The circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. In this way, the life cycle of products is extended. In practice, this means reducing waste to a minimum. In effect it is a closed looped system.
Fortunately, as our population continues to grow, placing ever demanding pressure on our resources, science and technology has been able to provide some solutions. However, at our current consumption levels, we in effect need approximately 1.7 planets. Clearly, this is unsustainable.
The more that we do as individuals, to reduce our consumption footprint, the better chance the crucial bio-diversity of our planet has of surviving, and this is crucial to our own survival.
Another example of positive changes in our practices is in the area of organic farming. For example, in the production of organic cotton, instead of using more toxic pesticides and fertilisers, co planting and insect traps are used along with the special ingredient – cow poo. It encourages biodiversity and leads to the extra soft feel of the products that can be manufactured from this cotton.
Less inputs also means less water, but even organic cotton is still a thirsty crop. So where if is grown also matters. For example, the fields in the North of India, where the monsoons fill reservoirs it is possible to supply almost all the water needed for large scale cotton farming.
With the information we all have immediate access to, we have less defence for not understanding where the products we are consuming have come from, and thus what impact they may have had on the people who produce them and the entire ecosystem which is crucial to planet earth’s survival as we know it. The bottom line…..we can no longer plead ignorant to the impact WE are having on the planet.
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Author ‘Team 4PlanetEarth’