What is a Circular Economy?

How can we look beyond the traditional “take-make-waste” model, turn trash into treasure, and disrupt the "status quo" pattern of consumerism? The answer: a circular economy.
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The current industrial model takes resources from the Earth, makes them into products, and ends with the products being disposed into waste – take, make, waste.

The fact is, landfills are building up and we are reaching the Earth’s limits in terms of resources available.

Instead of throwing away products and adding more to our landfills, a circular economy turns that trash into treasure.

What is a circular economy?

A circular economy extends the life cycle of materials by repurposing them into something new. Instead of buying things and throwing them away after they break, the circular economy keeps those materials in use for as long as possible. 

The principles of a circular economy are to eliminate waste, extend the life cycle of materials, and regenerate our natural ecosystem.

💡 Think Critically Whilst You Shop

  • What is the pre-consumer waste? Was there any waste put into the manufacturing of this product?
  • How long will this product be usable? Is it designed to last as long as possible?
  • What will I throw away after I’m done with this product? What happens to the materials when the product breaks or is no longer usable?

Why is a circular economy important?

A circular economy would reduce pressure on the environment by treating waste as a resource. Shifting to a circular economy could reduce pre and post manufacturing waste, promote renewable energy solutions, and shift to a sustainable system that supports communities and the environment. 

How can we make an impact?

We have an opportunity to change the status quo away from the traditional “take-make-waste” model. Here’s what you can do to promote this shift to a circular economy:

  • Support companies that contribute to the circular economy (they take recycled materials, create products from waste, etc.)
  • Vote for politicians who promote taxing pollution or penalizing wasteful business models
  • Repurpose, reuse and refurbish things instead of creating more waste
Picture of Krista Aoki

Krista Aoki

Krista Aoki is the founder of Econalu. She is social change marketer and writer. The goal behind her writing is to educate the world on how small changes can make a big, lasting impact. Connect with her on Instagram or Medium.

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