Guest Blog! #CircularEconomy—Why it is Good for Business! Erich Lawson

Businesses joining the circular economy

Jumping on the Bandwagon of Circular Economy!

Remember the old adage that most of us have heard of: ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’?

Circular economy on the lines of this mantra, involves a positive cycle which stands in stark contrast to the wide-spread linear economy which is based on the approach of take, make and dispose.

Circular economy or CE preserves and improves natural resources by optimizing waste in a way so that it can be used as a valuable resource which can be put back into the existing or a new supply chain as a secondary raw material.

Simply put, it is a form of resource match-making. Organizations find out which of their existing waste materials will match with new applications either in their operations or within other organizations.

Its many benefits include lower environmental impact, solution to resource crisis, more competitive economy and much more. It also allows businesses to implement it either independently or collaboratively.

Stages of Circular Economy

  • Stage 1: Production and Consumption

It is essential to begin with production and processes because they form the first level. Hence, if they are designed smartly the entire process of waste management ahead, will be optimized. This is because introducing smart designs and processes at the production stage itself will help businesses save resources, increase financial gains, reduce waste generation and produce sustainably enhanced products. So at consumption level, these products after consumption can easily be recycled and reused. This means lower levels of waste generated.

  • Stage 2: Managing Waste and Secondary Raw Material

The next stage of a CE involves waste management to extract valuable secondary raw material which can either be recycled or be reused. And these materials hold immense value because the not just reduce environmental footprint but also manufacturing costs.

Global Inspiration

Gradually many organizations across the globe are embracing CE and its many benefits. If you are thinking about making the switch, here are some examples from where you can draw inspiration—

  • A majority of companies which are traditional battery recyclers are basically mining companies. So, they have decided to dig smarter into the waste than dig deeper into the ground.
  • Giant groups such as the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development have created B2B material online markets for companies who wish to sell or buy absolutely everything from wood and cardboard to brewery by-products.
  • Many of the UK’s national waste operators are following CE. For instance, SITA figured out a way to use unrecyclable commercial material as a fuel in cement processing kilns. Viridor provides material to recycle plastic bottles to the Coca Cola ECO Plastics plant.

There are many other renowned global brands which have turned to CE to make a difference to environment while taking their businesses to new heights of success.

The old waste industry is now a new resource industry and is at the heart of the promising Circular Economy. So, don’t let this opportunity go to waste; instead, reuse or recycle by adopting CE and move to a greener future, financially and environmentally!


Erich Lawson

Erich Lawson

Author Bio

Erich Lawson is passionate about saving environment by effective recycling. He has written a wide array of articles on how modern recycling equipment can be used by industries to reduce monthly garbage bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environment savings techniques by visiting Northern California Compactors, Inc blog.

#Salvage #Upcycling #Reuse #Recycled #CircularDesign … All good by any name!

Salvage Secrets | Joanne Palmisano

Two of my new favorite inspo books are Salvage Secrets and Country Living Salvage Style.  These (2) books have tons of colorful, brilliant photos of what #upcycle designers can do with #salvage materials.  As artists and designers. we have a responsibility to utilizing #circulardesign whenever possible. Let’s work toward Cradle to Cradle design—but #upcycle until we get there!

Salvage Secrets Blog

From Amazon:

Sustainability and conservation are buzzwords in the construction and renovation of homes today. It’s therefore no surprise that “salvage design”―reusing old building materials and other types of recycled goods―is becoming a popular technique, both for its environmentally friendly functionality and for its unique design aesthetic.

Here, award-winning designer Joanne Palmisano presents an inspiring, practical guide that is also a striking visual tour of the full range of interior design possibilities incorporating salvaged materials. From using recycled wood as vintage flooring or accent beams to reclaiming stone as a kitchen island or fitting salvaged tiles into a bathroom backsplash, the book covers a range of materials and design concepts for different rooms and supplies technical information about what to keep in mind (size, shape, color, structural needs, etc.), how to use the salvaged materials most effectively, and where to go to find them.

