30 Days of Reconnection

Have we ever had such a moment? A moment for a forced, collective pause, where society has collectively dropped out of society? In this time of uncertainty, we would like to offer an opportunity to try a new practice, one built on reconnecting to nature. What might we return to after 30 (or more) days of observing how a leaf works, how a spider senses, how ants assign duties to one another, or how energy and mass are linked in a perpetual life cycle dance?

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In the spirit of reconnecting with the natural world that surrounds us, (and as we are home, looking for more things to do other than binge-watch Netflix), our team has put together some of our most favorite biomimicry activities to share with our wonderful community.

Through these activities, we hope to give you a greater sense of our Biomimicry Ethos and to learn how to tap into nature’s wisdom. How does nature create resiliency? How does nature communicate? How does nature embed sustainability in all of its systems?

And how perfect that the next 30 days aligns with our upcoming celebration of Earth Day?! We’ve prepared one activity per day, leading up to Earth Day. This next month presents us with an opportunity to reconnect with nature — and ourselves. And when Earth Day arrives, we will mobilize and act, discover new ways to live in this world, and embrace a practice of biomimicry, where we create conditions conducive to life — just like nature does.

We kick off our 30 Days of Reconnection on Monday, March 23. We encourage you to complete these activities with your friends and family — virtually or in-person if you have the opportunity — and especially with any young adults in your household who would like to expand their creative and critical thinking skills.

Stay grounded and curious, friends. We’re all in this together.

Check this page each day starting Monday, March 23 for a new activity.

Choose an OLogy!

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a biOLogist, an anthropOLogist, or some other sort of OLogist? “OLogy” means “the study of” what can you learn today? This is a great exercise for kids and adults. Choose an OLogy created by the American Museum of Natural History and explore the resources within. There are games, stories, videos, and other resources to help you dive into a particular area of study.

Biomimicry Nature Journal Reflection:

Under your chosen OLogy, pick one of the Hands-On activities to do and complete the activity in your Biomimicry Nature Journal.

#30daysofreconnection #mybiomimicryjournal

Getting your biomimicry nature journal ready
+ what does it mean to be regenerative?

Whether you are able to have a physical notebook, are using scraps of paper, or are using digital resources to take on these activities, Day 1 is about getting your biomimicry nature journal ready and taking on your first reflection question. On the cover, please write your:

  • Name
  • Nickname
  • Your favorite animal (include a sketch if you’d like!)
  • Your local ecosystem / the biome you live in
  • If you could have any superhero power in the world, what would it be?

For your first page, and moving forward for each new entry, you’ll want to add the Date, Time, and Location from where you are writing. As we go through each day, we encourage you to send us an image of your journal entry to Instagram or Twitter using #MyBiomimicryJournal or email us at hello@biomimicry.org.

Biomimicry Nature Journal Reflection: Today’s reflection is about tapping into the wisdom and knowledge you have already. In one to two paragraphs, write down what regenerative means to you. This could be in the form of design, in daily life, ecosystem services, across the globe, etc. If relevant, sketch a story, make a word map, or diagram your words. There is no right or wrong answer. Be as creative or brief as you’d like.

*Need a biomimicry refresher after you’ve reflected on what regenerative means to you? Check out Fast Company’s short clip where Janine Benyus answers the very important question: What is biomimicry?

#30daysofreconnection #mybiomimicryjournal

The Five Senses

Your five senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch), along with the brain and nervous system, all work together to collect information about the world around us. These senses give us humans a way to interact within our surroundings. While books and online resources contain a lot of great information, there’s no substitute for experiencing nature with your own senses.

For our younger readers, watch this video from Generation Genius to learn about how animals and plants gather information about the world through their senses — and how these senses help them survive.

Biomimicry Nature Journal Reflection: Identify a spot that grabs your interest and get comfortable. Take a moment to channel your senses. Settle into a comfortable position, and spend 15-20 minutes just observing the environment around you. Make observation notes and/or sketches. What do you see around you? What sounds do you hear near and far? What do you feel with your touch or what is touching you? What smells are in the air? Is there a particular taste in your mouth? Try to diagram the sounds around you, what you see, and how close or far they feel from you. What would these sounds look like as a shape? Journal your experience.

