Skip to the content

Circular Wonderings

Hi, I’m Barry. I founded HappyPorch in 2015 and I’m excited about the Circular Economy.

I believe that we (me, you, HappyPorch and society in general) need to do more than react to climate change and loss of biodiversity and all the other issues caused by our waste. Rather, we need to find ways to solve those issues AND improve life on our planet. There is a chance that, with Circular Economy approaches, we can contribute to these regenerative solutions.

Circular Wonderings is an exploration of the role of digital, software and technology in the Circular Economy. Exploration is the key word here. I write regularly, reflecting on my current thoughts and research. Expect typos, incomplete thoughts, varied rambling topics and (hopefully) a journey towards clearer understanding and insight.

This is a long and difficult journey! But it is, I think, a road worth travelling.

To join me on this journey subscribe to receive daily (yes daily!) emails. I'd love to hear your thoughts or feedback, just subscribe and reply to any email.

Archive

Researching Scottish 3rd sector circularity

In a previous post I posed this question: "how is the term "Circular Economy" used in different contexts?" (Paraphrasing from the question I posed originally [1] ). How do we answer that question? As a tiny first step I started by narrowing it to the context of charitable organisations in Scotland. Aside: selecting this context is mostly due to a recent presentation I did [2]. ...

Talking Circular Economy

Recently I've become interested in the question: is it helpful to use the term "Circular Economy" in marketing? By 'marketing' I mean any positioning, marketing or public communications for an individual organisation. I'm 100% convinced that the term itself is useful from a macro economic and understanding point of view. For strategic and business planning. And also, when appli ...

Systems not products

Here is a quote that I keep coming back to: "Design systems not products". Sadly I'm unsure where I heard it first, never mind where it originated. Recently I saw a version of this that is even more powerful: "Co-design systems, not products". The classic examples of ignoring this include technology solutions in search of a problem, or leaping straight to 'we need an app' to fi ...

Sustainable fashion infrastructure

"...circular, sustainable clothing solutions at scale..." ACS "enable fashion brands to introduce a rental or resale model by offering an end-to-end fulfilment service. This service is inclusive of warehousing, order management, RFID technology integration, powerful and eco-friendly ozone cleaning and sanitisation, expert clothing repairs, and automated picking, packing and dis ...

Fun image

If you ever need a simple image to demonstrate the key circular economy concepts, this is a classic: Image credit for this version: Circular Flanders ...

Sharing platforms

Given that we need more 'reuse' of materials and assets, "sharing" is vital. In a previous Circular Wondering [1] I introduced this definition of the "Sharing Economy": "focus on the sharing of underutilised assets, monetised or not, in ways that improve efficiency, sustainability and community". Let's dig into that a little more, in particular looking at the role of digital pl ...

Lego

Lego wants to start creating bricks from recycled PET bottles in the next two years [1]. Some great things about Lego doing this, I think: it is another example of a major company making real efforts, which is generating conversation (think this is the most shared recycling story I have seen in months!) locking plastic in long life products & (hopefully) reducing virgin pl ...

Zero Waste Hierarchy (part 4)

Fourth (and final) reflection on going back to basics by looking at the Zero Waste Hierarchy [1]. Image from zwia.org [2] We say that we are throwing things "away". But there is no "away". There is no magic place where stuff disappears. The hierarchy graphic makes it very clear visually that the goal is to reduce the amount of 'stuff' that reaches the lower levels. It is also i ...

Zero Waste Hierarchy (part 3)

Third reflection on going back to basics by looking at the Zero Waste Hierarchy [1]. Image from zwia.org [2] "Recycle" (or "Compost" for biological materials) is far down the hierarchy. The obvious (and perhaps most important) take away is that recycling is not the only, or even the main, focus. Too often circular economy, or even waste management, is equated to just recycling. ...