There is a limit to how many resources Earth can provide. The linear economy not only depends on those scarce resources but also results in a non-biodegradable waste. However, there is an opportunity and a solution to these problems. If businesses and individuals reuse waste created from the production, the product life cycle doesn’t end after its use. It also opens an opportunity for production waste to be used as well. Therefore, there is great importance in society to switch from a linear economy to a circular economy. The circular economy aims to redefine growth, build environmental and social benefits by building economic and social capital. It also helps in solving environmental issues such as plastic and gas pollution.
Although the biggest responsibility to achieve these goals lies in the governments, big corporations, and businesses, there is an opportunity for every person to contribute in achieving a circular economy. The people want to avoid using disposables as much as possible, but sometimes they just can’t escape them. Luckily, there is a green solution to plastic disposables. The market now offers non-plastic alternatives to plastic and paper disposables such as bags, plates, straws, cups, and cutlery. People are adopting a new solution as the awareness of environmental issues increases.
Fast fashion has a great negative impact on the environment by contributing to water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals, and increasing levels of textile waste. It leads to the importance of second-hand shopping which is another thing people can do to encourage a circular economy. Second-hand shops are on the rise, and people can search easily for the ones close to you. On the other hand, by shopping locally or at the food market, people are purchasing goods produced in their local community which helps in reducing food miles. The food in a supermarket usually travels a few thousand miles overseas by plane or a truck and therefore leaves high carbon footprints. Also, by shopping locally, people ensure that the fruits and vegetables are fresh and haven’t been preserved in any way and ultimately cutting down food waste.
Recycling of plastic is always in the spotlight, but besides plastic bottles, there is a dire need for recycling glass bottles and cans. Not widely known but the production of glass bottles, jars also contributes the environmental damage. Glass bottle reused three times has the same level of a carbon footprint as a single used plastic bottle. Compared to recycling the plastic bottle, the glass bottle needs to be reused 20 times for the carbon footprints to be comparable. It is important to put energy and emphasis on the use of recyclable glass as it is put on recyclable plastics. Besides the reusable glass bottles, lots of jars and glass containers are thrown away. There are a few smart DIY ideas for reusing glass products such as people can use the jars in the kitchen to keep spices, coffee, or flour or in a bathroom for makeup or brushes and even create decorative lanterns out of them.
By Dora Filipovic
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