What is a circular economy?
Nature creates no waste so why do we? Nature has a beautifully efficient system, when a tree dies it falls to the ground and begins to decompose, and as it decomposes it feeds the seeds that it once dropped to give a life to a new tree. Where there is death, new life begins. Nature is constantly reusing and recycling resources to create new and potentially even better things. So, the question here is, why do we create waste? Well, my friends, this is human nature. When a product “dies” we bury it in a landfill and hope something magical happens. This in essence, is a linear economy, we take, make, and waste. As we create we don’t think about the waste we leave behind, we are only looking forward to the next bigger, better, and probably even more wasteful thing.
Our linear economy
Operating this way, in a linear economy, is financially and environmentally unsustainable. We are either going to 1) run out of resources or 2) have to pay to deal with the waste we have already created, and it will most likely be both. The biggest argument against environmentally sustainable practices is the fear of economic instability and loss of profits. This is the idea of “planet over profit”, but why can’t we have both? We can actually create more jobs by introducing new sustainable industries (ex. solar energy), products (ex. electric cars), and services (ex. Loop). There are profits and thousands of jobs waiting for us! Sustainability has the power to spark unprecedented innovation and creativity, it is a market largely untapped. We must begin creating a circular economy that mirrors nature and contributes to her success and longevity.
Working with nature
It is our duty and moral obligation to work with nature and not against it. We must tread lightly and take seriously the consequences that inaction could have. We must instill a sense of urgency and hope in our society. If we combine the two, we can significantly alter the course of the climate crisis.
How can we help?
People often forget that “eco” is short for ecology. Ecology is the study of organisms and how they interact with each other and their environment. This is interesting for all of us because we can begin to think about our everyday relationships with the people and our physical environment. Eco Eclectic encourages you to study how you personally interact with the environment through the things you chose to consume and support, as well as analyzing the waste you create.
Ecology is typically broken down into 5 levels that can be translated into how you view yourself and your impact on the planet.
|Levels of Ecology||Levels of your life||Actions||Impact|
|Organism/Individual||You||I make reusable cloth napkins||Eliminating paper towel use|
|Population||Who you live with/ family||Myself and my roomate compost, use recycled toilet paper, and monitor energy use||Reducing food waste, reusing materials, and saving money + reducing energy consumption|
|Community||Your local network of people and businesses||Neighbors: we are creating a community garden|
Coffee shops and restaurants: bring your own mug, straw, and togo container
Grocery stores: Bring your own bags
|Neighbors: Less reliant on food shipped from far away places + save money|
Coffee shops and restaurants: Reduce plastic and paper waste + save money.
Grocery stores: Reduce plastic and paper waste + save money (the store)
The more we do the more they listen, implementing better business practices.
|Ecosystem||People and businesses in your city||Think: record stores, thrift stores, bakeries, etc.||Think: How can I reduce my impact AND the businesses impact on the environment. How can I interact with them in a way that encourages sustainable practices?|
|Biosphere||Earth||Think: How do I interact with the world?|
Vote with your dollar.
Consume less, consumption drives a linear economy.
Post on social media. Join sustainability groups.
Shop local, support local.
|Think: The butterfly effect, what you do ultimately affects everything around you and can reach far away places.|
Think about the power you have as a consumer and use it wisely.
I have created a free outline to discovering your personal ecology below. Please use this as a starting point for your journey and if you need help or have any questions, please reach out!