Salvage Style | Country Living

Salvage Style | Country Living

Salvage Style

From Amazon;

Salvage style—decorating with repurposed and vintage items like wicker furniture, cast-iron tubs, polished marble, industrial pendant lights, and even tractor seats—has become a chic way to create unique, personal rooms. By reclaiming honest materials and collectibles, large and small, all imbued with their own history, you can infuse your home with warmth, charm, and individuality. Let the experts at Country Living show you how to find and make the most of discarded treasures, such as old windows, barn doors, metal military desks, mailroom filing cabinets, factory lamps, and hand-forged iron hooks. Plus, the editors share best practices for bargain hunting and obtaining the most desirable cast-offs, such as antique beams and weathered barn wood. Stunning photos of every room, along with imaginative ideas from homeowners, will spark your creativity and give you an eye-opening perspective on the decorative potential of “trash.”

#GirlGuides in the #UK add #Upcycling for a badge! Via #TheTelegraph

Princess Elizabeth Girl Guide

Princess Elizabeth | Girl Guide

GirlGuides Rewards Upcycling!

Camilla Turner Education Editor | The Telegraph Education | @tele_education

Girl Guides is the UK is the equivalent of our the Girl Scouts. Girlguiding is revitalizing their program and offering new badges for the modern girl.  One of the skill sets you can now earn a badge for is… wait for it… #Upcycling!

How cool is that?  Not quite as cool as a young Princess Elizabeth setting up her own camp site clean-up, but pretty awesome!

Which #Ikea bag hack is better? @TreeHugger

Ikea bag upcycle hacks

Ikea bag upcycle hacks

@TreeHugger | Melissa Breyer | @MelissaBreyer

This list of #Ikea bag hacks from TreeHugger is sometimes “tongue-in-cheek” and all-around awesome!

It will make you feel artsy, a maker, and much smarter than anyone buying the Balenciaga knock-off for $2,145.00.  Yes, you read that right! Hmmm… 99 cents vs. $2k? Damn right—you’re a genius!


Ikea or Balenciaga?

Ikea or Balenciaga? 99 cents vs. $2k



#ZeroWaste not just for #hippies anymore! Never was, really | @CNN

Zero Waste is all the rage!

Zero Waste is all the rage!

Via @CNN Isabelle Chapman

Soooooo, now everyone wants less packaging! Yay! Who needs extra stuff on top of the thing that you most desire? No one! Do not hide my purchase in plastic or new resource paper—let my purchase be lovingly ensconced in my very own brought-from-home bag or a #zerowaste reusable status symbol!

Zero Waste isn’t just for hippies anymore

#Austin is on the forefront of zero waste. We have a master plan of 90% diversion rate by 2040.  Ambitious, yes!

Re-Sourcery has featured one of our local businesses helping us get to zero waste, in.gredients.

Austin even has a handy-dandy Shop Zero Waste directory!

Want to become a sustainable green business? Check out Austin Green Business Leaders from the City of Austin Office of Sustainability.

@Marketplace | How to keep #Mom&Pop businesses alive | Co-op model for employee equity

Marketplace | Urban Ore

Marketplace | Urban Ore

via SamHartnett

What I like about the creative solution is the business keeps running with the folks who know how to manage it best—the employees. Finding ways to keep small #Mom&Pop businesses going after owners retire is a valid concern. Most owners don’t want to just “sell out”.

From the article

Berkeley’s reclaimed trash company Urban Ore has diverted tons of garbage from the dump and into the hands of customers, and the company has become a key part of Berkeley’s recycling ecosystem. But it could disappear.

That’s because the owners of the 36-year-old business, Dan Knapp and Mary Lou Van Deventer, are ready to stop working.

Many of America’s small businesses are in a similar position. Baby boomers hold about 45 percent of the country’s privately-owned businesses that employ workers, according to a new analysis of U.S. Census data by the non-profit Project Equity. As the owners retire, many shut down or sell off their businesses.

“We bought it at $3 million and it’s worth three times that now,” Knapp said.Urban Ore’s owners have a different plan, even though selling off the property could prove lucrative. Urban Ore’s three-acre warehouse in Berkeley is a real estate goldmine.

“Both our lawyer and our banker have advised us to sell the property and take the money,” Van Deventer said. “And we say, ‘But we said we spent our lives building the business.’”