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A sustainability hot topic, the circular economy refers to minimizing waste and stretching resources.
Despite having mountains, volcanoes, natural wonders and a seemingly endless supply of water, the planet we live in has limited resources and capabilities to support every living thing that lives in it.
The Global Footprint finds that “Humanity uses the equivalent of 1.5 planets to provide the resources we use and absorb our waste. This means it now takes the Earth one year and six months to regenerate what we use in a year. Moderate UN scenarios suggest that if current population and consumption trends continue, by the 2030s, we will need the equivalent of two Earths to support us. And of course, we only have one. Turning resources into waste faster than waste can be turned back into resources puts us in global ecological overshoot, depleting the very resources on which human life and biodiversity depend.”
Universally, we are experiencing the effects of using more resources than the Earth can provide. Our forests are losing trees, coral reefs are getting bleached and are dying, arable lands are diminishing, fisheries are collapsing, biodiversity is declining, troubled fresh water systems; we have heightened levels of greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere, acidifying oceans, disease, famine, mass migrations; and worst case, some countries are having resource conflicts leading to wars.
Back then, when resources are depleted, countries and industries would only focus their needs elsewhere, but those who can no longer afford such trajectories, like fishing and oil industries, have no other choice but to work with the resources available or take unconventional methods thereby creating an unfair influence on the poor. The industries that can, however, are finding that even the ends of the world are being exploited, leaving very few resources for future generations to use.
The only true and long-term solution to depletion of resources is through sustainability.
That applies to the lives of every single thing we own.
“Sustainability” is defined as the ability to keep up a certain behavior for an indefinite period of time. Environmental sustainability is widely defined in industries as the maintenance of the practices and other factors that help the environment in the long run.
To be able to achieve full sustainability, we have to follow the Circle of Life.
Remember, in the Lion King, Simba said, “but dad, don’t we eat the antelope.”
To which Mufasa replied, “everything you see exists together in a delicate balance… When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life.”
Imagine your mobile phone. It will give up on you in a matter of years, and what do you do with it besides keep it in your drawer for all eternity? You throw it out. Do you ever wonder where it goes when you do?
With a circular economy, your phone can be introduced back into the cycle. The metal components can be taken out, melted again into supplies of new phone models. The plastic components can be gathered, grinded, and molded into new parts as well.
Materials constantly flow around a closed loop system rather than linear—buy, use, dispose. This results to keeping the value of materials that could be reused instead of throwing them out. Plastic can be grinded again and entered back into the cycle of making more plastic materials.
By applying the circular economy, we rethink our idea of ownership. We look at it in an angle from where we, as consumers, not fully “own” the non-consumable, non-fungible product, but we are mere caretakers until the product gets worn out. Here, the manufacturer or a partner company takes back the item (like a broken fridge/washing machine/fan) and uses the parts to create new products.
In circular economies, the economic activities build and rebuild overall health for the process or system from manufacture to disposal. The importance of the economy’s necessity to work effectively, all around--for established and growing businesses, as well as for organizations and individuals all over the world and in the locality--is recognized.
The movement towards this type of economy is not just to reduce the negative effect of the linear economy, the main goal is not just to take care of waste. Rather, and more importantly, it is a total shift that builds a longer term of resilience. It also provides for businesses and more commercial opportunities, not to mention, it gives environmental and societal benefits as well.
Since our natural reserves are depleting quite fast at a pace that we cannot be able to offset at our current rate, there is a need to give Mother Nature a breather. By the idea of the circular economy, businesses will, ideally, eliminate the gathering of raw materials from natural sources and make use of what has already been introduced into the market. This means that the demand for non-renewable resources will be lowered and most of what we currently own will not end up in waters or landfills to endanger or kill other species.
Adding more processes into the current ones of manufacturing, in order to take care of the re-entering of resources back into the cycle, will result into more jobs for the additional work. It also gives stability to the businesses because they will need less raw materials to begin with. This also means that these same businesses will be saving more money to gather these raw materials.
Brands like Unilever have already started in this endeavor. They have partnered up with other industries for collaboration to stimulate recycling and recovery infrastructure for materials that are more complex to recycle, like sachets. They use pyrolysis to convert sachet waste to industrial fuels. They are also co-developing new technologies to recycle high-value polymers from used sachets so they can be used again to make new packaging in order to materialize a circular economy for sachets.
