Ecopreneurs wanted!!!!!

The innovative approach to decades of climate change through a circular economy.

Allies and Partners
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ACES leaders and Youth Corps team members

Editor’s note: 

This is one in a continuing series of guest opinions about fostering environmental
stewardship and leadership coordinated by ACES — The Alliance of Climate and Environmental

Ecopreneurs are entrepreneurs whose business efforts are not only driven by profit, but also by a concern for the environment. There is also significant money being made by innovating in the things and processes that are causing much of the global harm to our earth from our 1st industrial revolution. That highly productive human surge forward also produced some toxic side effects due to its waste products and means of production. But now most countries are recognizing the dire threats of climate change and are taking steps to reduce greenhousesgases and pollution. This is shoring up and otherwise protecting vulnerable civic infrastructure. And design and innovation are playing a big part in that effort.

As the Ellen MacArthur Foundation writes in its introduction to the “Circular Economy” “we take materials from the Earth, make products from them, and eventually throw them away as waste – the process is linear. In a circular economy, by contrast, we stop waste being produced in the first place.”

They along with the EPA and others offer a solution framework based on three (3) principles that tackles global challenges: Climate change, Biodiversity loss, and Waste -Pollution. It starts where we have begun working locally on its first principle; by eliminating waste, recycling, composting, and buying vintage, furniture, clothing, and decor. Greater Newburyport people and businesses have started in this direction as people begin to bring their own shopping bags, recycle, and compost and many shops offering vintage and secondhand home goods and fashion.

The 2nd principle of the Circular Economy is to circulate products and materials at their highest possible value driven by design of processes and products in an innovative way. We need entrepreneurs to build new businesses and create jobs to tackle this aspect of the challenge. 

Take the simple example of wooden skids. Look behind and around our industrial parks and you’ll see lots of disused and damaged skids. Can a small firm offer to pick them up for free and in disassembly line process separate the runners and blocks, remove nails. Some pieces can be made smooth and converted to vertical planters, flooring, or wall paneling. What can small scale house builders do to recirculate and repurpose the demolition materials before replacing an old 50’s ranch with a modern 4-bedroom home? Can small subcontractors arise to fill that need. While preservation and good maintenance of existing buildings is the first and best step as the Newburyport Preservation Trust advises, how can the parts of that be conserved and reused in some way. There is a small business near Cider Hill Farm that concentrates on ‘architectural salvage”, the timbers and corbels and panel doors of the past. 

The 3rd principle of the circular economy is to help regenerate nature. Locally we have ACES Allies like The Trustees, Greenbelt, Audubon, and each community with parks that have set aside and manage lands to preserve nature. Local farmers fertilize with their livestock manure to use less chemicals in their fields. We can plant trees and pollinator gardens.

It’s a simple concept, the Circular Economy. And it has many niches people can make their mark by starting a business. Eco-product retailer, Eco-friendly landscaping, or maybe design software or an online marketplace to help preserve, reuse, repurpose, and design new ways to keep the circle going. You can find more on the Circular Economy here:

ACES Youth Corps team members ask readers to consider what you might do to create pathways for the circular economy and the wellbeing of all generations. Possibly become an “ecopreneur” around what you value and want to perpetuate. Send us a note at . To learn more about ACES and its Initiatives, visit

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