Connecting the circular economy to climate change

Thomas Yiangou, Essex Climate Action Commission Programme Communications Officer 18th May 2022

It’s never been more important to take some time to deeply consider the impact that we all have on the environment.

Reducing our carbon footprint is often associated with a long list of what we should be doing differently, which can feel overwhelming at times. But understanding how to navigate sustainable change will guide us all forward in creating a positive impact.

Hiker in forest
Navigating climate action doesn't need to be tricky.

Where did it all begin?

Ever since the industrial revolution, humans began to exploit fossil fuels and consume beyond natural limits, putting profits above environmental protection which has subsequently polluted the atmosphere and created an imbalance with nature.

Warming climates and extreme weather events are an inevitable natural response to the environmentally costly lifestyles that we have been encouraged to live, through very little fault of our own. High consumption lifestyles have indeed led us into conflict with the Earth.

View of lower body carrying shopping bags in a mall
Consumption can lead us into conflict with Mother Nature.

We can all make a difference

But it’s not too late to shift the scales and live a more balanced lifestyle. Consider some key shifts in behaviour to do your bit to reduce consumption:

  • Try to prioritise ‘need’ over ‘want’
  • Ensure your energy consumption is fuelled by sustainable, renewable sources
  • Make sure your home is energy efficient
  • Reduce the amount you rely on private transport to travel  
  • Consider a sustainable diet
  • Repair and reuse wherever possible

Cutting consumption

62% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from extracting materials and the production of new goods. We want to ensure that every single product that comes from these supply chains are fully valued, of the highest quality and don’t end up in landfill or incineration.

Two women in a refill shop.
Changing how we can consume can help protect the planet.

Even if you can’t dramatically reduce your consumption, why not consider changing the way you consume? Refill shops are a great place to start, helping shoppers to cut out unnecessary and wasteful packaging when buying groceries and household products.

So today, why not have a look around the house and think: how can I change my consumption to reach more of a balance with Mother Nature?

Two women browsing fabric tote bags
What changes could you make today to lead your community towards a circular economy?

Get involved today

To help our journey to find balance with the Earth, the Essex Climate Action Commission is launching a Climate Action Advice Pack on the 22nd of May at the Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership Climate & Biodiversity Awareness Train. Our Chair, Professor Jules Pretty, is also a fountain of knowledge and advice when it comes to living a sustainable life. Check out his website, where you can find his literature and podcast to get you on the right tracks.