There are many words that are used in a circular economy, but Regeneration is surely one of the most positive – and unfortunately the most pressing. We are currently in the sixth mass extinction, with the WWF reporting that the earth has lost half of it’s wildlife in the last 40 years. The last time we had an extinction event like this was during the Cretaceous-Tertiary period some 65 million years ago. But the scale and speed of our current extinction event is human-led. We have taken too much, too quickly and not allowed the earth to remain in balance. We’ve tipped the scales.
Our forests are being stripped for timber, or to clear areas for mono crops, such as palm oil or cattle. Natural, ancient forests which are rich and biodiverse are literally wiped away. Our seas are being overfished as huge supertrawlers are allowed to scoop up tonnes of fish at a time, with no regard to by-catch of other species, or the size of the fish themselves. Our land is stripped of nutrients as we intensively farm the same patch of soil, fill it with pesticides and chemicals, and wipe out native species. As with everything in our current way of working, it is increasingly exploitative and linear.
But by considering our own use of Resources, we can slow down the degradation. This is supply and demand coming into play. Buy and support those who share our view on how exploitation needs to stop. Choose pole and line caught fish. Organically grown or recycled cotton t-shirts. Refurbished items. Even eating less, but more responsibly sourced meat (so nothing intensively farmed). But as we said above – Regeneration is a positive word! It starts to put something back into our environment.
So, what can we do to Regenerate our environments?
- understand where your stuff comes from – the materials, ingredients – the Resources. Support and purchase from those who in turn support the environment. As always, if in doubt – ask.
- avoid palm oil – and be aware, it can be in anything from lipstick to cookies.
- if you have somewhere to do it, plant a tree, or plant a garden to support your native species. Make it wild, not manicured.
- think simply. What would Nature do? Let’s replicate that.