Welcome, friends, to 2021, year of the circular economy. (We'll try our very best.)
We have so much to celebrate already! We almost have 3,000 people in our little movement AND much more importantly, environmental legislation in the United States has a brighter future due to Georgia's Senate race results. This is a big deal for the whole world.
Our topic for January is going to be "The Circular Economy." I mentioned in December that we would be focused on waste and plastic — that'll still be a significant part of our actions, but I wanted to apply a slightly broader lens as we enter a new year.
🎯 Action step 1 of 4: READ — Let's start by looking at a few articles together.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 1 of 4: READ.
🎯 Action step 2 of 4: LISTEN — we'll watch a short video or listen to a podcast to further expand on our topic.
All you have to do today is watch a short 20-minute movie about the Story of Stuff. This video's been around since 2009, and is still one of the BEST videos I've seen about production and consumption.
You cannot run a linear system on a finite planet indefinitely. — Annie Leonard, The Story of Stuff
They also have a fact sheet that took me ~30 seconds to read and I've included video highlights below.
In last week's module, we described the linear economy as a take-make-waste model. The Story of Stuff puts it in different words:
That's it for today. I hope you enjoy the video!
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 2 of 4: LISTEN.
🎯 Action step 3 of 4: ACT — Now it's time to do something. Let's go!
(P.S. we're thinking of launching a membership program where we can source some of these more curated actions for you — would love to hear if you'd be interested!)
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 3 of 4: ACT.
Before we go any further, it's time for you to pledge your commitment. It takes less than 30 seconds to pledge and we can bother you about it in a friendly way, so we can hold each other accountable. Pledge here!
🎯 Action step 4 of 4: REFLECT — what can you commit to? What fresh perspectives can we look at?
As you read this, I'd like you to reflect on: what companies, habits, and practices can you include in your life to be more "circular"?
In this final REFLECT module, I'm going to share 5 things I learned about Imperfect Foods. They prevent wonky food from going to waste - just because it looks strange, doesn't mean it should be thrown away!
As we learned this month, waste is a fundamental design flaw in our current linear system. The circular system reimagines and redesigns systems that create waste, just like Imperfect is doing with produce.
You might have also seen some criticisms of the "ugly produce" model, which I asked Rose about.
Aaaahh, truly so much to reflect on today: the good, the bad, and the ugly produce.
Here's 5 things learned from her, and here's the full article.
The co-founders of BRINGiT (the other Q&A I shared earlier on ending single-use plastic produce bags) also emphasize something similar - posting pictures of plastic stuff when you grocery shop, and then tagging the retailer and orgs like BRINGiT so the retailers feel pressured to change.
That's it for today! I hope you take the weekend to reflect on everything you learned this month about the circular economy.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 4 of 4: REFLECT.
Check out our membership community for more resources like free weekly events with social justice experts, sustainable product discounts, pre-written email templates, a social impact job board, and in-person hangouts with new friends. Thanks for taking action with Soapbox Project!