Sounds like a fancy term to begin with - the circular economy. We agree. If the future doesn’t sound fancy, then is it even the future? That’s basically what the circular economy is - the future. Pretty simple right? Now that’s an oxymoron!
But really, is this concept only meant for regulators of the law, the people in power and the big corporations? Would it really matter if commoners like us obtain insights into what a circular economy is and how we can become part of this economy in our lifestyles? Since we love breaking down concepts and problems for you, we designed a whole course on this very concept, ‘Circular Economy in 30’.
A zero-waste social enterprise talking about a circular economy? Well, it’s actually a lot more inter-linked than you think! If this were a video game, the circular economy would be the next level after you’ve completed your zero waste quest. Does this mean the circular economy is only for people who store ALL their trash in a jar and nothing more? Nope! It’s for all of us, commoners (yes, we’re quite fond of that word) - whether you’re new to the idea of eco friendly living or a well-versed sustainability champ.
A circular economy, at the forefront, is keeping everything in a circle. Nothing goes out of it as waste. In fact, there is no waste as everything is reimagined into something new thus, taking it up a notch from zero waste living. And no, we’re not dissing zero waste with this! Rather, understanding how cities, individuals, businesses, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs (people looking to innovate within their jobs/colleges), corporations and all other parts of society can green their existing practices to ensure no waste is generated.
In essence, this is moving away from the linear economy where materials (often non-renewable) are taken, made into something useful, used for a short period of time and just disposed of at the end of their lifecycle. Waste, when generated, most often ends up in landfills/oceans and is occasionally recycled into items of much lesser value and use. We’re living in an age where flying cars were predicted to be the way of life; let’s not embarrass ourselves by continuing to be a part of this linear model.
You’re probably wondering - can this change climate change? If acted out in a timely manner, it certainly can. As individuals, groups, companies and governments evolve to circular models of consumption, shopping, farming, business, law-making and more, renewable resources will move to the forefront, more just laws will be made to support diverse communities, water bodies, land use and other commodities of nature will stay nourished while animals and plants thrive in their natural habitats. All of this will of course go hand in hand with smart technology, the IoT and more to help make life more convenient for all.
As opposed to zero waste living, where we can make changes on a personal level without having to depend too much on external factors, a circular economy is quite dependant on several parties that form an economy. But that also means you have the power to ignite those conversations within your company, your apartment complex, your favourite brands, your local municipality and get them to embark on this journey with you - for everyone’s benefit.
So you see, a circular economy is the bigger picture to zero waste living. It is the economy that can fuel the green future we all envision and be the batman to the joker that is climate change. If we’ve piqued your interest at all, we’d recommend you head over to this top-notch course we created on a circular economy covering all aspects - from the clothes you wear to the food you eat, the city you live in, the vehicle you use, the supermarket you shop from, the way you charge your phones. We’ll spare you the rant and just virtually walk you to the course here.