The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge (BGDC) topic for 2017 was Climate Change.
“Earth has always been a changing planet, but the climate and ecological changes humans have set in motion in the last century are like nothing our species has experienced before. Hungry for energy, food, and other resources, our growing populations are pushing Earth’s systems toward a frightening and well-documented tipping point. The science is clear, and so is our imperative. To avoid the worst consequences of climate change, the human community must find ways to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change—and ideally reverse it’s dangerous course altogether.”
– BGDC Climate Change Challenge 2017 prompt
Our challenge was to:
Create a nature-inspired innovation (a product, service, or system) that combats climate change by either:
- Helping communities adapt to or mitigate climate change impacts (i.e. those forecasted or already in motion), and/or
- Reversing or slowing climate change itself (e.g. by removing excess greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere).
Our solution was:
An integrated system focused on reducing consumer landfill waste through the minimization of compost waste contamination. Our approach seeks to address the unsustainable production of consumer waste and the disposal inconvenience for consumers that constitute the core issues behind poor waste sorting. By encouraging the use of reusable containers and utensils over disposables, this leaves students with only food waste at the end of each meal, which minimizes the sorting effort required for proper disposal. Charging a fee for disposables ensures that the user associates providing their own reusable container with direct monetary savings. In addition, increasing color coordination between the bins and the actual products would allow students to quickly determine proper sorting.
For more information and details about our design process, check out our full Submission Presentation.