What the heck is a circular economy?
In short, it’s a manner of producing and manufacturing goods in a way that gives waste the middle finger by recycling materials for as long as possible.
In a circular economy less is made from scratch, cutting down on factory emissions AND waste production!
A popular recent example of this would be IKEA’s buy-back scheme where customers can sell back their old furniture and give it a second life, rather than chucking it into a landfill.
WELL. There are so many things we can all be doing to live less wasteful and more impactful lives, but you’d be here all day and I’d get carpal tunnel from all that typing. So, I’ll start off with 10 hassle-free ways you can support the circular economy AND save our planet from excess waste.
You knew this was coming, huh? But did you know that plastic production accounted for 850 MILLION metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019? At the rate we're going, that number is expected to rise.
Because plastic is typically single use, it’s one of the most wasteful forms of packaging. By simply choosing refillable packaging instead (such as glass bottles) and cutting down on plastic wherever you can, you can single-handedly fight back against one of the biggest climate change contributors like a badass.
Thinking of throwing it out? Give it an upgrade instead!
Is your bedside table looking a bit dingy? Throwing it out would be easy, but where’s the fun in that? Spruce up that bedside table with a fresh, bold coat of paint & turn it into a statement piece for your room instead. It’s less expensive than buying a new bedside table altogether, AND it's good for our planet - two birds, one stone!
Donate or sell old clothing!
Talking about big climate change contributors – the fast fashion industry is nearly as harmful as Jeff Bezos in terms of pollution contribution, and that’s not surprising considering how quickly trends come in and out of style! Fast fashion brands such as ASOS and Boohoo will produce hundreds of thousands of particular items of clothing in factories with poor and unethical working conditions, only to throw out the excess when the trend passes.
So why don’t you give someone else a chance to love that sweater you haven't worn in years? Donate it to a charity shop (and support a great cause) or sell it online (and make a quick buck!) It’s a win-win situation.
Large supermarkets give us instant gratification because we can pop in n’ out without an issue. But a lot of these goods are produced in another country, shipped to the UK, and delivered to the store – presumably not via e-trucks.
While the “convenience” of that Tescos 10 minutes down the road might seem great, it’s not doing wonders for our planet. Shopping locally is SO good for our planet because local, independent shops have everything you need and more – all with a much smaller carbon footprint and less waste. Think global, shop local! We can help on that front 😉😉
Choose refurbished goods!
This could mean ANYTHING really, but here’s an example: tech manufacturing is yet another example of a fast-paced, wasteful industry. Think about it, a new iPhone is released every year and they sell out in stores almost immediately – but c'mon. Do you really need to replace your phone every single year?
Instead, get your tech goodies from second-hand shops such as Back Burner! They take old or faulty tech, refurbish it, and sell them for lower prices. Good as new, inexpensive, AND zero-waste? Hell yeah.
These tips might seem drastic, but in reality they're hassle-free.
Mega corporations are constantly looking for ways to maximise profits, and one of the biggest ways they've succeeded in doing that is by consistently sending out the message that more is better, but it's not. It causes clutter that we'll inevitably want to throw out, which in turn causes chaos for our planet. Being slightly more mindful of where and what you buy quickly becomes second nature, and it makes the biggest difference!