As we gear up for Ballina’s third Climate Action Weekend on November 24th to 26th, it's the perfect time to dive into the concept of responsible consumption and the circular economy. With climate change increasingly impacting our planet, it's essential for local communities to explore sustainable practices that can make a difference. In this blog post, we will discuss what the circular economy is, why it's crucial, and how it can be embraced.
What is the Circular Economy?
The circular economy is like a way of taking care of things better. It tries to make sure we don't throw things away too quickly and use products more wisely. In a regular system, we make things, use them, and then throw them away, which creates a significant environmental burden. On the other hand, in the circular economy, we try to make things that last longer and use them again and again, so there's a reduction in waste.
Ballina already offers a good range of services which encourage the circular economy. One good example is shoe repair. These shops such as Harry’s Shoe Repairs or Shoe Hospital fix and refurbish shoes for customers, allowing people to wear them for a longer time instead of throwing them away.
Another good example would be shops where you can get a refill for bottle products such as liquid hand wash and shampoo. A shop like Wild Rocket actively promotes the principles of reusing, reducing waste, and encouraging more sustainable and responsible consumption habits.
Why is it Crucial?
Environmental Benefits: The circular economy helps nature, makes less pollution, and cuts down on carbon emissions that cause climate change. When we reuse our goods to make them like new again, or recycle them, we help the environment and make less of a mess.
Economic Opportunities: A circular economy can create new business opportunities, jobs, and new ideas. When we keep using products and materials again, it fosters local industries related to repair, refurbishment, and recycling.
Resource Security: As more and more people live on our planet, the demand for resources is increasing. A circular economy makes sure we use our valuable resources wisely and keep them for the future. This way, we can make sure there's enough resources for future generations.
How Can We Embrace the Circular Economy?
Reducing and Reusing: Start by reducing unnecessary consumption and reusing items whenever possible. Repair and maintain your possessions rather than replacing them. Here in Ballina, you can repair everything from clothing to electricals to technology to lawnmowers – all in local businesses.
Recycle Right: Proper recycling is essential for the circular economy. Sort and dispose of waste according to local guidelines to ensure materials can be repurposed. If you’re not sure what bin to use, check out Repak. Rathroeen Civic Amenity Centre (view map HERE) has recycling facilities for everything you can think of, and it costs just €4.00 per car to bring your recycling in.
Support Circular Businesses: Engage with businesses that prioritise sustainability and circularity. By choosing products and services from these companies, you are contributing to the circular economy. Check out our list of Ballina’s circular economy businesses below!
Our top ten tips to get you started –
To sum it up, being careful about what we use and following the circular economy idea isn't just needed around the world, but also right here in Ballina. As we get ready for the Climate Action Weekend, it's very important for our community to work together and help businesses and projects that care about the environment and cutting down on waste. If we buy goods thoughtfully and support circular businesses, we can help make our town cleaner and our future better. So, let's use the chance during the upcoming event to promise we'll keep looking out for the environment in Ballina and everywhere else too.
Non-exhaustive list of other businesses which embrace responsible consumption and the circular economy in Ballina:
Mayo Roscommon Hospice Shop
Killeens Lawnmower repair
A Stroke of Magic