Biomimicry… To mimic or go back to the natural?

In its simplest terms, biomimicry is the imitating of nature. A confusing concept, considering that if we humans are a part of nature, why are we trying to imitate the natural? Somehow, we have let our egos get the better of us and believe that brute force and self-developed technology could solve all our issues. We adapt our environment to our needs and have made ourselves the furthest thing from natural. Just take a look around you… See anything REALLY natural?

We won’t get into creationism and evolution, but we can accept that the natural world truly has all the answers for the unnatural “solutions” humans have developed. Nature is based on the following simple principles:

  • Dependency on sunlight,
  • Localization,
  • Upcycling, and
  • Interdependency.

What do humans depend on?

  • Fossil fuels,
  • Import, import, import…,
  • Pollute the air, land and water and make it someone else’s problem, and
  • Claiming ownership of the land, sea and sky.

We can live more aligned with nature and learning from nature, imagine a water bottle that you never have to refill, a self-supporting building with the ability to heal its façade, gluing broken bones to make them stronger and reduce healing time, never washing your car again… All these ideas are already a reality and it is not a new trend. Historically, we have always been learning from nature, designing breathable buildings and clothing, airplanes, Velcro, the list goes on.

Next time you’re designing a building, a water distribution system, HVAC or prototyping a product, anything really. Take a step back and have some real “self-indulgence” and think “How would nature design this?”

Let’s end with this… Bio-Realisation – “The realization that you are natural and part of a natural system”

Eloshan Naicker

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Save Water Save the Future.

Beyond the fear of the global pandemic that we are already in, lets not forget the other realities in our lives. Johannesburg is going into its dry winter season and currently sitting just below 50%. Lets consider some water saving tips as we go into winter:

  • Take a smart shower (The I-Shower for Apple Fans)

Limit your shower to 5 min. For the more daring, try a 2 min shower! You could also consider showering with a bucket placed in the shower to collect the water after you wash all the soap off. You can use the water collected to flush the toilet or water the garden.

  •  “If its yellow let it mellow, if its brown flush it down…” (Citation needed)

A line made famous by……..someone…..The truth is, only flushing “the brown” stuff saves water. The yellow stuff is not as bad as we think and if you’re worried about the smell, open a window.

  • Monitor your water usage

Install a simple clip-on meter and record your water usage. Humans thrive on competition, so you could start a water saving challenge with the family or your housemates. Some water meter systems even come with apps so you can show off at the office. Inevitably, changing our usual water use patterns only happens when we are aware of how much water we actually use.

  • Switch to water efficient fittings

Water efficient bathroom and kitchen fittings are affordable and can even be found at your nearest Builders Warehouse. I would recommend a plumber to install the fittings but the bragging rights that come with successfully installing your own fittings is immeasurable…..Let’s not forget, we are saving water too.

These are only a few tips, simple but effective. The true cost of no water is more than just monetary, ponder on it for a bit.

It really is vital.

Eloshan Naicker