Dubbed the Green Economy 2.0, the Blue Economy places emphasis on access to necessities such as health and education by implementing a local system of production and consumption based on what you already have.
The Blue Economy acknowledges that some aspects of so-called "green living", such as buying organic food and using certain forms of renewable energy, can be economically out of reach for large sections of the population. The primary goal of the Blue Economy is to identify examples in nature where organic recycling or upcycling occurs and mimic these processes to find out where and how the waste that we generate can be innovatively used again (the video below highlights this with anexample of turning coffee waste into fertiliser for mushrooms).
According to the organisation Blue Economy (which has a veritabe treasure trove of innovative ideas on its site), the principles of a Blue Economy highlight that waste does not exist and nutrients, matter and energy have a cascading effect i.e. the by-product of any of these three can be used for a new product (check out the entire list of principles here). The resulting new product creates a new stream for generating revenue meaning the Blue Economy balances environmental sustainability with building up social capital, raising income and creating jobs.
The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or i.e. RIO +20) weighed the viability of a Blue Economy against environmental realities, painting a picture that clearly showed we rely too heavily on our natural resources: 60 per cent of all coral reefs are at risk of destruction; populations of fish and freshwater vertebrates have declined by nearly 50 percent; and 40 percent of ocean fish stocks are over-exploited compared to 20 percent in 1992.
Organisations leading the push towards this alernative, such as Blue Economy and ZERI, evaluate the patterns of production and consumption and use their findings to prove that nature’s design and innate sense of recycling can be imitated by us.
The project "Nature's 100 Best" was borne from the need to identify sustainable solutions for society which are inspired by nature's own systems and cycles. The team behind the project ave collated the top 100 best examples of natural design and conveyed them in the book "The Blue Economy". The added boon of each of the examples is that they have the ability to solve more than one problem at a time.
The 8th World Congress on Zero Emissions is being hosted in Madrid from April 22-27 which will be focusing upon Blue Economies Business models. Hosted by ZERI, the congress aims to seek solutions using nature's design principles as inspiration.
Author: Ajay Pal Singh Chabba/ RESET editorial
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