The basic premise of a circular economy is to use and reuse everything for as long as possible before throwing it away. We currently live in a linear economy where most things are designed to be disposable. We are encouraged by manufacturers and business owners to throw away items that still work and upgrade to the newest, fastest, biggest, smallest, etc., item that has just hit the market.
But who benefits from a linear economy? Not consumers. They may possess the latest trendy item, but it will become obsolete in a few months. Not the planet. The landfills are full of usable items and materials that won’t decompose for decades. Manufacturers are the only beneficiary of a linear economy. However, everyone else, and the planet, will benefit only from a circular economy.
Creating products that are reusable or that will decompose 100% at the end of their lives is a significant change business can make to promote a circular economy. Finding ways to manufacturer goods using less natural resources is another change that will become a part of our future. Electrical power harnessed from the sun and wind, along with zero waste, will be the goal businesses will be working toward as the economy shifts from linear to circular.
Amsterdam has made a significant step in the transition to becoming one of the world’s first circular cities. This city is actively working towards using less raw materials in its business practices to promote less waste and greater sustainability of natural resources. Their goal is to reduce the usage of raw materials by half by 2030 and achieve a fully circular city by 2050.
By rethinking, reusing, recycling, repairing, refurbishing, and reducing waste, businesses can prolong the life of products and promote sustainability.
A circular economy is not hard to understand - it’s simply the circle of life. Everything is reused as long as possible. Then it returns to the earth to decompose or to become part of something new.
We can make personal changes that will promote sustainability by purchasing wisely and recycling. A simple change like switching from a plastic toothbrush to a bamboo toothbrush will promote the circular economy. Bamboo is a renewable resource, and it will decompose 100% at the end of its’ life. Purchasing biodegradable paper products, bulk items in less packaging, and organic food package-free are small personal changes everyone can make. And always ask yourself if something can be reused somehow or donated before tossing it in the trash.
A circular economy will create more jobs and boost economic development. Finding ways to reduce the usage of raw materials, reduce waste, and recycle will create the need for innovative ideas and business developers.
Business growth, will an eye on sustainability and goal of zero waste, will promote economic growth and a healthier planet for future generations.
The circular economy gives us the tools to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss together while addressing important social needs. Are you ready to consume less and better?