What's All the Buzz About the Circular Economy?

by Liv McLeod
What's All the Buzz About the Circular Economy?
The term 'circular economy' has been bandied about a bunch recently.
But what's the big deal, and why is everyone so hyped about it?
As the plastic problem reaches a whole new level of nasty, and the future of our environment looks increasingly dire, people are reaching for new ways of doing things. Sustainably-minded folks are calling for a move away from the traditional linear economy towards a circular one.
Let's break down why doughnut-shaped economic systems are yummier than our current sitch.

The Traditional Linear Economy

Let's talk about the old way of doing things - the linear economy. This has been the dominant model for yonks.
The linear economy is basically a one-way street. You take stuff from the Earth, make things out of it, use it, and then toss it out when you're done.
Now, here's the kicker – this "take, make, dispose" deal has some serious issues:
  1. Resource Hunger Games: The linear economy gobbles up Mother Earth's resources like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Totally unsustainable and not cool (literally).
  2. Trash Talk: It creates a never-ending trash heap, especially due to pesky non-biodegradable characters like plastic. Cue pollution and landfill overflow.
  3. Nature's Enemy: The pollution and waste mess with the environment, biodiversity, and our health.
  4. Money Down the Drain: Valuable resources end up wasting away in landfills. This means we're also missing out on an opportunity to make cash money!

Introducing the Circular Economy

When it comes to the circular economy, the game plan is all about focusing on sustainability. It aims to break up a long-term couple: economic growth and sucking up resources.
Here's are it's main points:
  1. Built to Last: Instead of churning out stuff that breaks, the circular economy is all about making things that last and can be easily fixed.
  2. Reuse and Revive: Instead of tossing stuff when it's worn out, we fix it up and give it a second chance at life. Thrifting is cool in the circular ecomm!
  3. Recycle and Remix: When things really can't be saved, we recycle the materials to make new stuff or find creative new uses for them.
  4. Do More with Less: Businesses will get clever about using fewer resources to get the same results - or even better ones.

Circular Economy Example

Why It's the Bee's Knees

Well for a start, we're not guzzling up Earth's resources like a thirsty camel. With a circular economy, the emphasis is placed on conserving our natural goods for future generations to enjoy. 
And all that waste we mentioned? That's taken care of. When we're throwing out less, we're not continually adding to the trash heap. We get cleaner streets, and cleaner air. 
When we start seeing sustainability and economic development as hand in hand, we can pave the way for a future with less plastic pollution, fewer greenhouse gases, and a brake on climate change
The best part is that this is an absolute goldmine for new ideas and business models. 

Circular Economy Cuties

Thankfully, a lot more brands are starting to model the circular economy on a practical level. 

It's a lot more common to see products made from post-consumer waste, like our Mailing Boxes or Amble's outdoor wear, which is made predominantly from recycled plastic bottles. 

Also dominating the circular ecomm game is Patagonia. Aside from their sustainably-sourced materials, they have a lifetime repair guarantee, as well as DIY tutorials. 

Wrapping it Up

In a world where the old ways just aren't cutting it anymore, the circular economy is our pathway to a better future.
By rethinking the way we make, consume, and use our precious resources, we can create a world where economic growth = environmental preservation.
It's going to take a big shift, but together, we can make it a reality.

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