Also, your bed? Through programs like “Bye Bye Mattress,” in Tulare County, CA, residents disposed of about 30,000 mattresses last year. Statewide, more than 3 million mattresses have been recycled since 2016. What they do is isolate parts of the mattresses from each other and turn them to other items. The foam is used as padding for carpet, the wood from spring boxes are chipped and used as landscape mulch. The springs—scrap steel—melted to make building materials and other items. The melted steel from your mattress could be your next faucet!
Some tire brands have made it so that after drivers have worn out their wheels, these wheels are now intricately designed for your heels. As shoes! This is the effect of an economy that gives new life into old materials. It is not mere recycling or repurposing of a product from its old use into a new item: it’s giving more to the society in general, at a larger scale, not just at the home of the consumer. It’s now possible to encompass the boundaries of a used up, worn out, and seemingly unusable thing for it to breathe life into another item of commodity of a totally different niche. It’s not your conventional recycling of junk into household items anymore; not the usual bottle to pen holder recycling technique (that people barely do anyway). It’s a totally new kind of circle, one that can sustain industries and lives.
We here at MegaGrass are determined to push towards a circular economy, for our processes to be the kind where your turf can be cycled through; we are currently working round the clock to be able to provide you with the best options for your lawn. We hope you lawnderstand that we are a new player in this field.
Although we’re rookies, we’ve covered our bases when it comes to providing you with the turf of your dreams. We have tailor-made designs for your every possible need when it comes to the awesome turf that you’re looking for. However, to be completely transparent, we are still in the process of studying, researching and coming up with strategies for your turf’s retirement. We want it to be special, too!
We believe that we still have at least a decade to figure it out, because we believe that our turfs are durable and will last that long with you. We’re even confident that it could last for double that!
We have a clear goal in mind: to give you a sustainable, eco-friendly turf that will not only amaze you; but also give you the peace of mind of knowing that we are doing everything we can to save the Earth with you.
Right now we may not be able to give you a solid plan after disposal, but rest assured that we are finding ways to give you, and the Earth, the best service that we can provide. Until then, you can take your turf down to your local recycling facility to be processed.
In the spirit of transparency, we also want to let you know that our Super Fill is made of quartz, it’s what remains when rocks are weathered away and broken down. Our Zeo Lite is made of clinoptilolite! If you can pronounce that, we’ll explain what it is. Kidding!
Before you assume that it’s a harmful chemical (because really? We hardly trust things we can’t understand, let alone, pronounce) we’re gonna dispel that notion by telling you it also comes from rocks!
It’s a zeolite (microporous minerals used as absorbents and catalysts) that is commonly used in ecology, manufacturing and agricultural processes. It is widely naturally occurring and is used in veterinary and human medicine. It’s used for detoxification and it has antioxidant effects, too!
Our Silica Sand is made from crushed mineral contained in sand, quartz and other minerals. These can all be used again as infill after your lawn has served its purpose and you decide to get a new one in about 25 years!
What makes our infill great is that all of the materials that we break down for your turf are already present outdoors, and they’re not harmful to you, or your family’s health.
We’re giving you all these natural fillers because they’re safe, they can be made into other materials and they’re all gifts from Mother Nature!
This is also a circular cycle that we are happy to promote. We give you crushed stone, sand and minerals, and even if the Earth brings them somewhere, the Earth will give you some back. These are all present in our environment, scattered and serving their purpose. You’ll never run out of them!
Part of the reason why we’ve already launched our products even without a plan for its endgame is that we’re strategizing for a circular economy plan that we will launch in the future. We’re conducting in-depth research and we will be directing feasibility studies to find the best afterlife for your turf! We have faith in our products, and we believe that at the very least, they will last for ten years. There’s no use for us to provide for recycling of our products yet because all of them are new! Doing so would not only waste our capital, but also our resources! Since we are in the business of making eco-friendly merchandise, we keep our waste to the bare minimum!
We know we’re young, but we gotta start somewhere, right?
(Start ‘em young, they say!)
And indeed, we are young but… we are developing solutions, and ascertaining proper operations. we are striving for sustainability, and thriving through reliability. We are motivated to keeping our products and processes in line with our missions and goals. We are determined to saving the Earth, (to protect the world from devastation! To unite all peoples within our nation!) at the same time, keeping you—our partners in this venture—satisfied with the turf we deliver. And, we hope that when we grow, you grow with us.