For the last couple of decades, climate change is all over the news and slowly but surely people are getting more involved in this issue. Sustainability is our savior, our hero against climate change. However, this specific hero of mother earth is still far away. Once it will be nearby, it should embrace the earth and protect her from exploitation and pollution.
Difference between linear and circular economy. Source: World Economic Forum https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/05/can-the-circular-economy-transform-the-world-s-number-one-consumer-of-raw-materials/
How to solve the everlasting problem like climate change then? And where to begin? First of all, we need to change our way of using and producing things. Our economy is based on linearity. We extract resources, produce, distribute, consume, and dispose, for me also known as ‘waste’ or ‘rejected leftovers’. Instead of rejecting it, we must re-think about the meaning of waste. Just start calling it ‘leftovers’ rather than ‘waste’ . If I have enough leftovers from my lovely diner that I cooked, I’ll save it for the day after, because it is cost saving and at the same time the quality is still excellent enough for using it again. Leftovers from the production in a company or factory should be used as a secondary resource for themselves or for another company, like a contributor to a circular economy.
Video showing the challenges and opportunities for companies. Source: The Guardian
this video states that companies should start with the circular economy. The two examples following up perfectly describe where to begin on a small scale.
I work in a do-it-yourself shop. One of the services we deliver is sawing wood in the preferred size for the customer. The waste we leave behind is sawdust. Instead of labelling it as waste and throw it away, we provide our sawdust to a farmer, who is using it again for the pigs for rooting. Another example is a company in The Hague, buying leftover wood briquettes from furniture companies to heat up his own building and even other buildings surrounding him. The advantage of burning wood briquettes is that they release less carbon dioxide compared to fossil fuels. These two examples do present a solution for reducing the extraction of raw materials and to save energy by using leftovers instead of using new raw materials.
These two cases do not present a circular economy on a large scale, but they perfectly describe a small starting circular economy. These examples can be a great practice for companies in The Hague. Why The Hague? The Hague is a city with lots of citizens and companies. The chance of companies working together is more likely to be in a city like The Hague. Businesses helping each other like these examples in industry areas like ZKD and Binckhorst would tremendously reduce the impact on climate change and exploitation of materials in The Hague. If the Netherlands wants to achieve their goal of being a circular economy in 2050, more cities should introduce a circular economy. The more cities, the closer we will be towards a better and sustainable earth.