What is circularity?

Refuse single-use: Challenge throwaway culture by saying no to single-use plastics and items. Invest in reusable alternatives, such as water bottles, bags, and containers, to reduce the demand for disposable products.

Borrow instead of buy: Before making a new purchase, consider borrowing items that you might only need temporarily. Collaborate with neighbours or utilise community sharing platforms to minimise the need for ownership.

Repair instead of replace: Instead of replacing your items at the first sign of wear and tear, explore the possibility of repairing them. This not only extends the life of your belongings but also reduces the demand for new resources.

Eat less meat: Consider reducing your meat intake and replacing it with less resource-intensive proteins.

Materials matter: Not all materials are created equal. Whether you’re designing, selling or buying a product, be mindful of the kinds of plastics, textiles or metals that it contains. If possible, opt for alternatives that are recycled, recyclable or biodegradable, and that require less water, land and energy to produce.

Opt for longevity and quality: Choose higher-quality items that are designed to be repairable and/or durable. This is especially important when it comes to electronics and fashion.

Keep it local:  Remember that locally-sourced products are more likely to have circular supply chains than their alternatives. This goes for food but also for things like travel. Rather than taking planes and cars, consider travelling closer to home or alternative mobility options like ride-sharing services or trains.

Advocate and educate others: Exercise your political power. Engage with local organisations to advocate for regulations that support a circular economy, like the right-to-repair, the greenwashing directive, or the extended producer responsibility for textiles.

The concept of a circular economy first became popular in the late 20th century, but has its roots in earlier schools of thought like industrial ecology, biomimicry and the Cradle to Cradle approach to design. But, in its broadest sense, circularity is founded on much older ways of knowing, making and living: ones inspired by the natural world and which balance the needs of people with the needs of the planet.

What is circularity?