Circular Economy – How technology helps create a virtuous cycle

Circular Economy - How technology can help without destroying

What is Circular Economy? The circular economy implies new processes, understanding and tracing the origin of the inputs and ensuring the destination of the outputs, in a systemic vision for generating positive impacts, in which it seeks, in addition to efficiency and effectiveness, to generate positive consequences for those involved, in a win-win relationship.

In the history of mankind we realize that all things evolve, or at least they should. When it comes to economics and sustainability, the action we find most often is recycling to transform waste into raw material. 

Thinking only about recycling is like applying a topical dressing to an open wound. A deeper reflection is necessary to reorganize the productive system. Here I avoid using the term productive chain, as we no longer need to be stuck with a single linear economic model, which has even proved to be outdated and unsustainable. 

Circular Economy – Definition

In general, the Circular Economy is based on a deep change of mindset and attitudes. In the circular economy model, product engineering already provides an optimized disposal for recycling, remanufacturing, redistribution, repair and reuse (5Rs). Based on an intelligent design, we will prevent natural resources from being exhausted. 

The Circular Economy concept
Image by Geissdoerfer, M., Pieroni, M.P., Pigosso, D.C. and Soufani, K. via Wikimedia Commons

In the TEDx lecture , the author and entrepreneur Pablo Marçal points out a solution , he indicates that everything that is natural moves and that which is artificial is static. From this reflection, the circular economy seems to be the only viable option and the next step in human evolution. This evolution inevitably involves joint action by the whole of society, from the design of the manufacturers to the behavior of consumers. 

What is Circular Economy

Opportunities we can already take advantage of

In recent years there has been a movement to re-educate consumption, which in part encounters barriers on the part of those interested, but on the other hand it also receives the support of people with great power of influence and change on a global scale.

The Resume Green Joe Baiden of 2021 is a major breakthrough to rejoin the global sustainability agreements and adopt changes as, for example, using electric cars in the US public sector .

Example of political movements, which reverse previous actions, towards sustainability through the adoption of new technologies.

How to use technology to our advantage without destroying natural resources

The world is already changing and there are several individual and collective actions that already represent a “lighter footprint” for the future of humanity:

  1. Amazon develops Kindle that minimizes paper consumption for the literature market
  2. Tesla develops electric cars with increasing autonomy and zero carbon emissions.
  3. Telemedicine has become more popular (via the COVID-19 pandemic) and avoids unnecessary displacement in most patients who can consult without leaving home.
  4. Apple, one of the world leaders in technology, takes a public commitment and develops an action plan to fully adapt its production line to zero carbon emissions by 2030 .
  5. Development of increasingly sustainable, natural and biodegradable packaging.
  6. Digital Marketing generates jobs and entrepreneurship while avoiding the
  7. Consumers put pressure on suppliers through social networks and demand changes.
  8. Online guides make it possible to perceive a greater availability of organic products and favoring local production.
  9. Cities become more receptive to ecological activities and make the population aware, from the creation of public parks and cycle paths to the rotation of cars and pollution sensors.
  10. Several channels on YouTube show how much money we are throwing in the trash daily – remember Julius, Chris’s father ? – and point to simple home-saving solutions for zero waste , such as bulk purchases, packaging reuse, selective garbage collection, etc.
  11. Initiatives such as Lojas Tare (fixed) and Refillery (mobile) bring innovative proposals for the purchase of products in bulk with reuse of packaging.
  12. Composting Project in Brasília and Curitiba encourages the change of habits when collecting organic waste and allows to separate the domestic waste in 3 garbage bins (Organic, Recyclable and common garbage)
  13. Minimalism / Essentialism , helps us to find purpose in our possessions, teaches detachment and “shredding”.
  14. Online second-hand marketplaces allow us to sell what we no longer use eg: craigslist, Gumtree, OLX, etc.
  15. Entities like the Ellen McCarthur Foundation are dedicated to publicizing the circular economy

Real-Life Examples of what is Circular Economy

Did you see how easy it is to act, with small changes in attitude, and work to achieve the long-awaited sustainability together?

Did you get what is Circular Economy? Let’s do it? 😉

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