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Navigating the Spirals of Sustainable Living

Circular Economy

By: Davide Colombo;

Navigating the Spirals of Sustainable Living

During his captivity on Polyphemus Island,
the valiant and audacious Ulysses came up with a brilliant proposal. Together with some men from his crew, the renowned sailor who landed on the island on his way home from the Trojan War, enters in a cave that is stocked with food. Due to their extended time at sea, the Ulysees were forced to go hungry. As a result, the men began to eat cheese, drink milk, consume fruits, and celebrate their extraordinary and glorious good fortune. The host returned home in the evening, leading the sheep through the fields. Evidently, even after realizing the serious difficulty he was getting into, Ulysses was astonished. Using a massive rock, the enormous Polyphemus quickly barred the entrance to the cave. Disregarding the habit of hospitality, he vowed to devour the sailors in the morning and go to sleep. Fear began to spread quickly among the crew. The next day, in the evening, Ulysses gives the giants some powerful wine that was left over from a previous deal. The crew devised a strategy to escape the confused and inebriated giant, which included eating the sheep, blinding the monster, and using the sheep's fleeces to conceal their identities from the giant's scrutiny once the rock was removed. They succeeded in making it.

It is simple to recall this amazing journey, and many students are still in awe of the boldness of the idea and the shrewd great individuals who devised it. These days, our civilisation may share certain similarities. You will not be eaten, so don't worry. If not, there's a good chance that inflation, growing prices for energy or raw materials, competition activities, and so on will eat away at your finances.
What would a contemporary Ulysses do?
It is certainly possible to be astute and adapt, but the best course of action is to be circular. To an expert in circularity, reusing the sheep's fleeces as a disguise in order to survive should sound remarkably familiar. Because of the many obstacles in today's market, astute businessmen can act like Ulysses by embracing circularity and being aware of the sustainability alternatives this activity creates. If they do this, the voyage home will be guaranteed.
But how might a company, or an individual businessman, adopt this idea?
While this varies depending on the activity, some fundamentals apply to all of them. Despite there would be differences depending on whether you work as an employee or a consultant, in the industrial or service sectors, circular thinking is what truly matters.

These points will help you understand the way:

- Select only raw materials that adhere to moral and environmental standards: this means staying away from inputs that have a large carbon footprint on the environment and that are harvested in a way that violates human rights.

- Choose a sustainable design: circularity is a key component of design, and the more sustainable the design, the easier it will be to implement the subsequent ideas. Everything is dependent on the shape we choose to use for the book, the shape we use for the jacket, and the method we choose to sew the zipper on at that precise location on the bag.

- Select a production that is powered by renewable energy: Whenever feasible, begin producing with renewable energy sources; if not, attempt to minimise energy waste and unnecessary waste of energy.

- Contemplate a shrewd distribution strategy: if the task is left to an outside partner, pick carefully from the available market options, giving preference to those that align with your views on circularity; if you handle the distribution yourself, take into account these as more circular strategies: the use of electric vehicles (EVs) and second generation biofuel alimented trucks; only operate them when fully loaded to avoid making extra trips; strategically arrange your routes to conserve miles.

- Reuse and repair are preferred since this tiny moment is where circularity's soul resides. Sustainable terms, this passage says a lot. Making the choice to fix something rather than waste it or to reuse something else rather than starting from scratch with a raw material can set you apart from your rivals.

- Gather process waste and outputs voraciously: Put the company's plans into action to be prepared for this phase of the industrial process, where waste and products that have reached the end of their useful lives are chosen and evaluated to determine whether they can be inputs into a new process or whether they are final wastes that cannot be recycled.

- Waste management: separate trash into two flows after the operation. The first will be recycled, as circularity suggests, into the activity as new input, and so on, until recycling the waste becomes impractical or unethical. At this stage, any leftover garbage (the second flow) needs to be disposed of with consideration for the environment; if at all feasible, avoid landfills and incinerators.
These brief but crucial passages can assist you in reaching a more circular dimension.
Remember the prior point and repeat it to yourself as a mantra, even if you are not a producer. The idea of circularity won't be realized right away; it will cost money as well. However, every gram of plastic that is recycled, every spare part that is inserted again during production, and every pin that is fixed will result in less waste and emissions. We are all in the same boat, as the saying goes, and even Ulysses would agree, so let's make sure we get home safely. To all of you, a happy circular journey!