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  • Writer's pictureQuite Frankly

Biomimicry - Waste Management

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

"Biomimicry is the emulation of the systems and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems." I hadn't heard of this before it was mentioned in class and became incredibly intrigued by it because of my love for nature. While looking through the examples of past work using this type of method is was very apparent that there were many directions this project could go.

There are thousands if not millions of species of plants on this earth that have special functions or features. When thinking about is this was of course it is very easy to get overwhelmed by the thought but the first thing we need to do was decide on a topic and move from there.

Over the weekend, my group and I met to discuss which topics we are most passionate about and how we might go about starting the process of exploring our ideas. First, we made a google doc and wrote down all of our ideas, plus links to support them. Since the environment is such a broad topic. It was apparent that we needed to break this down a lot further to a more concise and workable area. After we all finished filling out our document, we discussed it together and set our sights on waste management. It was still a broad topic but it was workable. From there we branched off into the topics of hunger and plastic. We talked about how there are enough resources to feed everyone on earth but the amount of food wasted is disheartening. There are tons and tons of food thrown out every day and many people who are starving. Why is that? How can we break this down further to get to a solution that starts to tackle this problem? Then there is plastic. It has been proven that plastic is very detrimental and poisonous to the environment especially since it practically never breaks down. It doesn't decompose the way other materials do which causes there to be an excessive accumulation of it and nowhere to put it. How can we halt the process of making plastic and repurpose the existing amount that we have? How can we make plastic work for us?

After we discussed this, we looked for a program to create our mess map which would ideally be used to throw all of our random thoughts about the topic onto an interconnected map. We looked at two programs which were Miro and Kumu. We started with Miro and it seemed to be going well but decided to try out Kumu to see if it would be any better. Although Kumu looked great in other project examples we saw, it just wasn't user-friendly at all. We played around with the site for about 10 mins before we decided that Miro was the best way to go. The map was easy to build because that was already a template for mind maps/mess maps built-in and all we had to do was add our information. By the end of this meeting, we decided that we would also take some time to really decide if the topic we chose was the best way to go before we fully committed.

Our next meeting was on Monday, where we all came to the conclusion that our topic was great as is and moving forward was the best plan of action. We discussed the topic further and even connected it to the lectures we were assigned for the class that proved to be very helpful. I definitely started to overthink the process of creating the mess map a bit my need for everything to be organized and presentable at first glance. Letting my mind go free has proven to be my biggest challenge but I'm happy to have noticed it in this class. I've been given many tools to guide me towards freer thinking and those tools are what I will try to apply here. By the end of the meeting, we added our individual thoughts to the map on our own and met once more before class to discuss how we would present our idea to the class.

We researched our topic using the sources outlined in this doc.

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