Circular Economy: ok, but what exactly is it?

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Some words are “in trend” for social networks and for our lives. We often hear about Circular Economy, but few give it the right meaning and the right connotation.

So let us try to understand and reflect not only on the meaning of words but also on their effective application to our lives.

In a very simplistic way, we can conceive the current economy as a Linear Economy (produce, consume, discard). At some point though, once buried under tons of waste and have polluted the entire world we live in (which incidentally is a closed bubble!), we realized that the linear economy is no longer a sustainable model for our future and we understand that we need an important change.

Here comes the Circular Economy, or our collective crisis of conscience, with which we try to save the Titanic.

I’m too tough you’ll think. But all I do is read books from the 80s to today talking about a crisis of the system that is collapsing and that needs urgent treatment. It was the 80s and 40 years have passed before we could only begin to think that the consumerist model is not sustainable.

After this moment of hyper-realism let’s try to better understand what it is.

What is a Circular Economy?

Circular Economy is the set of all those activities that think (in general) of closing process circles, but not as a simple “0”, but rather as a series of activities that:

  • they generate value
  • they don’t waste
  • they reuse
  • they recycle
  • raise awareness
  • and set us free

This last point is my personal review because I am convinced that communities need freedom, but we will discuss it in the next articles.

The circular economy is more like the Fibonacci spiral or Paisley designs or like the designs that nature draws on the growth pattern of the cabbages we eat. Nature is circular, even if we persist in ignoring this concept!

Circular Economy: let’s take a practical example

I buy some tomatoes (I drive to the supermarket and consume petrol) then I come back, throw away the packaging of the tomatoes and eat them, throwing away the seeds and skins.

Or I can change the circle: I take a plastic box and put some earth inside, to then take some seeds or tomato plants that I will grow and after eating them (without having taken the car and consuming petrol) I can extract the seeds and plant other seedlings again next season. Since there are so many seeds, I could also make little bags to give to friends with instructions for gardening on the balcony. I also learned how to grow tomatoes and not use herbicides or chemicals. I created value for myself and for others.

This clarifies the concept of Recursive Circular Value, but how can we fight against the “trendy” words that are becoming part of the (improper) lexicon of many companies?

A piece of advice for seafarers and more attentive observers is to try to understand in the company’s communication what is meant by Circular Economy with the best possible CC detail.

In other words, start immediately to distrust two types of companies :

  • those who say they do circular economy because they separate waste collection
  • those companies that talk about the circular economy but who limit themselves to talking about it and do not take concrete actions of any kind

Start your journey here together with Us to discover the Circular Economy with a special lens that no one uses, that of common sense.

Circular Economy: let’s take a practical example

I buy some tomatoes (I drive to the supermarket and consume petrol) then I come back, throw away the packaging of the tomatoes and eat them, throwing away the seeds and skins.

Or I can change the circle: I take a plastic box and put some earth inside, to then take some seeds or tomato plants that I will grow and after eating them (without having taken the car and consuming petrol) I can extract the seeds and plant other seedlings again next season. Since there are so many seeds, I could also make little bags to give to friends with instructions for gardening on the balcony. I also learned how to grow tomatoes and not used herbicides or chemicals. I created value for myself and for others.

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