Then go to another location — maybe outside! What are your senses telling you now in your new environment? What organisms do you see? How are they interacting with their surroundings?

#30daysofreconnection #mybiomimicryjournal

Learn Biomimicry Wherever You Are

Now that we all have plenty more time at home, why not expand your mind with new biomimicry resources and certifications that can equip you to see through a new lens?!

There are now thousands of resources — including books, articles, videos, lesson plans, groups, training programs, and more — available to folks who want to learn, teach, and practice this valuable problem solving approach.

Let’s start with revisiting our founder Janine Benyus’ eloquent insights on biomimicry:

And here’s a resource for our younger audience: author Dorna Schroeter reads her biomimicry children’s story ‘How an Idea from Nature Changed Our World: The Story of Velcro’.

Below are a few of our favorites resources to check out:

  • The Biomimicry Toolbox: The toolbox provides an orientation to biomimicry and introduces a set of tools and core concepts that can help problem-solvers from any discipline begin to incorporate insights from nature into their solutions.
  • ‘Learn Biomimicry’ Online Course: ‘Learn Biomimicry’ is a new, online course offering created by BiomimicrySA (South Africa) in partnership with the Biomimicry Institute. The course will be offered at a 50% discount until 11:59 am PT on April 22, 2020. Not only will you gain the foundational tools needed to practice biomimicry, you’ll also receive a certificate that recognizes your aptitude.
  • Introduction to Biomimicry: A Sustainable Design Methodology: This online course offered by the Minneapolis College of Art and Design provides an introduction to biomimicry and is primarily self-directed, with peer-to-peer feedback and engagement. It begins April 6 – reserve your spot!
  • ASU Graduate Certificate in Biomimicry – Online: The Graduate Certificate in Biomimicry is an educational program designed for professionals who want to add the practice of biomimicry to an existing or planned career.
  • Biomimicry Academy: At Biomimicry Academy you learn how to learn from nature, and how to apply these learnings in the context of product or service development, business or social entrepreneurship, organisational or personal change.

Also be sure to visit our sister organization, Biomimicry 3.8, for their new collection of Resources to (Re)Connect, which contains more fun ideas to brighten your day and reconnect with the natural world.

Biomimicry Nature Journal Reflection:

Consider the following questions, and write down your thoughts in your journal:

  • Why is biomimicry intriguing to you?
  • How could the practice of biomimicry help positively influence the world? Or how about your local community?
  • If you’ve studied or practiced biomimicry before, what aspect(s) have you found to be the most inspiring?
  • What are your best practices?
  • What advice would you give to a new biomimicry learner?

Calling all experienced biomimics, we’d love to see a photo of this journal entry. Please send it to us so we can feature it on our website! Use #MyBiomimicryJournal on Twitter or Instagram when you post it.

 Join us for Fantastic Fungi Day!

As we enter into an even more vast understanding of just how interdependent we are and how fast something travels between us all, we can appreciate the power of our interconnectedness. Fantastic Fungi is all about our interconnectedness and the common issues that we face as a species. We know that our biggest defense from these viruses is our own sense of wellbeing, our own immunity, and the ability to live from a place of health and wellness both individually and collectively.

Fantastic Fungi is now available to rent (48-hour streaming access) or purchase (unlimited streaming access and downloadable version). Use code “FantasticFungi35” to receive 35% off your purchase.

Biomimicry Nature Journal Reflection:

While watching the film, consider how prepared we are to face the pressing issues we have in our world. Like the mycelium network, we are adaptable. What lesson can be learned from the mycelium to provide innovative ways of addressing these new challenges? Journal about your reflection — and if you’re inspired, sketch some of the amazing mycelium you see!

