Ep 5: Design Secrets From Nature

Jamie Miller, Founder of Biomimicry Frontiers talks Design Secrets From Nature

There might be a different way of doing things. That’s all that biomimicry really is. It’s just recognizing that what we do may not be sustainable, and there’s a whole textbook of ideas that have been evolving for billions of years.

If there was a wise, practical, and sustainable entity out there that could provide smart and inspiring solutions to our complex lives in the build world, what or who would it be?

Nature has essentially been practicing design throughout billions of years, with millions of “design projects” under its belt. We as a human species have only begun to recognize nature’s brilliance in recent years. In this podcast, Jamie shares what he knows about nature-inspired innovation, biomimicry, and how it could help us create resilient and more sustainable environments in a city.

Jamie Miller is an award-winning designer and founder of Biomimicry Frontiers. He has been trained by Janine Benyus (the author of “Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature”) and has been building biomimicry in Ontario through his consulting, lectures, and workshops since 2007. Jamie taught Canada’s only biomimicry program at OCAD University, during which he earned a PhD degree in engineering that focused on applying systems-level biomimicry to urban infrastructure resilience. His mission is to draw on biomimicry, biophilia, and ecological engineering to “make it better, naturally.”

For a transcribed version of this interview, click here.

Ep 4: Healthier food for all

Matthew You from Agri-Neo sharing insights on food safety

In an era of overly processed foods and an ever growing world population, how can we find a better way of making food safe for consumers to eat while keeping the food’s nutritional integrity? 

This episode I speak with Matthew You from Agri-Neo, a food safety tech company right here at home in Toronto. In this short episode, we discuss food safety specifically through a food processing lens in low-moisture foods. 

Matthew You is the Sr. Marketing manager at Agri-Neo, where a team of scientists, microbiologists, food scientists, and engineers work to create tech solutions for food safety. 

Listen to the podcast above to hear Matthew’s take on how Agri-Neo is helping our world in feeding the world safely!

Creating the ocean

Cities are capable of doing extraordinary things.

For instance, they’re capable of gathering thousands of inspired people together to generate change. If our climate strike in Toronto didn’t show that change starts with people, that we are not alone, and that we can create enormous impact together (like marching 10,000 people to make some noise), then you aren’t seeing the ocean right before your eyes. 

It’s our turn to keep the tide turning by making it our own priority to live cleaner, better lives. 

Empathy for our parks

A note reflecting on last week’s trash cleanup at Trinity Bellwoods:

Small pieces of litter (cigarette butts, bottle caps, broken glass) in big parks might feel like nothing to the everyday person, but we often forget that there are many smaller living things that use these park spaces too.

A dog or squirrel would feel much more affected by our park litter than us, simply because they are smaller and have a closer relationship to the ground.

Let’s be more empathetic to our smaller friends, and keep our parks healthy!

Cue wise old auntie

It begins when we change what we think, but things truly start when we act on the things that we think. Here comes the age-old saying, our actions speak louder than words.

Intentions matter for only so long. When we intend to create better transportation infrastructure for a city, to make traffic more efficient, safer, and on time, delays and cancellations communicate that we never intended to do any of it in the first place.

That’s why when Magali Lafleur from Find Your Alternative and I wanted to make an environmental difference in Toronto, we’re going hands-in-dirt into cleaning up our city’s parks with our community.

Two everyday citizens wanting better, where we can make an immediate difference.

If you want to join us, the event is today. We’re meeting up at 6:30 by Trinity Bellwoods Park by Queen St. and Strachan Ave. We’ll see you there!

Trying your best!

Trying your best to go zero waste but forgot your reusable bags at home when you took a trip to the supermarket?

Did the barista at your local cafe stick a plastic straw into your drink even though you brought your reusable cup?

It’s okay, we’ve all been there. Making these mistakes every once in a while is forgivable. If you believe it’s worth it, keep trying.

To find better

Why is it that were bought into thinking that we can’t take action to protect our environment, our health and wellbeing?

Maybe our urban cities have been so far removed from a non-wasteful lifestyle that it seems almost impossible to step away from a fast paced culture. That is, we’re speeding on the highway and there’s no sense in hitting the brakes when there’s nobody up ahead.

There’s no help in following everyone else when it doesn’t make sense for you.

On the other hand, there are just over a million things that can help us be more conscious of taking better care of ourselves, our health, and our futures. It just takes a deeper look to find, but there is the alternative.

The alternative is out there, and it’s better, more sustainable, and necessary for all of us.

Trinity park cleanup

What can a small community do to take action when climate change and government policy is slow to progress?

We can choose to do things that don’t require permission, and something that we can realistically achieve in our own incremental steps.

With that said, Magali Lafleur (blogger from Find Your Alternative) is partnering up with Double Cow to host our own community clean-up at Trinity Bellwoods Park.

It starts with a pickup, and you can tell us you’ll come by responding to our event page here.

Thursday, July 25th at 6:30PM.

Litter is everybody’s problem and this is our chance to make our contribution. See you there.

Recycling is out

Our global recycling crisis is getting out of hand. Unfortunately, nobody wants to accept our recyclables, and it’s proving itself to be increasingly and ironically unsustainable from nation to nation.

In action, recycling is confusing and people don’t get clear information as to which material belongs to which bin.

Luckily we have alternatives, which is to reduce and reuse. Not as fashionable, not as convenient, but it works!

Reducing and reusing requires:

  1. More love to take care of our personal belongings
  2. More consciousness of our own lifestyles

Recycling is a system that makes people feel less guilty when we over-consume. It’s a system that needs drastic improvement, or a complete makeover, but we can’t waste our time and wait for it to happen—we’re too impatient for that.

Join the party!

Big corporate, government, macro action is nothing without personal, local, human demand. However, by the time large organizations start taking action, it might already be too late.

Why wait for larger, slower players to start making their moves in 2030 when you can make your contribution within your next 24 hours?

The advantage we have as singular units of people is that we’re faster and more forgivable. If we make a mistake, it’s way easier for us to right our wrongs as opposed to relying on several tiers of organized hierarchy to make amends.

With that said, we have exciting news: Double Cow and Toronto Zero Waste blog, Find Your Alternative, is pairing up to clean our parks. Starting July 25th with Trinity Bellwoods.

Starting at 6:30PM, we’re going hands-in to collect litter. Join us to make your contribution to the community. See you there!