A sustainable economy is what it sounds like: it is self-sustaining. The continual moves individuals make, can add up to large-scale efforts that greatly influence the state of the environment, the health of humanity, and the renewable nature of the economy. Included with acts of reducing, reusing, and recycling, are specific actions that businesses and individuals alike can make every day to build sustainable economic systems.
Currently, we have the opposite of a sustainable economy; energy is disproportionally being distributed throughout the economy. We are exhausting our natural resources and obtaining short-term gains in the hopes that resources will preserve themselves by divine intervention. With the imbalance of resources, we are making it more challenging for individuals to obtain higher standards of living for themselves, and we are also tempting fate.
Research has estimated that some of our most vital resources, such as global oil and gas, may become obsolete in under 50 years, less than the average human lifespan. Much of our waste is shipped to other countries because it has become unmanageable. These facts alone should be enough to stress the necessity of change. Change begins with understanding how a circular economy works; you can gain this knowledge by reading on.
What Is A Circular Economy And How Does It Work?
A circular economy is what manifests when companies, officials, and the public work together to improve how resources are utilized to preserve the best possible treatment of our environment and humanity.
A circular economy is a domino effect process in that each thing affects the next. Ideally, waste will be eliminated as outputs will serve as inputs and vice versa. With this continuation in place, we establish an organic system that keeps everything running without promoting harm to people or the environment.
Everyone must contribute for the world to become a sustainable and reliable system. There are some general principles that can set us in the direction we need to go for positive change.
Some of these principles include: establishing a waste management system that relies on recycling to present raw materials to producers, changing our lifestyles so that we are more mindful of the economic and environmental impacts behind our choices, changing business models to cultivate sustainability, and being more intentional with waste management, consumption, and how we choose to shop for items such as clothing and groceries.
Here are some ideas of how these changes might look in action:
- Businesses can focus on the sustainability and durability of their products to maintain loyal customers who want to come back. Instead of creating low-quality, wasteful products that will be replaced by newer items, businesses can focus on product durability. Rather than relying on rotation, businesses can focus on sustainability. With these changes, both profitability and sustainability remain optimized, and a circular economy emerges.
- Shopping for clothing at thrift stores and other secondhand businesses allows clothing to be reused and worn, eliminating the need to produce new clothing from fast fashion manufacturers. The production processes used to create new clothing and runway looks generate significant amounts of air pollution into the atmosphere, contribute to waste and excessive consumption, and ultimately wreak havoc on the planet and humanity. Making a small change like choosing to shop secondhand can be a driving force behind establishing a circular economy, that is, if it becomes a global habit.
- Making use of leftover food materials and being more conscious of the fact that natural foods are biodegradable can also have a significant influence on bettering the world. Composting and mindfully separating trash from recyclables are additional efforts that people can take daily to improve the state of the environment and the world’s health.
Sustainable Efforts Taking Effect
Making new out of the old eliminates the need to increase consumption and acquire more materials to create new products and goods. Younger generations are particularly environmentally-conscious, suggesting that there is indeed hope for the future.
Efforts to shop for sustainable goods and ridesharing are two of the current habits that have become popular among today’s top consumers, both of which contribute to a more sustainable and renewable system.
Things Take Time
Although renewable energy sources create ways to preserve our natural resources without eliminating modern human needs like transportation, these efforts alone are not enough. It takes everyone’s participation to achieve a circular economy, and maximum renewable potential of these efforts.
Indeed, it will take strategic and innovative solutions to establish a sustainable and circular economy, and developing these solutions takes time.
We Can Work Together
By considering the impact of our choices and making changes to contribute to a better world, we can ultimately achieve a circular economy. Understanding the domino effects of a circular economy, and what it takes to build such a system, is the first step to achieving sustainability.