#30daysofreconnection #mybiomimicryjournal

For the Kid Inside All of Us

Today is for the kid inside all of us – and for all the parents who have taken the lesson plans home. Let’s give ourselves permission to be creative and tap into our childlike wonder. Pick a path to take, let your imagination run wild, and reflect on the journal entry below!

  • Lunch Doodle with Mo Willems: Draw, doodle, and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually. Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together. Bring in nature’s inspiration by adding this lesson plan from the Smithsonian Learning Lab.
  • Bird Academy Play Lab: You have to try Beastbox! Make music with animal sounds from five different ecosystems. And explore the rest of this variety of online games that teach about birds.
  • Exploratorium: Learning Toolbox: Explore science activities, articles, and videos curated specifically for school closures, all related to COVID-19.
  • Make a Phenology Wheel / Seasonal Round: This is fun for the whole family. See how to make your own phenology wheel for your Biomimicry Nature Journal from Lily & Thistle.
  • NatGeo Kids: Introduce your family to brain booster videos, cool articles, and fun games.
  • Scholastic Learn at Home: Bring school home with daily learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin!
  • Free Science Lessons from Mystery Science: Mystery Science is the creator of the most popular science lessons in U.S. schools. They’ve curated a starter set of science lessons that you can use remotely.
  • WWF’s Wild Classroom: Browse free educational resources, including species lessons, toolkits with fun activities and games, and expert webinars to bring conservation and science to life in your home.

Biomimicry Nature Journal Reflection:

Which activity or activities did you do? How can the topics you explored be related to biomimicry? What inspired you most about the activity? Were your activities fun? If so, did they make you laugh? Laughter can be potent medicine, especially in times of stress.

As a second reflection, write and sketch a story about a memory or an activity you loved as a kid outside. What did you love about that game? Did you bring it closer to nature or your friends? What would it be like to do this activity as an adult?

#30daysofreconnection #mybiomimicryjournal

What is Nature?

To define nature in biological terms, we see it as the sum of all life-systems on Earth. Some think this includes humans and others do not. It is a philosophical question that is explored in the ethos essential element of biomimicry. In this activity, we will reflect inward on the big question: are you part of, or separate from, nature?

If you’re able, visit a nearby green space when you’re doing this activity to connect with your natural environment. If you can’t get away, watch this stunning short film to get into the right mindset.

Biomimicry Nature Journal Reflection:

Write down responses to the following questions:

  1. Do you consider yourself as part of, or separate from, nature? [YES, NO or BOTH]
  2. List 5-7 words that come to mind when you think of a natural environment?
  3. List 5-7 words that come to mind when you think of an unnatural environment
  4. Expand your response to the first question. Why do you feel this way?

After you’ve reflected, watch this short video: What Nature Can Teach Us About Life.

*Looking for a different perspective? Watch a few of Conservation International’s videos from Nature is Speaking. They provide a humbling reminder of our place here on earth. “Your actions will determine your fate.” And please join us for Earth Hour by turning off our lights for one hour at 8:30 p.m., your local time this evening, to show your support for a healthy planet.

#30daysofreconnection #mybiomimicryjournal

#MyBiomimicryJournal Shares from Our Community

Day 1 biomimicry nature journal share from Mary Vasseur Finn

#MyBiomimicryJournal Shares from Our Community

Day 1 biomimicry nature journal share from Nada Elissa

#MyBiomimicryJournal Shares from Our Community

Day 1 biomimicry nature journal share from Jiaxin Li

#MyBiomimicryJournal Shares from Our Community

Day 2 biomimicry nature journal share from Abbi Rice

#MyBiomimicryJournal Shares from Our Community

Day 2 biomimicry nature journal share from Huichin Czaz

#MyBiomimicryJournal Shares from Our Community

Day 3 biomimicry nature journal share from the Wells family

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We believe that the widespread adoption of nature-inspired solutions will catalyze a new era in design and business that benefits both people and the planet. Let’s make the act of asking nature’s advice a normal part of everyday inventing. We hope you will join us.

Tap into nature anywhere:

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