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Circular design is a rather vague concept for many people. At the time of construction a lot of waste is still released. This should (and can!) be much less, so why don’t we do anything about this? The first step is to design and build circularly. The point is that we start to no longer produce waste, but try to recycle as much as possible in other ways. Of course, you can not use some products forever, for example clothing. After some years your clothes are used up, but instead of throwing them away you could make other things from the materials.

What does circular design and construction mean?

When it comes to circular design, you start by thinking about which materials you can use in a project to make a building circular. You ensure that all materials can be reused in different ways, so that no waste is generated. In circular construction, you actually carry out these steps that you have come up with while designing.

Which materials can you use?

If you want to design circularly, use sustainable materials, that are products based on renewable raw materials such as wood, wool or waste. These products are better than plastic products.

In addition to renewable raw materials, the production process also plays a major role. It may be that the production of a sustainable raw material costs a lot of energy. Certain raw materials have to come from afar and the transport also provides extra CO2 emissions. You can let a sustainable material come from afar, but it is still not good for the environment due to the long transport.

A good example of circular designs are, for example, the Phillips lamps. If Philips sells lighting to other companies, the company does not buy the actual lamps. They only pay for the light and the lamps remain the property of Philips. Because of this fact, Phillips itself ensures that the lamps are repaired. When the lamps eventually break down, Phillips takes these lamps back and uses them for the production of other materials and products.

How can you start?

By 2050, the Dutch economy must be completely circular. But how can we start working towards this goal ourselves? We use raw materials for everything we do. We can separate garbage and more with stuff. Do not throw something away too quickly and also buy more consciously. If you still want to get rid of something, check if it is still salable or if friends or family can still use it. Can you repair it? Or can you make something different out of it? In short, the mindset must be different and the waste production must decrease: be creative and start thinking out of the box!

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