How to be more sustainable in 2022
New Year's resolution: be more sustainable
So you did a quick Google search for 'how to be more sustainable' and were greeted with over 5 billion results, 5 billion! This can be somewhat overwhelming, but take a breather before the eco-anxiety sets in. Everyone, including you, can make a difference by making more sustainable choices, one of which is living in a circular economy.
“More than 100 billion tons of resources enter the economy every year – everything from metals, minerals and fossil fuels to organic materials from plants and animals. Just 8.6% gets recycled and used again.”
- David McGinty, World Resources Institute
What does the term circular economy mean?
It's likely you've seen the term 'circular economy' written on a few websites and in some social posts across your feeds, but what does it mean? The goal of a circular economy is to make better use of resources, reduce waste, and reduce pollution through improving product design and ensuring that they are preserved and used for extended periods of time.
What are the benefits of a circular economy?
Creating a circular economy has multiple benefits such as:
- Avoiding waste being sent to landfill
- Reduces the mining and use of non-renewable sources
- Lowers carbon emissions
- Aims for zero-waste
“The goods of today are the resources of tomorrow at yesterday’s resource prices”
- Walter R. Stahel, Sustainable Business Network
What’s the difference between a circular economy and recycling?
Recycling is the phrase used to describe a product that has reached the end of its useful life and is considered 'waste.' The goal of a circular economy is to avoid waste and pollution from occurring in the first place.
How can I be more circular?
There will surely be products in your shopping basket that will wind up in the trash or in the recycling bin. Next time you go, go with the idea of reusing items; instead of plastic, choose a glass bottle and find a new use for it around the house.
As much as possible, try to upcycle. Is there anything else you can do with those jeans which are now too big before you throw them out? Can you find a seamstress to fix them up or could you find a use for the material maybe a new bag? The possibilities are endless!
There are a variety of refurbished alternatives available, including refurbished washing machines, cars, and, of course phones. All of these are excellent methods to become more sustainable and to promote a more circular society. Don't forget, one man's trash is another man's treasure!
Interested in learning more about the circular economy? Check out LIFE and the Circular Economy published by the European Commission.