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Earth Day and Biomimicry

Earth Day and Biomimicry

Earth Day and Biomimicry

by Janine Schenone on April 20, 2023

Earth Day and Biomimicry

This Saturday, April 22, is Earth Day, and we will celebrate Earth Day Sunday (with alternate readings) on April 23. From a Christian point of view, we are also in the season of Easter, in which we give thanks to God for the Risen Christ in our midst in all its glory.

One way we see the Risen Christ is in the everyday and yet miraculous operations of nature, which are so ingenuous and so intricate that many see the hand of the Maker in them—at least, those operations that we can perceive. In a recent podcast I heard on On Being, biomimicry expert Janine Benyus talked about some nature principles that reveal some of the innate genius in nature:

  • Nature runs on sunlight.
  • Nature uses only the energy it needs.
  • Nature fits form to function.
  • Nature recycles everything.
  • Nature rewards cooperation.
  • Nature banks on diversity.
  • Nature demands local expertise.
  • Nature curbs excesses from within.
  • Nature taps the power of limits.


Biomimicry is “the conscious emulation of life’s genius.” Scientists, engineers, architects, and artists work together to figure out how to create things the way nature (that is, God) designs things, rather than using the “beat, heat and treat” type of design and engineering typically done in materials science. (Think of how concrete, steel, glass, and plastics are made.) 

When nature makes something, it takes the above principles into account. Photosynthesis is a perfect example. A plan takes in human beings’ discarded carbon dioxide, absorbs the light coming from the Sun, and returns oxygen to us while creating sugars in the plant that benefit, the plant, the soil, other plants, and the creatures that eat the plant. No garbage is created. Everything is recycled in a way that benefits each part of creation.

And so it is with Christ. What appears to have died is resurrected and alive, and He breathes light and air and peace to us and all of creation. He absorbed the worst that human beings could do to him and still was not destroyed.

On Earth Day (and every day), we have the opportunity to reflect upon the beautiful and fragile Earth that God has planted us upon and ask how we can partner with and mimic nature—a textbook God has given us for how to live as a loving partner with the rest of God’s creation.

Tags: biomimicry; environment; environmentalism; earth day; resurrection in nature

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