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  • Aaryan Doshi

Acids & Oceans

Acids and Oceans image: adobe firefly

According to the USGS, more than 70% of Earth is covered with water, and oceans hold 96% of the planet's water. 

It is, therefore, little surprise that even a tiny increase in Earth's temperature will increase the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, and the oceans will absorb a considerable percentage of this excess CO2. This absorption will cause the oceans to become more acidic. Ocean acidification can cause immense harm to marine organisms with calcium carbonate shells or skeletons, such as corals, mollusks, and certain types of plankton. Acidic ocean water will make it harder for these species to construct and maintain their protective structures, resulting in repercussions for the entire marine food chain.

So, what does ocean acidification have to do with a circular economy? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration highlighted ten simple things we could do to help our oceans. While most can ultimately be connected to a circular economy, steps 3 and 4 directly relate to a Circular Economy.

Step 3 states, "Reduce Waste." In the circular economy, extending the use of products through reuse or usage intensification (I.e., exhaustively using the product during its life span) has a direct correlation to reducing waste. Repurposing old products into new products and thus keeping them in circulation longer automatically reduces waste.

Step 4 states to shop wisely! Exactly! In the context of a circular economy, this implies "Recommerce" - i.e., reuse items instead of throwing them away, rent items instead of simply owning them, repair items instead of simply trashing them and shopping for new ones, and recycle items wherever possible.

Reducing waste, shopping differently (and wisely), and adopting a circular mindset will go a long way in reducing the immense harm that linear economy lifestyle inflicts on our oceans.


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