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Guest Post by (S A Y A Designs)

An average household uses numerous everyday items that end up as waste. These are little things which we all use, but not very often do we notice the amount of waste that they add up to. Luckily today many innovationsnew ways of thinking and alternative products give us the choice to avoid waste, reuse it or recycle it.

At the same time though, we have to change the way we think about waste. This starts with the purchase of any new item – it is our responsibility to produce as little waste as possible. Many businesses give us the option to choose sustainably produced and conscious products. Their business model is based on a concept which is called Circular Economy.

This economy model uses innovation and new ways of thinking to cut down on waste. At the same time it minimises the negative impacts of production on the environment. Its aim is to build economic, natural and at the same time social capital instead of draining them. Consequently it intends to stop and eventually reverse biodiversity loss. Take a look here at the UN Sustainable development goals for 2030 and how you can contribute to a sustainable future yourself.

Image: Zero Climate Hour by Mark Dixon / https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/41791924330/

To get a quick overview, we summarised and cut down four main points of the 17 development goals for you.SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES

The goal is to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. This matters to all of us – half of the world’s population lives in cities and the numbers are growing. Especially in developing countries people already have to deal with the negative impacts of the uncontrolled and unsustainable growth of cities. In order to reach this goal equality has to be established and issues like poverty, climate change, healthcare and education have to be tackled everywhere.LIFE ON LAND

‘Around 1.6 Billion people depend on forests for their livelihood.’

Here the goal is to manage forests sustainably, fight desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and stop biodiversity loss. As all life on earth is connected to the forests this is an incredibly important issue. Simple examples are all pollen-carriers, such as insects. They live off the forests, its flowers and other nutrients. In our global food economy they have an estimated value of US$200 billion per year. Concluding: If the earth’s forests diminish, their population will diminish and so will our food supply. This is one example of many of how the loss of biodiversity in the future will have an impact on our lives.CLIMATE ACTION

We all know it: We have to take urgent action to tackle climate change and its impact. If we do not take action now, the world will be facing problems which start with poverty, food and water scarcity and reach towards the induction of conflicts. ‘Doing nothing will end up costing us a lot more that if we take action now.’ Most importantly, the world’s biggest economies have to take action, but every single one of us can contribute! Here are some ideas.RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION

All around the world the middle class is growing, and with it the demand for higher living standards. Therefore we have a higher consumption – of food, textiles, etc. Not changing our consumption and production patterns will irreversibly destroy our environment. Today all over the world businesses have to face the fact that they should implement a more sustainable production in order to create products that have a positive impact on a social and environmental level.

How does a circular economy work within a business?

Luckily there are already many businesses which have understood that a sustainable production and consumption will in the end benefit them, their customers and the environment in the long term. Here we will introduce 3 examples to you:

Image: Hair sticks by SAYA Designs / www.sayadesigns.com

SAYA Designs

This heart centred venture is following the principles Recycle – Repurpose – Replenish. Under the slogan “Turning Heads for All the Right Reasons” SAYA makes a promise to their customers and a commitment to the environment.

RECYCLE – The beautiful wooden hair sticks are being made in Indonesia from salvaged root wood.

REPURPOSE – As an alternative to plastic and elastic, SAYA Designs’ hairpins are made from up cycled and the designs are inspired by the rich Indonesian flora and fauna.

REPLENISH – To give back – planting trees is one of the best solutions to many of our climate change-related problems. SAYA is partnering with the organization GAIA which replants endangered tree species all over Indonesia.  At SAYA, for every purchased hair stick, up to ten seeds will be bought and planted through GAIA.

Consequently: 1 Hairstick | 1 Tree | 50 LBS CO2 Savings per Year | Enough Oxygen Generated for 2 Humans per Year

Image: Ruby Cup / www.rubycup.com

RUBYCUP

“Buy One. Give One. Change Someone’s Life.”

Rubycup works towards a fairer and more informed world concerning women’s menstruation. For each menstruation cup they sell, they give one to a girl in one of 6 different African countries or Nepal, and at the same time invest into educational workshops and trainings on how to use menstruation cups.

Through this, they not only educate and help on a social level, but also work against a source of waste that is often underestimated: In your reproductive lifetime you will use up to 12,000 disposable period products which all contribute to an immense 200.000 tonnes of waste per year in the UK alone. A cup on the other hand can be used for up to 10 years and therefore saves you from producing waste.

Image: Island Bamboo Toothbrush / www.cleancoastcollective.org

CLEAN COAST COLLECTIVE

This collective focuses on eliminating as much plastic rubbish as possible. By selling lifestyle accessories which replace the cheap and toxic single-use plastics in your life they create real alternatives.

However because the already existent plastic rubbish will not vanish from our world just like that, 100% of their profits from product sales go directly towards their “Trash Tribe” expeditions. On these expeditions volunteers’ clean Australia’s most polluted beaches. Their main goal is to raise the overall awareness for the plastic pollution problem we have in our world. If you are interested in volunteering for them, you can apply for one of their expeditions to remote beaches!

As we can see, different brands and businesses conduct the circular economy in different ways, for everyone there a way to give back, raise awareness, educate and get people moving towards helping our planet. In the future we will need more businesses that work under the principles of the circular economy, as there has to be a circle of life – from the environment, to the product and back to the environment. This way the wellbeing of our forests, ecosystems and future generations can be protected and improved.

References

References

https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/cities/

http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/16-00055K_Why-it-Matters_Goal-11_Cities_2p.pdf

https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/biodiversity/

http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/15_Why-it-Matters_Goal15__Life-on-Land_3p.pdf

https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/climate-change-2/

http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/16-00055m_Why-it-Matters_Climate-Action_3p.pdf

https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-consumption-production/

http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/16-00055L_Why-it-Matters_Goal-12_Consumption_2p.pdf

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