Paul Stamets, author of Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World, believes that fungi are the solutions to many problems facing the modern world. Though Stamets may seem eccentric in his love of mushrooms, his passion is real and his research finds important results. He tested different mushrooms to find the best strain for absorbing spilled oil, reducing harmful bacteria in water sources, exterminating invasive insects, and many more environmentally beneficial areas. Mushrooms are also able to filter heavy metal toxins from the earth and have been implemented in contaminated areas.
In the process of developing the modern world, many toxic substances such as harmful metals and petrochemicals have contaminated the places where we live. Across the world, soil where food grows and children play may contain harmful amounts of toxins. Luckily, there are free and self-sustaining tools that provide additional benefits to the environment: plants and fungi. Some plants absorb certain toxins from the soil in a process called phytoremediation. To reduce the toxins in a specific area of land, a specialized plant treatment can be designed for those toxins and climate.
With climate change as an ongoing issue, we must not only construct buildings while limiting waste, but plan for the buildings to give back to the Earth once constructed. This idea is termed regenerative design and needs encouragement, measurable standards, and further research into biomimicry in order to change the future of architecture. Regenerative Urban Design and Ecosystem Biomimicry is a book which explores biomimicry as a solution to climate change, analyzes multiple city case studies, and calls for overarching changes in how we view urban development.
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