This week I spoke with Dr. Farshid Pahlevani, who really did open my eyes to the future of ‘renewables’ and our industry. I hadn’t previously considered this argument nor had I really considered how much impact renewables could have on waste in the future.
One consideration for sure is that ‘nothing lasts forever’ and there is always a lifecycle.
To understand this I explored what we mean by a “Circular Economy” which is best explained by looking at a ‘Linear Cycle’ which is the opposite and best explained as…
Take – Make – Use – Break – Dispose – Pollute
This is quite shocking when considering this, but it is the way of life and sometimes it is unavoidable. However, if we embrace a ‘Circular Economy’ it could actually look like this…
Take – Make – Use – Break – Reuse / Remak
During the industrial revolution things happened so fast and it was a race to ensure power was available for the industry to deliver products. Unfortunately during this time though, there was no real consideration for the environment. It was simply about providing life with faster, longer lasting and better technologies to meet our ever changing speed of life. There was no time to consider what would happen at the end of the life cycle and did organisations really care? It was simply the case of, ”just buy another one” and as long as there was a demand for it, the manufacturing would continue.
This is one mistake we can’t make today with regards to renewables whether it be solar panels, wind turbines or even batteries.
The human race may be finding itself in a new race regarding renewable manufacturing but if we do not engage experts into this manufacturing and learn our lessons from the ‘Industrial revolution’ we could be creating more problems. Instead of plastic particles in our sea we could see ‘Solar Panels’ floating. Dr. Farshid actually said something quite scary and that was that in our daily food consumption we could be consuming a ‘Credit Card’ once a week. NOW THAT SCARES ME.
What can we do? What are the answers? Can we as individuals really make a difference?Individuals can make a difference and I know that there are processes in place to help us make that difference. I know where I live in the UK we have segregated recycling bins in different colours, which is a starting point, but does everyone across the world participate in schemes such as this? Unfortunately though, this is just one small element of what really needs to happen.
Manufacturers really do need to embrace the ‘Circular Economy’. Initially there will be costs, but once the life cycles start to introduce the ‘remake’ stage, costs will start to reduce. It could then have a significant impact on the economy as products could become cheaper to make as the materials are more locally sourced.
The renewable industry needs to engage experts like Dr Farshid to guide and lead them through this “Circular process” to ensure the same mistakes are not made again. It is refreshing to know that we now have experts trained and ready for this role.
At present, consumers need to accept that the products may not be as colourful or as robust, but they can take comfort that it is making a difference to this world.
In 2013 I went through some sad times when someone close to me had cancer and passed away and I spent many a night deep in thought as to why this was happening as during that time many people in my “circle” also had similar stories. We really do have to question whether consuming credit cards on a regular basis can be healthy for us. In 2012, I became a ‘vegetarian’ and for a while life did feel better but during the lockdown and consuming possibly many wrong foods you really do have to ask the question.
As individuals, don’t go mad and have all your waste lined up in 101 different bags, just be mindful every time you go to put something in the bin and consider the consequences of your actions and of the economy and the life we live.
Manufacturers, we need you to consider your processes regarding your carbon footprint. You need to embrace ISO standards like ISO 14001 and ISO 50001to drive down waste and pollution.
During my Podcasts I always ask my guests if they would like to give a message to my listeners and the majority of the times it starts with, ‘think about’, and that’s all we need to do because the thinking will lead to the doing.
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