The bigger picture. The golden c words. Cradle-to-cradle and circular economy.

Cradle to Cradle is the underlying concept of the circular economy and was first explained in the book: Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the way we make things by Bill McDonough and Michael Braungart. This approach uses nature as a role model where waste ceases to exist as all (waste becomes food) and waste products become biodegradable without releasing harmful gases.

Our current take-make-waste or cradle-to-grave model depletes natural resources in the making of objects with a short shelf life, ending up in landfill and becoming a cost to society.

According to McDonough, we need to strive to create value instead of only minimising waste to grow our ecological footprint. And rather than aspiring to be “less bad”, it is better to strive to do the right thing in the right way by designing products which can be reused or upcycled and therefore go in continuous cycles.

What would a circular economy look like to you? You can give your input to the draft NSW Circular Economy Policy and make a difference!

The NSW Government is in the process of developing a Circular Economy Policy to revise “the way we produce, assemble, sell and use products to minimise waste and to reduce our environmental impact.”

We need to value our resources by getting maximum use out of them while reducing and eliminating the amount of waste created. For example, using recycled materials in production in businesses and repairing and upcycling household goods before buying new ones at home.

Diagram demonstrating NSW ‘Too Good to Waste’ circular economy process.