Work Like Nature
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Work Like Nature

Sustainability lessons from ecosystems for your job or business

About the Book

Do you want to take action at work that will benefit you, your job and your community as much as it helps the environment? Lea Elliott’s Work Like Nature presents lessons from nature to help you make sense of sustainability and start making a difference. 

These ecosystem ideas are illustrated through inspiring stories from Vancouver-area green innovators. See how these bright thinkers from a variety of disciplines work like nature to benefit the environment and, surprisingly, to win at their job or business. 

You’ll see how a city secures its energy needs, a community designs a dynamic waterfront, and an entrepreneur protects our oceans. You’ll also discover how a diversity of flowers growing in a blueberry field fortifies our food supply, how turning manure into renewable natural gas can in fact protect our water, and how views of nature make us healthier. Exercises and examples in each chapter will help you apply these lessons to your own work. 

By simply looking outside, you can gain insights to help you protect the environment, grow the green economy, build resilient communities and do work you’re proud of.

If you enjoyed Hawken’s Ecology of Commerce, Braungart and McDonough’s Cradle to Cradle or Benyus’s Biomimicry you’ll love Work Like Nature

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  • Categories

    • Management
    • Non-Fiction
    • Sciences
    • Green Business and Sustainability
    • Ecology
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About the Author

Lea Elliott
Lea Elliott

Lea Elliott is a regenerative catalyst, biologist, writer and educator with over 20 years of experience in the environmental field and an M.Sc. in Resource Management and Environmental Studies. 

Lea helps individuals and teams make innovative and practical environmental change in their work. Lea specializes in turning lessons from nature, scientific research and case studies into relevant and effective environmental action for professionals.  

Lea got her start as a field biologist where she studied how forestry, tourism and agriculture affect our forests, oceans and wildlife. Working with local municipalities, Lea has helped city staff conserve land, integrate nature with our communities and use greener practices. She’s worked with Vancouver teachers as a Scientist in Residence to give them the tools and ideas they need to inspire the next generation of green innovators.

When she’s not working, Lea and her family enjoy being outside. They marvel at the chickadees on insect patrol in their apple trees, the sweetness of carrots pulled from the garden and the bounty of ocean life during spring runs of Pacific Herring.

Reader Testimonials

Kristin Ohlson
Kristin Ohlson

Author of The Soil Will Save Us

Lea Elliott's book is both inspirational and practical, full of great ideas for transforming our urgent need to work with nature into actual change.

Melissa Chaun
Melissa Chaun

Tri-City News

Lea Elliott provides practical exercises to help readers begin to analyze their business and develop a sustainability framework.

Dr. Steve Schein
Dr. Steve Schein

Author of A New Psychology for Sustainability Leadership: The Hidden Power of Ecological Worldviews

I highly recommend Lea Elliott's new book to anyone looking to up their game as a sustainability change agent, educator, or practitioner. Her six lessons from nature contain abundant new ideas about how to accelerate and scale sustainability practice...and are fun to read as well!

Table of Contents

  • Build Your Career and Be Sustainable
  • Preface
    • Journey to win-win
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. Work With Nature’s Services
    • Nature provides
    • Crop insurance: nature
    • Health insurance: nature
    • Storm insurance: nature
  • Chapter 2. Use Non-Toxic Materials and Processes
    • Greener plastics for a bluer ocean
    • Feel good about what you wear
  • Chapter 3. Seek and Share Optimal Resources
    • Seeking a more optimal fish feed
    • Powering a city with under-utilized, local resources
    • Optimize travel with car sharing
  • Chapter 4. Upcycle Wastes into Resources
    • Finding a use for rejected produce
    • Turning smelly ick into cozy warmth
  • Chapter 5. Be Diverse
    • Bee diversity generates profit
    • Bees need landscape diversity
    • More energy diversity for better energy security
  • Chapter 6. Pay Attention to Interconnection
    • Systemic issues need systemic solutions
    • Thinking of interconnections causes a sustainability ripple
    • Connect to and work with your natural setting
  • Conclusion
  • Request for Review
  • Contributors
  • Acknowledgements
  • Common and Scientific Names
  • Notes
    • Preface
    • Introduction
    • Chapter 1
    • Chapter 2
    • Chapter 3
    • Chapter 4
    • Chapter 5
    • Chapter 6
    • Conclusion
  • About the Author

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