Welcome to the Circular Economy (Book Review)

Welcome to the Circular Economy: The next step in sustainable living

Claire Potter. 2021. Lawrence King Publishing. [ISBN 978-1-91394-712-5. 192 pages. US$19.00 (hardcover).

Claire Potter owns what she calls a circular economy design studio. With this award-winning studio located in Brighton, United Kingdom, and her design work, Potter helps to save CO2 and create value from waste material as she explains at https://onecircular.world/, which is one of her projects. She notes that she thinks globally and works locally. This project provides steps a person can take to bring circularity into the world. Welcome to the Circular Economy: The next step in sustainable living explains in a friendly, creative way how to be part of a circular economy.

Potter explains on her web site that:

“The circular economy is a regenerative system of living, working and interacting with the world using a series of overlapping themes. Many of them you will recognise – and many of them you will already be doing. And why is this important? It is critical that we work together to combat climate change, dwindling resources and the pollution of our lands and seas. We need to address global inequalities and we need to do it urgently. A circular economy helps us to create a better world. The good news? Creating a circular economy takes all of us, and many individual actions are very simple to fit into our lives.”

Potter explains in Welcome to the Circular Economy that people need to adhere to the ideas of refuse – reduce – reuse – repair – refill – retail – rent – redirect – recycle – resources – regenerate – regulate – restructure. She devotes a chapter to each idea. In each chapter, Potter expresses her ideas in a way where I could relate. In the Rent chapter, for example, she mentions the idea of – “just in case” (p. 83), which is a term Potter mentions as it relates to hoarding. This is something I understand all too well as it has to do with keeping things we might not need. It also has to do with excess. Potter makes a case for renting instead of owning as with an example she provides of renting a radio as people often did at one time. Renting means saving resources and eliminating waste (p. 89).

 We could use her ideas in our professional and personal lives and make the world a better place. This is what I would want.

Note to readers: A version of this review is schedule to appear in Technical Communication.

Reviewed by Jeanette Evans