We need MORE pedantry in sustainability
There. Said it.
It really annoys me when a word or phrase with a particular meaning gets so diluted by use that it becomes meaningless. Take ‘staycation’ – it was originally coined to mean holidaying at home – as in in your house – but now seems to mean holidaying in your own country. Of course this is what many if not most people do anyway, so the phrase becomes meaningless.
So I got a bit het up when I saw this report on ‘the circular economy’. It includes the ‘sharing economy’ and extended life cycles as elements of the circular economy. The problem is they’re not related – eg you can have a sharing economy that’s not circular and vice versa, and of course you can have both, or neither.
The circular economy is an aim in itself with very particular requirements. If you start bolting every other sustainability idea onto the side of it, you start to muddy the waters and make it harder to implement. The phrase becomes meaningless and the goal fades from view.
So let’s say what we mean – and mean what we say!