Linear or circular? No, this isn't a Geometry problem, but it does harken back to college "Econ." One of the greenest ways to address solid waste issues is via a circular economy instead of the linear "take, make, and dispose" model of production we have used for far too long.
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, "Looking beyond the current 'take, make and dispose' extractive industrial model, the circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design. Relying on system-wide innovation, it aims to redefine products and services to design waste out, while minimizing negative impacts."
Highlighting this in a recent post on Entrepreneur, Elizabeth Gore describes how "Embracing the circular economy can bring business success and appeal to customers -- and maybe even save the world." Read more about two companies she highlights who are doing just that in our feature article below.
When it comes to waste, a circle beats a line any day! We would love to help you explain the importance of turning waste into resources as a part of the environmental education you deliver to your community.
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Elizabeth Roe Eco Partners
Start Moving in a Circle!
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One of them is
Norton Point. Based in Martha's Vineyard, MA, they manufacture sunglasses from waste plastics found in the ocean. The company also has what it calls a "
One to One Pledge." Norton Point pledges to remove one pound of plastic from the ocean for every pair of sunglasses it sells. It also gives back 5% of its net profits to global cleanup, education, and remediation practices. That certainly meets the definition of a circular economy by being "restorative and regenerative by design."
According to Gore, "Design for recyclability takes into account the entire product lifecycle (including ease of reuse, repair and recycling), finding more efficient materials and means (including use of renewable resources) and looking at new business models that transform processes and relationships."
Another business she cites is
Rubies in the Rubble whose motto is "fighting food waste with relish." They take discarded fruit and vegetable produce which would become waste and turn it into relishes, jams and pickles instead.
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