Welcome to Circular Economy Month!


October is Circular Economy Month! Circular Economy Month is a new, expanded program emerging from Waste Reduction Week, a national program run by the Circular Innovation Council. Waste Reduction Weeks began happening around Canada back in the 1980’s but, 20 years ago in 2001, Waste Reduction Week became official.

Waste Reduction Week, which has been held in the third week of October, continues to focus on the following daily topics:

circular economy
Source: Waste Reduction Week in Canada website

In previous years we’ve posted our experiences with Waste Reduction Week and the theme days:

Waste Reduction Week and the 7 Important Theme Days

#WRW2020: 3 Ways to Upcycle T-shirts

In an expanded program, Waste Reduction Week is now joined by the informational weeks as shown in the graphic below and will now be known as Circular Economy Month:

circular economy
Source: Waste Reduction Week in Canada website

What is the circular economy?

Around the world we largely create, use, and dispose of the goods we need for daily life in a path that can be viewed as a straight line: resource extraction, creation of product, and then disposal. It doesn’t take long to see the problem with this however as resources are finite, so what happens when they run out?

The circular economy loops this straight pathway into a wheel where products can be shared, repaired and recycled such that the outputs then become inputs into the next iteration of the cycle.

circular economy
Source: Waste Reduction Week in Canada website

Why do we need to shift to a circular economy?

The linear economy is resource-intensive and is not sustainable. It is well-documented that, at our current rates of consumption, we require more than our one planet to sustain our ongoing needs. This, of course, is not possible to continue. It is clear, as landfills overflow and our oceans (and, shockingly, ourselves) fill up with plastic, that we need to pivot to a better way.

Cork Yoga Mat

How you can take part in the circular economy

Everyone can do their part to advance the circular economy and here are a few ideas!

Share: Borrow, rent, and share products wherever practicable

Repair: Purchase products that can be easily repaired and learn how to repair them!

Use your purchasing power: Do research about the companies you purchase from and direct your dollars with intentionality to those companies who are furthering the cause of the circular economy

Learn more:

In a previous post, Alison shared the following resources to learn more about the circular economy:

Is the circular economy truly possible?

I am certainly no expert, but I believe that the circular economy can be profitable such that corporations will adopt it, and result in the type of outputs that are required to make the circular economy a reality. Some examples of the circular economy already in action include the Adidas shoes that are returned to the company after use to be shredded and made into a new pair, as well as IKEAs furniture return and reuse program.

What do you think the biggest barriers are to moving towards a circular economy?

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What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!