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Why you should be part of the circular economy… and buy second hand this Christmas!

Remake volunteer Ben asks us to consider a more sustainable festive season this year.

‘The way you spend your money is one of the biggest ways you can make a positive impact on the world, and your local community.’

Across Scotland, remake, reuse, repair and recycle charities like Remake Scotland, are increasing in popularity and growing their contribution.

Enterprises like Remake Scotland in Crieff are having an increasing impact on their local community through repairing, restoring, and recycling unwanted and unused second-hand goods. At Remake Scotland, items such as desks, lamps, clocks, tables and chairs are made available as affordable quality products for the local community.

Remake Scotland is an environmental social enterprise committed to diverting waste from landfill, building a stronger community, and promoting a local culture of repair and reuse. Remake also supports others, empowering community members to reuse their own materials and damaged goods.

Remake Scotland is part of a growing movement that is committed to circular economy principles.

What is the circular economy?

The circular economy encourages the reuse, repair and remaking of day-to-day items and goods. It is a restorative and regenerative model that aims to keep products, their components and materials at their highest utility value and in continual working condition.

Image source: https://vlaanderen-circulair.be/en

The circular economy aims to change the current take-make-waste linear industrial model by redefining growth and focusing on community wide benefits of the economy. It asks us to move away from the consumption of finite resources and to try to repair, reuse and recycle as much potential waste as possible. The circular economy wants society to:

  •  design out waste and pollution
  •  keep products and their materials in use
  •  regenerate natural systems
  •  rethink how products are conceived of at the start
  •  minimise unnecessary use of resources, and design items to last as long as possible

Why you should be part of the circular economy… and buy second hand this Christmas!

The way you spend your money is one of the biggest ways you can make a positive difference to the world, and your local economy.

After the year we’ve all had, you would be forgiven for wanting to splurge out on the newest and shiniest items this Christmas.

However, Christmas is one of the most environmentally damaging times of the year. Each year shops record booming sales of new and packaged goods, offering shoppers the latest product, design or piece of technology.

Instead of buying all your gifts brand new this year, why not look to make some second-hand purchases.

There are many benefits to this:

  •  The most obvious benefit is the reduced cost, for you the buyer. Not only are second-hand items cheaper, they’re also better quality (especially furniture) and will last longer – meaning you won’t need to buy again!
  •  They are good for the environment: Reducing our demand for raw materials and maximising the life of products and materials could eradicate up to almost a fifth of Scotland’s carbon footprint by 2050.
  •  Buying second-hand products also removes many of the damaging processes involved in making goods, such as manufacturing, transport, and packing, and
  •  You’re saving something from eventually ending up in a landfill site.
  •  The excitement of ‘the hunt’ – there is nothing more exciting, nor satisfying than looking for, and finding that hidden treasure. If you don’t find it… who knows what other gems you might find on the shelves!
  •  Shopping in second-hand stores means you are contributing directly to your community – helping to keep local businesses running or supporting local charities!

Shop second hand this Christmas and you will be helping your local community, the environment, and your bank account, as well as helping tackle climate change.

About Ben

Hello, I’m a recent Human Geography Masters graduate with a passion for sustainability. I love to be outside whether running, cycling, climbing, hiking or kayaking. I’m currently completing a ‘Scottish Alliance for Geography, Environment and Science’ (SAGES) internship where I’m designing climate change education / sustainability lesson plans. I’m hugely interested in how we can use education and engagement to raise awareness and promote action to work towards a fairer and sustainable society.

Community Resource Network Scotland (CRNS) is Scotland’s national reuse, repair, recycling charity.

Zero Waste Scotland uses evidence and insight to inform policy, and motivate individuals and businesses to embrace the environmental, economic, and social benefits of a circular economy. Revolve is their quality standard for second-hand stores in Scotland

The Ellen Macarthur Foundation develops and promotes the idea of a circular economy, working with and inspiring businesses, policymakers and institutions to mobilise system based solutions locally and globally.

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