I was fascinated by the concepts of reusing and recycling since my childhood. Seeing the waste thrown outside my home early on (I actually wrote about it in a prior blog post), I always thought there is a huge opportunity in the space of waste management. I did not pursue the interest professionally but recently, a work project led me back to that topic. I felt ever so amazed by it. And also learnt couple of new things about sustainability – one of them being a concept called circular economy.
Circular economy is a vision of an economy where resources extracted by humans will stay in use forever instead of going to waste (i.e. landfill or incineration). This can be achieved partly by techniques such as reusing, recycling and composting. It also involves thinking about sustainability from the design stage itself – what type of inputs go into production. While recycling is an end of the cycle process, circular economy entails thinking holistically about materials we consume.
I wanted to share some resources I came across on this topic –
- This link talks about the difference between recycling and circular economy. Ellen MacArthur Foundation is one of the pioneer organizations advocating in this space. https://ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/articles/recycling-and-the-circular-economy-whats-the-difference
- There is tremendous business opportunity in circular economy. World Economic Forum (WEF) – The Benefits of a Circular Economy – An Economic Opportunity Worth Billions: https://reports.weforum.org/toward-the-circular-economy-accelerating-the-scale-up-across-global-supply-chains/an-economic-opportunity-worth-billions-charting-the-new-territory/
- A comprehensive essay, this National Geographic article dives deeper into circularity gap using examples from around the world (or I should say, mostly Scandinavian nations). While circular economy is a great ideal, there are different challenges for various materials such as metals, clothing, food, etc. and we don’t have a great start. This article also touches on the technological advances in the field of sustainability that are super fascinating but still limited in scale. The article states that while this cool concept of circular economy is inspiring many people for innovation, unfortunately, circularity gap is only increasing, not shrinking. But there is always something we can do. I couldn’t agree more with a thought noted in this article – “Waste is a design flaw. As in nature, it does not exist.” https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/article/how-a-circular-economy-could-save-the-world-feature
This week has been tiring so was not able to write much. But hope I was able to spread the word on circular economy.
Lastly, I want to take a moment to recognize that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I mention it with the hope that anyone reading this post takes a few minutes of their headspace to honor the campaign by thinking of someone who has fought the battle and thinking of the adversity faced by patients during the pandemic. Let’s share our collective empathy…
Whenever I think of cancer, the book “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi jumps to mind. The book is one of my favorites and I shared some of my favorite lines from the book in this post. I needed a lot of courage and mental strength to finish the book because it is extremely touching, heavy and heart wrenching. There is a high probability that you’ll be in tears reading it. However, it is also very profound and honest. So, I would highly recommend it. It brought a whole new meaning to life. It is unlike anything I ever read before – emotional yet so inspiring. I just love it!