” .. By designing out waste and pollution, keeping materials in use, and regenerating natural systems, we can create a world where resources are used responsibly, waste is minimized, and products are designed for longevity ..”
Living sustainably and reducing waste is not just about recycling, it’s also about embracing the circular economy. But what exactly is a circular economy? In simple terms, it is a regenerative system where waste is minimized, resources are conserved, and products are designed to be reused or at worse, recycled.
The circular economy is gaining traction as a model for sustainable economic growth that benefits both the environment and the economy. By designing out waste and pollution, keeping materials in use, and regenerating natural systems, we can create a world where resources are used responsibly, waste is minimized, and products are designed for longevity.
On the other hand, the traditional linear economy is based on a “take-make-dispose” model, where resources are extracted, products are manufactured, consumed, and then disposed of, leading to a cycle of waste and environmental degradation.
Truly effective circular economies have solid foundations grounded at the infrastructural and manufacturing level where a lot of thought is put into the design of the product and its implications once it has reached the end of its lifetime, even before these products are placed on shelves.
As consumers, we have an equally important and crucial role to play to guarantee the effectiveness of a circular economy. Here are 8 practical tips to help you apply circular economy principles in your daily life and contribute to a more sustainable future:
- Choose products made from recycled or upcycled materials: Look for products made from recycled or upcycled materials, such as clothing made from recycled plastic bottles, furniture made from repurposed wood, or home decor made from reclaimed materials. These products are not only eco-friendly but also support the circular economy by keeping materials in use. Don’t forget the packaging! Make sure it also contributes to circularity, aluminium and kraft paper both contribute immensely.
- Embrace the sharing economy: The sharing economy is a great way to reduce waste and promote sustainability. Instead of buying new items, consider renting or sharing products with others. For example, you could rent a motorbike instead of buying one, or share office equipment at.
- Buy products with a long lifespan: When shopping for personal care, home, and living products, look for items with a long lifespan. Products that are well-made and durable will last longer and reduce the need for replacements. Additionally, you can repair and maintain products to extend their lifespan.
- Avoid single-use products: Single-use products, such as plastic bags, straws, and disposable razors, are a major contributor to waste and pollution. Instead, opt for reusable alternatives, such as cloth bags, metal straws, and safety razors. These products can be used again and again, reducing waste and saving money in the long run.
- Practice responsible consumption: Before making a purchase, ask yourself if you really need the item. Consider whether it is something you will use frequently, or if it will end up collecting dust in a closet. By practicing responsible consumption, you can reduce waste and save money.
- Recycle properly: Properly recycling is an important part of the circular economy. Make sure to follow your local recycling guidelines and properly sort your recyclables. Additionally, you can purchase products made from recycled materials to support the demand for recycled materials. If recyclability is not an option, go for biodegradable or compostable products.
- When it comes to personal care products, look for items that are refillable or come in recyclable packaging. This includes products such as shampoo bars and toothpaste powder in aluminium cans. These products minimize waste and support the circular economy by reducing the demand for single-use plastic packaging.
- For home and living products, look for items that are made from sustainable materials, such as bamboo, recycled glass, or organic cotton. Additionally, consider purchasing secondhand items or repurposing items you already own.
The benefits of a circular economy are varied and the impact on the environment, the people, and the economy can be huge. To begin with, limiting the number of resources needed to make a product directly benefits the environment since fewer natural resources need to be extracted. Resource extraction, even when regulated still poses a lot of issues to the environment and the people living and working in it.
Reduction of waste is another big improvement that arises from a circular economy. Space to collect, process and dump waste is becoming a big and expensive problem for many countries. Directly connected to waste is pollution. A big percentage of waste ends up polluting flora and fauna, causing ecological disasters and huge health hazards to people, most often in poorer countries that did not consume the particular pollutant themselves in the first place. Finally, circularity creates and sustains an economy of its own, one that involves people who fix things, repurpose things and share their products and services.
Embracing the circular economy in your daily life is a great way to reduce waste, conserve resources, and support sustainability. By making small changes to your consumption habits, you can contribute to a more sustainable future. Choose products made from recycled or upcycled materials, embrace the sharing economy, buy products with a long lifespan, avoid single-use products, practice responsible consumption, and recycle properly. Remember to look for products that support the circular economy when shopping for personal care, home, and living items. Together, we can create a world where waste is minimized and resources are used responsibly.
Do you feel like it’s the ideal time to contribute to the circular economy? Swap to more sustainable products today, head over to our shop where you will find plenty of products to get you started!