Bio-mimicry and Paper Production

Submitted by: Phil Riebel 07/19/2012

There is a growing recognition that learning form the natural world can teach us many things and perhaps eliminate millions of years of human mistakes along the way.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


By David Podmayersky, in
From "Regenerative Design and Engineering: Creating a Sustainable World"

There is a growing recognition that learning form the natural world can teach us many things and perhaps eliminate millions of years of human mistakes along the way. This is due to the fact that nature has already made the mistakes and eliminated what doesn't work from the process cycle. Nature has decided that it likes paper! The natural world makes many forms of organic paper! Tree and Plant leaves are a form of natural paper, some tree bark is paper (Paper Birch), wasps and other insects make paper. We find many forms of paper all over the natural world. So, the natural world has decided paper is a chosen material after millions of years of experimentation, useful for plant chemical factories, natural housing, protection, soil enrichment etc. Additionally natural paper is a by-product of the living organism; the provider organism gets to keep on living, providing harvest year after year. Quite a lesson here for human manufacturing principles! So as we think about the Who, What, When, Where and Whys of paper production for human consumption and compare its' environmental and social impacts to alternative material choices, perhaps we can let the natural world be our teacher. Paper produced in a sustainable and regenerative way (this I must emphasize) is not only one of the most useful materials ever created, the natural world favors it!