COP26 Special: Building the circular economy to tackle climate change

Posted: 04 October 2021, in News

In the lead up to the COP26 event in Glasgow and Climate Fringe we’re featuring green social enterprises to promote their inspiring work in tackling the climate emergency. This week we hear from The Edinburgh Remakery – take part in the conversation on social media with the hashtags #GreenSocEnt and #COP26.

Climate change is at the top of everyone’s agenda right now – and so it should be! With the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) taking place in Glasgow in a few weeks, the pressure is on for Scotland to ensure this event marks the crucial turning point the world needs to prevent climate disaster.

We’re the Edinburgh Remakery, and we work with communities to share repair and reuse skills and services which make it easy for people, organisations and businesses in Edinburgh and beyond to prevent waste and, thus, prevent pollution.

You see, it’s small organisations like us and the individuals, communities and businesses we work with that are creating positive steps and opportunities to tackle climate change. 

The words ‘climate disaster’ and ‘climate emergency’ sound so incredibly daunting that it’s easy to feel discouraged and a bit helpless in the face of such a huge crisis. And I think it’s fair to say that we’ve been hearing these words so much over the past years, even decades, that they can sometimes lose all meaning.

But the truth is that we are on the verge of a climate disaster. The good news though is that there’s still plenty we can do to turn the tides and help clean up our planet, reduce our emissions, and build greener communities that we can all enjoy for generations to come.

We at the Edinburgh Remakery believe that a Circular Economy model – whereas many materials and items as possible are reused, repaired, repurposed and recycled to ensure as little as possible goes to waste – is an essential part of turning this tide.

For example, we teach people how to sew, repair and remake their clothing, encouraging them to reuse or pass on garments instead of throwing them away and buying new. This reduces carbon emissions, whilst also saving people money and giving them a brand new creative skill to enjoy.

We also take in donations of old electronics, such as laptops, tablets, smart phones, computers, and more, which we repair and refurbish, and sell on or gift to vulnerable groups facing financial hardship. 

This stops these electronics from ending up in landfill where they can pollute soil and waterways, and also means that valuable materials and precious metals that are found in these devices can be reused, which means less of these finite materials need to be mined for production.

These very simple actions – donating  a laptop for refurbishment or learning to repair your clothes or other belongings – may seem small and insignificant but added up they can have a huge positive impact on our climate. 

By repairing, reusing, valuing, and sharing what we already have, we can prevent pollution, reduce carbon emissions, and create a greener Scotland with a circular economy at its heart.

To find out more about the Edinburgh Remakery, visit our website or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Stephanie Bowring, The Edinburgh Remakery