- We have to put an end to this trend: buy a TV, 2 years later, when a bigger screen comes out, throw away the old one and go buy a new one. Get the latest mobile phone, when the one with better camera comes out, throw away the old one and buy a new one. It doesn’t happen like that, it doesn’t go away. The piles of garbage around us are getting higher and higher. The air gets polluted as it gets polluted. The waters spit mucilage. The ground dries up. This is where the “to-go” order brings us. And the more we squeeze economically, the more we get stuck. We are so used to this system based on endless consumption.
- I’m not saying “Let’s not buy a television or use a telephone”. Of course, we live in a system. But there are ways to re-evaluate old models. It is possible to update, repair and reissue the old one without having to buy a new one. Yes, it is indeed possible.
- If we don’t, we won’t be able to resolve this historic environmental crisis that we have been unable to deal with. Let’s try to recycle as much waste as we want, set up water treatment plants, introduce clean energy models for the air or plant trees. It’s not enough and it doesn’t work. Because if we continue to consume wildly as if there were inexhaustible resources in the world, we will soon be stunned by the disappearance of the world.
A TOTAL TRANSFORMATION IS NEEDED
There are ways to move from the take-use-throw away cycle we live in and get used to, called the linear economy, to the infinite take-use model, also called the circular economy. But let’s say right from the start, a total transformation is needed for that to happen. In other words, all parts of the system must be subject to this change.
From law to industry, from the school curriculum to agricultural policies… Evolution of mentalities and of all institutions. Let’s take a simple example: Let’s say we stopped using non-recyclable plastic and started using glass bottles/packaging. not enough. Because recycling the used and discarded glass bottle creates a huge damage cycle in itself.
For example, the glass bottled milk used in Istanbul is produced in Kars. For recycling of this glass bottle, it must be taken to a recycling facility located in a remote area. This whole cycle means commuting between Istanbul and Kars and again between Istanbul and the recycling facility in order to reuse a glass bottle.
This is both a serious economic expense and a serious damage to air, water and soil. This is exactly why this milk should be produced around Istanbul and the recycling facility should be close to the city. It is therefore a transformation that rethinks and organizes everything, from agricultural policies to companies. It is therefore not enough to say “consume less”.
Let’s get to the consumer side of the business. “First of all, we have to remove the goal of growth now. You cannot talk about sustainability with the concept of growth. We urgently need to separate these two elements. It is imperative that we build a new economic order that replaces growth with social justice and prosperity,” says civilized Dr. Özesmi. Environmental scientist and founder of social enterprise Good4Trust.org, Mr. Uygar, said the Green Deal signed by the European Union (EU) at the end of 2020 includes such a transformation and that the action plan for the circular economy, which they published in March 2020, also included such an economic evolution, reminds you of your objective.
However, he finds this model put forward by the EU insufficient because it is still focused on maximizing profits. He calls the model he developed “the production economy”. For this, in addition to aiming for social justice rather than growth; He says that cooperation should be developed rather than competition and that a company should focus on the economic and social benefit it provides rather than profit. According to him, in the circular economy model currently proposed, the priority remains profit maximization, and economic and social losses continue to be attributed to nature and people.
Dr. Uygar Özesmi actually offers a solution to the consumer crisis. He does not say “don’t buy the TV, the telephone”, but he says that consumption habits must be reestablished on the fact that resources are limited. It describes ways to reuse the taken “thing” and thus cause much less harm to nature, to people – to all living beings.
Its prescription is as follows: 1°; When the purchased thing needs to be changed, a system based on sending it to the factory and updating it is needed. This is called ‘life extension’ or ‘retrodistribution’. It is imperative that the entire economic system develops incentives for this and discourages “endless consumers” with additional costs.
2nd; We keep talking about recycling, but this work is actually extremely expensive and harms the air, water and soil. Therefore, it is essential that the products are made in a decomposable form from the start. 3rd; It is important to develop the logic of the “sharing economy”. What is meant by this is to open up an asset for the use of many stakeholders instead of constantly buying it.
For example, renting a timeshare instead of buying a house, or spreading the car subscription instead of buying a car. But develop reuse, that is to say promote second-hand purchases. 4th; Revitalize the future by continuing to use what you have through life extension. Just like the patch made by our grandmothers. We will continue…