What is circularity?

Rethinking farming

In simple terms, circular agriculture systems describe flows of materials and resources in which the output of one process becomes the input to another process. When fully implemented, circular systems eliminate the concept of waste.

Circular material flows have become increasingly relevant as Earth’s population grows and our material needs expand.   An ever-increasing amount of goods are produced with significant energy, mineral extraction and soil depletion.  After use, waste is heaped into landfills or dumped in rivers and oceans.

In the traditional linear process, raw materials and resources are used and residuals go to waste.  “Recycling” simply adds another stop on the journey from source to grave.  In a circular process, closed loops in the various stages of production and consumption transform outputs of one stage to inputs somewhere else.

The illustration below shows the basic principles for linear and circular economies.  We still have a lot do to adapt these general concepts and apply them effectively to farms. That's why we are here.

Van Buren Lin and Circ Economy cropped.jpg
UN on Circularity.jpg