This 4‑minute video and companion lesson introduce the circular economy and how products can be "made to be made again," much like renewable natural systems.

Objectives

  • Viewers will identify the difference between a circular economy and a linear one.
  • Viewers will understand the benefits of transitioning to a circular economy.
  • Viewers will recognize how nature is a good model for a circular economy.

The circular economy is a biomimetic concept at the systems level, inspired by the flow of resources and energy within ecosystems. This video provides a succinct introduction to the topic and is also available as a mini-lesson on TED-Ed, with additional information and discussion prompts.

If students are using to produce a product, it’s valuable to encourage them to also think about where their product fits into the ecosystem of products. That is, what can they incorporate into their design idea to make it part of a circular economy rather than a linear one? The list of comprehension questions on TED-Ed provide a good place to start. For deeper research and exploration, consider incorporating some of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s circular economy lessons.

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