Greetings Reuse Fans,
I have been spending some time reading discussions about the concept of a “circular economy.” This is looking beyond individual actions, or reuse and recycling, although those activities are absolutely essential to the concept. There is not a quick definition of circular economy but there are a number of goals that have been identified to give guidance to businesses, organizations, institutions and government to move away from the “take, make, and waste” linear system that defines the vast majority of our economic activity.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is taking a leading role in communicating 3 fundamental principles to build the circular economy, and I would like to share them with supporters of Construction Junction:
- Design out waste and pollution.
- Keep products and materials in use.
- Regenerate natural systems.
Obviously number 2 is CJ’s sweet spot, but we also encounter a number of materials/items that are donated to CJ that were constructed with low value materials and in a manner where the products were not meant to last or can even be repaired. At CJ, we often have to reject materials that are simply disintegrating (like particle board cabinets and desks). A solid wood cabinet can be repaired and refinished to look like new. Don’t just look at a price when you buy. If you can, think about quality, longevity and ability to be repaired or deconstructed, so the pieces can go into a new product.
CJ will continue to explore every option to help local businesses, institutions, municipalities and home owners to move towards a more circular economy. We receive multiple inquiries on a daily basis from businesses who want to reduce waste and promote reuse.