Why a shift to a Circular Economy makes sense
In this scary time of climate crisis – many of us are re-evaluating how we - as a society - have been operating & trying to figure out what we can all do to try and fix the hole we’ve literally dug for ourselves. You know – that one that we extract oil from or the other one that we bury and hide our waste in and think it’s ‘gone’ because we can’t see it anymore.
Yep – we’ve dug ourselves some pretty big holes that we now need to face up to and mend. But how can we sustain ourselves and help protect the earth from further damage at the same time?
Well one thing most of us have learnt is true, at one point or another, is that mothers DO know best! And Mother Nature – she knows better than anyone. She’s nailed the system. It’s called the circle of life for a reason and we learn all about that when we are just kids.
Another thing we learn about as kids are shapes. In fact, most of us could identify a circle before we could even say our names. And later, in school we learn that the earth orbits the sun and how our heart keeps the blood in our circulatory system flowing. Around and around. Again and again.
Circular systems. Without getting too deep, over thinking them or over complicating them - we know the basics of how they work. It is not a new concept. It’s one we just haven’t paid enough attention to like we should have when it comes to how we design and make things.
For a long time it was believed the earth was flat and if you reached the horizon – you’d fall off. Pythagoras queried this and assumed it was round – and later Aristotle declared that yes it is in fact a sphere.
It rotates and orbits happily in a functioning system. So surely everything on it should also be designed to work in a harmonious and complimentary circular system in order for it to keep working? And yes it does. Nature also works in cycles. It leads the way in circular design and cycles that cleverly leave no waste behind and everything is interconnected.
But hang on - we forgot that nature includes us, right!!? We should be part of that system! But instead we operate in a linear system of 'take, make and dispose' which doesn't think about the full rotation or cycle and instead just chokes it up and causes a blockage. In greed and in ignorance of our impact - we’ve gone and fecked it up and sent everything into chaos.
A bit like getting a stick stuck in your spokes while you’re cycling along – you'll quickly know about it when the wheel stops turning.
But thankfully, we know better now. We’ve identified the problem we've created. We've learnt it isn't working. Just like we figured out the world isn't flat - we've figured out it isn't linear either. We know that a linear economy is not a sustainable option.
So, it’s time to start taking action with these answers that nature has taught us and move towards a more circular system - the circular economy.
And if we are to take a leaf out of natures book then we'd use that leaf to nourish a more sustainable future.
Check out how we’re building our business around a circular model here
This blog was written as part of our Circular Post - keeping you posted on environmental initiatives and designs that are helping to make the world go round.