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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

Non-Profit Circularity

The not for profit sector has major advantages in applying Circular Economy approaches. For starters, much of the sector has been at the forefront of reuse. Donating IT equipment [1], [2] or furniture [3] is an example of moving towards circularity. The main benefits are cost savings and direct contribution towards charity missions, but these practices are increasing product li ...

Climate change & Circular Economy?

Does the Circular Economy help with climate change? The answer is: yes, in lots of ways! Circular Economy approaches are vital to tackling climate change. This Ellen MacArthur foundation video [1] is an excellent, short summary of the key points. They (EMF) estimate that 55% of carbon emissions come from the production of energy - which means that to tackle the other 45% we nee ...

Tailing Disaster

On January 25th, 2019, a 10-meter tall wave traveling 120 km/h, washed 10 million m3 of mining waste from the Brumadinho tailings dam over the Brazilian countryside killing somewhere between 270 and 320 people. This was a manmade disaster, made from mining the materials we use daily. Every copper wire in your house, steel frame in an EV, or any modern appliance comes from minin ...

Digital DRS?

Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) are when we pay a small deposit of 20p when buying a drink in a single-use container and then get the deposit back when returning the empty bottle or can [1]. Scotland will be the first part of the UK to introduce a DRS for drinks containers in 2022 [2]. The rest of the UK has recently finished a consultation about rolling out a similar scheme [3]. ...

Rethink Global Linear Risks Guide

Catherine and the team at Rethink Global recently released an excellent "Linear Risks Guide" [1]. The brilliance of this report is it makes the incredibly strong case the a Circular Economy is not a "nice to have" or "doing your bit for the greens". Rather it is the sensible approach to tackle many of the biggest risks to our businesses. (On reflection, it's a shame that I cons ...

Circular feedback

A powerful tenant of the circular economy mindset is "design out waste". Options include selecting different materials or using less material to achieve the same (or a better) product. Equally as important is "designing for repair and reuse". Options include carefully thinking about disassembly or modularity for easy parts replacement. I have zero knowledge of physical product ...

Circular equality?

Transitioning to a circular economy within a regenerative paradigm [1] forces us to face tough questions about global equality. The modern economy is an amazing thing. Spanning the globe and built on the ingenuity of modern science & engineering. Pointing out the massive flaws in the system does not mean ignoring it's strengths. When discussing the Circular Economy I usuall ...

Circular IoT

Software for the circular economy is, by definition, concerned with tracking physical materials and objects as they move through space and time. One of the major challenges, therefore, is the transfer of understanding of the physical to our software. This is usually combined with the need for scale and speed (at which the linear economy excels) that is considered a requirement ...

Small Experiments for fast innovation

Most circular solutions do not exist yet, but the jigsaw pieces to build them do. One of the most powerful pieces is software that accelerates and multiplies circularity, rather than limiting options or making things worse. A common challenge is how to find the solution that allows established businesses to find circular solutions without undue risk. For example: how might we e ...