Recycle. Reduce. Reuse. Repair. Return. Regenerate.
Common words that are constantly used nowadays, in a world that is transitioning towards more sustainable lifestyles. In fact, in most places one can find trash bin with separate compartment to ease recycling. Individuals are encouraged to reduce consumption by buying less, turning off the light when they leave a room, taking public transports instead of one’s personal car. Regenerating can be done through a collective shift to renewable energy and materials.
Now, let’s talk more about reuse.
Throughout the WBCSD week, I realised that there was a need to drive change to the next level and that one of the solutions to achieve this was through collaboration. And collaboration involves sharing with others, including ideas, thoughts, and even personal belongings, with the aim to prolong life of products through maintenance and design.
If I may, I am going to talk about my personal experience. At home, whenever our clothes do not fit us anymore or we do not wish to wear them anymore, we give them to our relatives, circle of friends or other people in need. They then themselves reuse them in their own house until eventually passing them on to others; and hopefully it will continue this way until the clothes are no longer usable. The belief is that if we are not to use these products anymore and they were still in a good state, why waste them? By giving a second, third or even forth life to these products, we are reducing the amount of waste we are discarding everyday. Hypocritically, this is one of the few ways I have been reusing products; it is in fact easy to do so with clothes. An example of this collaborative collection to share is ShareWear, which aims to encourage sustainable fashion. Consumers can borrow clothes, and have the responsibility to share it forward.
What about the thought of sharing cars, computers, cell phones? An example was discussed during one of the meetings, when it was suggested that companies could share their trucks in order to decrease the carbon emissions. The shared opinion about this idea was generally positive, mainly because the members of the companies attending the talk are determined to make a change. Unfortunately, this positive thought is not so common in all companies and across all sectors.
What is stopping us from doing this, from sharing with each other instead of possessing as many belongings as possible and consuming in excess? I believe it is all about convenience. We wish to have the products we choose, whenever we decide to acquire them, for as long as we desire. With all honestly I do not know what the solution to this consumerism is yet; but how about we find out, together?