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Innovation and Environmental Science

2013 May 16

Pavan-IM

Recently, there have been a lot of talk on innovation, and how it is so important for our nation’s future. So, what is innovation? Innovation is making a product more practical and actually “bringing it to the market”.  In the past when people made products, they did not think about its environmental impact and only focused on making profit. An example is plastics. It’s quite disturbing to me that people did not think about the raw materials needed for making the product, and how to dispose of the product later. I knew right then that innovation and environmental sustainability should not be separated and sustainability must be considered right from the beginning of designing a product. We have a lot of rethinking and redesigning work to do, and the fastest way to get there is by adopting biomimicry: the new method of innovation that shows how we could create products by learning from nature.

Over the years, there has been a lot of exposure to adopt environmental sustainability through many programs, incentives, regulations, and making data openly available to the public. Did you know that 10 times more cars have appeared on the road since 1970, but the amount of pollution has reduced because of stricter regulations resulting in better car models? This clearly shows that we can certainly make new products and not hurt our environment.

There are many new products and solutions coming out now by using the method as shown in biomimicry, which clearly explains how to observe nature and learn the “blueprint” from nature, and apply those similar forms, processes, and systems to solve our most challenging technological problems that we are facing today.

We have already seen the consequences of our previous path, and our manufacturing methods. Since manufacturers were more focused on short term benefits, we are now dealing with pollution and challenges with our waste. We need to think long term, and embrace sustainability.

It is quite comforting to know that many top companies are refocusing and are showing commitment towards environmental sustainability, so as students we can feel confident that learning environment science would help us later in our future. We need to take advantage of the opportunities and resources provided by our schools, like field trips to local conservation facilities.

Remember, environmental etiquette is the new norm for innovation.  Environment science benefits you, our humanity, and our planet! Let’s keep learning from nature!

Pavan is 13 years old, founder of non-profit organization, Green Kids Now, Inc., founder of Green Kids Conference, Official Biomimicry Youth Speaker, and an International reporter for Primary Perspectives radio Show. (http://greenkidsnow.org)

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Jay Cwanek permalink
    May 16, 2013

    Does sustainability mean people should have their own enclosed vehicles to drive 50 years from now, or 40 years, or 30 years, or only 20 years?

    Absent a timeframe, sustainability really has no meaning.

    • Carson Chauvin permalink
      May 20, 2013

      Sustainability doesn’t mean a specific event or action that one can take such as driving your own enclosed vehicles. It is a belief or concept that prioritizes long term benefits over short term benefits for the good of future generations. To say that sustainability has no meaning without time frame is like saying that improving the environment has no meaning unless you set a time and date to do it. While I don’t write this to chastise you I just think that it is important to not misinterpret Pavan’s article. He is trying to convey a message of prosperity whereby we as a human race now can make smart decisions that will benefit those that come after us. He pushes us to learn from the mistakes made by our parents and grandparents in the 20th century so that our children and grandchildren won’t have to deal with the same thing. The point of sustainability isn’t to focus on a time frame for when things will get better but to do them just because they will make things better at some point in the future.

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