Circularity is at the center of a growing movement, reaching into everything from fashion to gardening and food shopping. It’s a simple but powerful concept predicated on three guiding principles: smart design, reuse, and repair.
Sandra Goldmark, senior assistant dean for interdisciplinary engagement at the Columbia Climate School and director of the Office of Sustainability & Climate Action at Barnard College, has been a leader and advocate of incorporating circularity practices on campus. She has made Barnard a national leader in implementing a campus-wide circularity strategy.
“We live largely in a linear system where we extract resources, make objects, and dispose of them quickly,” Goldmark said. “A circular campus is a holistic, systems-based framework designed to reduce emissions and waste, reduce costs, transform consumption patterns on campus, increase access and affordability for students, and support the transition to a just, sustainable economy.”
This push to share, reuse, and repair is catching on. As concerns about the consequences of climate change have grown, so has the urgency to take action.
On Friday, March 10, Barnard College’s sustainability office — in partnership with the Columbia Climate School and the Manhattan borough president’s office — is hosting a city-wide celebration on campus. Circularity Day NYC will include the naming and awarding of several circularity champions who are committed to sharing, reusing, and repairing. All are welcome to attend. Please register here.
“Good design, reuse, and repair are all steps to not just better sort our waste but to avoid creating it, and the associated emissions, in the first place,” Goldmark explained. “But the first step is understanding how the objects we toss or don’t toss connect us to each other and to the rest of the world.”