to go green, that includes IKEA, Panasonic, IBM, and many more.

Some examples of these green initiatives would be obtaining wood from sustainable foresters, enforcing rules in the workplace like removing single-use plastic in the offices or providing products that are environmentally responsible such as metal straws and reusable water bottles. 

“If we continue to demand change more quickly, I think that it will happen. But if we’re silent, we’re accepting the status quo,” says Leor Rotchild, executive director at the Canadian Business for Social Responsibility.

Rotchild encourages Canadian businesses to act as a positive force for good in this world. Rotchild began his career after he graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Since then, he has been urging companies to incorporate sustainability. 

With companies changing, this represents the power customers have to influence mass corporations and their competing businesses to be more sustainable. By supplying different products for consumers, companies are seen as being inclusive and sensitive  towards the planet, and that sells

Peterborough Eco store Sustain and its storefront with products that continue to help our environment. [Credit: Melanie Valente-Leite]

“We develop research programs, campaigns, and all kinds of educational related products and tools that are aiming to mainstream sustainability thinking. We’re trying to further the idea of Canada being a sustainable business capital,”   Rotchild says.

But why should YOU care about the Earth’s climate? The main reason would be that the Earth’s atmosphere has an effect on our health and on the food we consume.

Therefore, if we want to live a healthy life, WE ALL need to help change the Earth’s climate. Taking on a global crisis may seem like an impossible task, but you are not alone. 

Sustain, an Eco store in Peterborough, sells a handful of different items such as sustainable recipe books, recycled lunch boxes and many more.
[Credit: Melanie Valente-Leite]

Sustain Eco, a Canadian company based in Huntsville, Ontario, owned by Jonathan and Celine Mackay, opened in 2009 to provide Canadians with eco-friendly products.

The premise is that products not only improve your health by preventing toxins from entering your body but also help by reducing the overall waste output Canadians have on Earth.

Sustain Eco carries a vast range of products that are organic and cruelty-free, which promotes the end of animal testing and also ways of living a more sustainable life. 

 “We provide solutions for consumers to buy non-toxic, sustainably produced goods that help them to reduce, if not eliminate waste, in their day to day life,” Mackay says. “We have over 75 products. Everything from personal care items like toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, bubble bath products to toilet bowl cleaners, all-purpose laundry detergents, etc.” 

Canada has begun to realize the importance of the Earth’s climate, as many other countries have as well, and now we need to do our part to help. Wherever you go in the world, climate change is a relevant topic people continue to talk about.

From school strikes to global strikes for climate justice, a movement is in place, and younger generations won’t stay silent. 

No matter who you are or where you come from, we all live on the same Earth. Without clean air, water or livestock, we will struggle to live on this planet. Together, we can inspire others to join the movement, that is, SAVING PLANET EARTH.

“It’s about what you can do, not what you’re powerless to change. And that is very important,” Mackay says.

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